I think it was about 30 years ago. Having read much history and studied the Scriptural testimony of the ancient world, I began to get more and more suspicious of the direction things were going in this nation of ours. It was not just an increase in sin that caused me consternation, but it was also the clear, slow, and steady re-catechizing of the American public. One can look back in history and see that much of what we are dealing with today began with John Dewey who "agnosticized" the education system; the results are now obvious.
More of my concern was supported a few years later when I read a fictional story (sorry, I don't remember the title) about a man who discovered that the leaders of the country that he lived in were secretly working to bring about a totalitarian dictatorship. It comes across as "conspiracy theory" stuff, but it was a page turner. When I finished reading it, I thought about the ramifications for the modern day. What if that happened here in these USA? I recall at the time looking into some "sneaky" things that seemed to be similar to what the book referred to.
Around that time, a very revealing conversation happened between me and someone I was close to (at least back then). I mentioned that things were degenerating and that without a major repentance throughout this country we should expect the civil authorities to turn against the faith more and more. Our conversation got so "heated" that I ended up alienating my friend and we were never able to speak about that particular subject again (yeah, I blew it, I know--I was a young twenty-something so I knew everything!).
I learned from my error though. I learned that not everyone sees things the same way, and that all the evidence in the world cannot convince people if they do not want to be convinced. I also learned that it is important to be cautious in our predictions of the future. Today we are seeing many of these things that I was worried about taking place (and many that I never even dreamed of as well). I am not trying to say "see, I told you so" (even though it may seem like it). I am saying: when we speculate about the future, we can have two responses; we can worry, or we can prepare. By the grace of God, I prepared.
I am not callous to what is now going on (socialism, transgenderism, doctrinal and moral compromise, family breakdown, etc.), but I am also not surprised. The other day someone told me about something that happened that was heinous. I said, "yes, this is what we have come to", and she responded, "aren't you upset?" Yes, I am upset, but I have been bracing for this for a few decades now, and I want everyone reading this to brace themselves as well. No, it is not too late. We can all help one another; those who saw this coming and those who did not. We each have something that the Lord has given to us to help others.
The worst has not yet happened (really!) and that means that we all still have time to ready our souls. We have time to realize that actions have consequences, and anyone who is paying attention can see where things are headed. In the Church we are to rally around and take stock. We are told to stand fast and endure. Jesus is still on His throne and if we keep the faith He will get us through this.