First watch the clip of Governor Cuomo from New York:

Then watch Bishop Baron:

Read a bit of metaphysics by Aquinas if you like.

Appreciate how instructions to build a bike are written.

Understand that every moment of human existence is not merely a game about winning and losing.

Now read on.

I doubt that Cuomo is in the midst of a Christian existential crisis. Baron takes him on, but that is too easy for him.

The rest of us may tremble on the shaky theological ground underneath our own feet, though.

Surely we all can sympathize with and credit those who have suffered and recovered, as Cuomo does. His words are not a treatise on God as the prime cause, nor should what he said be held up to quibble with Aquinas. As fun or difficult as that is. He sends his words of comfort to citizens that cry out in despair. The intent I understand. Give credit to those who are feeling the pain of “social distancing” – the curve is going to flatten – and keep doing what you are doing.  Since he can chart man’s work in curves on graphs, the context has everything to do with data-driven curves and graphs. It was an encouraging speech.

The “What did God do?” question he provokes is not new. Our relative experience of a global crisis is new. We test each other and collect the data. I know of no test of God that could return data that looks like a curve.

There is no test of God during this pandemic, no data to chart. Man tests man. Man collects his own data, man interprets his own charts. What data does God collect when he tests himself, what would his chart look like?

In a crisis, our choice is not binary: faith or despair. God is with us in our suffering, yet he does not will suffering, despair, or death upon any of us. “How much did he do?” to keep us from suffering and death? Well, we are still here. So that is something.

Reminds me of when I joke with kids at school, “How many times has God saved your life? All of them.”

God is with us in our recovery, and he does will life, healing, recovery on us all. “How much did he do?” He is the source of life, the power to heal, and the desire to love. No one can put that in a graph either. My faith is that in the midst of our deepest darkness, God wills that there be light. When we are then bathed in his light, of course we give thanks to God. When we wish for healing, recovery, love; we are doing God’s will. When we wish for the end of suffering, disease, pain, and death; we are also doing the will of God.

The virus, remember, does not have this will.

God is not on the graph, God’s contributions were not included in the data collection. That’s fair. No credit to God in this graph today.

Where do you even begin to create a chart of God’s impact on our world? You can’t start God’s data at (0,0) – and where would you put the first dot for infinite love?

God and man are together in this fight. In faith one day we will say gloriously, “we did this together.”

Still looking for God’s data on the graph? Look up, way, way up. When we see light, after so much time in the dark, it does hurt the eyes, though.

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