It has been, to use a pop culture phrase, a “dumpster fire” of a year. We have lost 300,000 of our fellow Americans to a pandemic. Our democracy has been shaken by unsubstantiated claims of fraud and conspiracy allegedly so vast as to steal a national election. Our Church has been rocked by a report detailing the rise of a now-disgraced American former cardinal to the highest ranks of the Church despite his scandalous behavior.
One might be hard-pressed to find the providential presence of God amid this mess, yet there are graces to be found. We see the heroism of health care providers, teachers, and food pantry workers as they risk their lives to aid the sick, the isolated, and the hungry. We see brave government officials who resist death threats and pressure, refusing to compromise their integrity in the face of the mob. And we see victim survivors who bravely testified to what had been done to them. We see a pope who made good on his promise to deliver a public report chronicling how Church leaders failed in their responsibilities.