Dolan explained that it can take an act of faith to see that God is there and that “sometimes we don’t notice that except in the rearview mirror.”
“As these people who have made it get through, they begin to reflect — gratitude is a reflective virtue — they begin to reflect and they say, ‘Ah, He is there, He got me through. Remember the nurse with the soothing cold towel, the doctor who grasped my hand and said you’re on the way back, you’re going to get better.’ They saw those as divine messengers,” said the cardinal.
Props to His Eminence for at least not stealing credit from the medical staff.
As for the rest of his contemplation, Dolan’s barely suppressed delight over the recruitment opportunity the pandemic has gifted the Christian religion appears just a tad unseemly to me. The Catholic Church is like a washed-up but still-ravenous corporate behemoth — mistaking its own hackneyed marketing come-ons for relevant messaging, and obsessively chasing new customers, untrammeled by self-knowledge or propriety.
Also, I would hope that the monsignor — who ministers a large chunk of New York, a state that tallied its 10,000th COVID death today — convinces no one by talking about that “rearview mirror.” The terminally ill New Yorkers who, in mounting panic and distress, possibly craned for a glimmer of hope, for salvation even, got bupkis from God. If they fixed their final gaze on the cardinal’s metaphysical mirror, all they saw was the Almighty’s absence and dereliction.
God did not take the wheel; and if He did, He crashed the car.
To continue the automotive theme: What if a car company reasoned the way the Catholic Church does? Let’s take Ford (rhymes with Lord). Could you imagine the company’s top brass saying, “Well yes, our Pinto did cause the early deaths of thousands of drivers; but c’mon, look at all the Pinto owners whose fuel tanks ruptured and who didn’t die! They should be grateful to us. All hail Pinto!”
Anyone, I think, would see the abominable lunacy of that statement.
It seems to me that religion isn’t a rearview mirror so much as a funhouse mirror (and I’m not sure about the fun part). Its effect is to distort, to deceive, to make you see things that aren’t there. It’s also meant to inspire amusement, and on that score, I do recommend that we collectively point and laugh at it — and then laugh at it some more.
(Screenshot via YouTube)