36 years ago, a very reliable source told us what to look for:
"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up" (Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (Bl. JOHN PAUL II) to the American bishops in 1976, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 1978 (three weeks after his election as Pope).1976 was the year Karol Wojtyla was invited by Pope Paul VI to preach the Lenten retreat for the Pope and his "community" (the "Papal household"). The retreat talks were published in book form under the title Sign of Contradiction, during the very time when Wojtyla would have been finishing up his "Theology of the Body" manuscript--the one that he would turn into papal talks when it seemed he could not publish it in book form ("Popes do not publish books," he was told). Theology of the Body, too, has its mention of spiritual warfare, even if not in the stark language Wojtyla used in speaking to the bishops of the US.
For over 1,000 years Christ has hardly been a "sign of contradiction" (Lk. 2) in the western world. The time is coming, Wojtyla seemed to say, when that "sign will be opposed" again by "the principalities and powers" (Eph. 6). Look again at those incredibly strong statements: the greatest confrontation in human history; the final confrontation; Church:anti-Church; Gospel: anti-Gospel. Later Wojtyla, as Pope John Paul II, spoke of this confrontation in the language of the "Gospel of Life" and the "culture of death." It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the "confrontation" of which Wojtyla spoke has at its center the human person as the Image of the Trinitarian God.
It's no good trying to salvage institutions or restore the order of the past to defend the living Image of God in each human being. The time for that has passed. We have no lasting city here, so our concerns will never be fully addressed by political action, no matter how beneficent. Now it is time to "repent and believe the Gospel"; to make a decisive turn in our lives; to place ourselves and everything we have at God's disposition for the full working out of his "eternal plan in Christ" (Eph.1). John Paul the Great would repeat what he said the first time he appeared on the loggia at St. Peter's: "Do not be afraid!" Or, in the word of Julian of Norwich, "The worst has already happened, and it is already remedied." Jesus has already won the victory.
In case all this makes you really feel the need for a heavenly protector and guide, I had some of the St Michael bumper stickers printed up. You can pick them up here in the Chicago Pauline bookstore, or call (312) 346-4228 for a mail order. You can also order bumper stickers and car magnets online, but the bumper stickers are pretty expensive.