I finished reading a book recently that was given to me by a parishioner. It is relatively new; published in January of 2021. The author--clearly a brilliant man--was discussing recent events in the Church and the world, especially in relation to the medical dictatorship, the political disaster, economic nightmare, and social suicide that we are enduring.
He made a few comments (not true predictions), about what he expected to see happen next in history. I found it interesting because much of what he said was exactly what I saw on the horizon. We were both wrong. Most of what he said "this is the next step" did not take place. Now, I will confess quickly that I am happy we were wrong; if we had been right things would be much worse than they are right now.
This is a good lesson in what happens when we watch patterns in society. Yes, we may see one thing leading to another, and expect certain results. Yet, we can never leave God out of the picture. I am sure Mary and Martha had one set of expectations after Lazarus died. Jesus threw Himself into the picture and changed everything.
Therefore we should be very, very, cautious about making predictions because we do not have all the facts (we never do) and if we actually forget that God influences history, He will remind us quite clearly. It is much more helpful to say, "unless God stops it, this is what will likely happen next". Certain patterns are easy for everyone to see. Some are more vague. Either way, we have the ability to expect certain results that naturally flow from other events.
God is always the uncontrollable factor. If we see bad coming, He may turn things around and prevent our total destruction. If we see good coming, God may turn that around as well and throw us into a time of tribulation. We should be prepared for either. I really wish I could ask the author of that book I mentioned, what he thinks now. Does he see new patterns that give him greater guidance?
If we get obsessed over the pattern itself, then we lose what the intent was of seeing the pattern. We can never prepare for any and every physical trial, but we can prepare our hearts for anything. Will bad things happen in the future? Yes. Will good things happen in the future? Yes. Let us each, with humble hearts, try to learn from the patterns of history, and grow closer to God as a result. We may see what is coming in the future, and we may not; only God knows exactly, and He is prepared to deal with it.