The signs of the time are worrying.
The swine flu prohibition on Communion on the tongue feels, at least in some parishes in some dioceses, like an attempt to ban the practice completely.
The attacks, or rather the continual pinpricks, against Summorum Pontificum priests seems, if reports are true, to be on the increase: but there are some attacks as well and some of these attacks are vile and potentially high profile.
The staff at the E&W Bishops' Conference continue to plan for an Ad Limina visit which will take the attack to the Pope.
With the exception of the Archbishop of Westminster, not a single Bishop in E&W seems to have welcomed the idea of a Papal visit.
If I can be forgiven the analogy, we are in early 1942. The Americans have finally entered the War but the Japanese have conquered the Pacific and look unstoppable; the Germans still seem to be advancing in North Africa; and as the winter ends on the Eastern Front, everybody is expecting the worst.
Nobody has realised that the enemy has extended itself as far as it is able, and only two things are necessary for its defeat: unity, and a willingness to take all the time final victory needs, whatever the attraction of a negotiated peace.
They can't win. We can win, and we can lose.