This is the miraculous event that made Pope John Paul II a saint, as described in the article entitled 'Costa Rican woman who elevated the Pope to sainthood: "Praying to John Paul II saved me''':
Floribeth Mora Díaz was told there was no hope. Taken to hospital in Costa Rica, she was devastated to discover that her persistent headaches were the result of an aneurysm in the brain. The doctors said her days were numbered. [...]
Alejandro Vargas Román, the neurosurgeon who treated Mrs Mora, is convinced that her recovery is the result of divine intervention.
"Of course it's true," he told Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion. "I am a Catholic, and as a doctor with many years of experience I do believe in miracles. No one has been able to provide a medical explanation for what happened."
Mr Román was questioned by Vatican authorities in San Jose, who concluded that she was saved by a miracle.
"I talked to the priests, but maybe they were specialised in something," he said. "They weren't doctors; they were theologians or lawyers, so my role was that of medical investigation."
But he is adamant that the science is sound.
"We have to remember that the arteriography [images of the blood vessels] was seen by various people within this hospital, and also shared at a symposium in Mexico. The images are stored here. Any person who needs to see the studies; they are here," he said.
From another source:
"The neurosurgeon who admitted and diagnosed Mora, however, denies he gave her a month to live. Alejandro Vargas says he forecast only a 2 percent chance Mora could bleed into her brain again within a year of her diagnosis, possibly killing her.
"She was sent home with medication that would reduce her blood pressure and was advised to improve her diet so as not to raise her cholesterol levels and thus decrease the chance of her having a second bleeding episode. She was sedated because the headaches were too sharp," he told Reuters. "We didn't send her home to be sedated and wait until she died in her sleep."
Thus, the God of the Gaps reigns supreme. Find a pocket of ignorance, add religion, some wild exaggeration, bake for 2 minutes, and God appears.
Crackpot: How do you explain X?
Me: I can't.
Crackpot: See? God did it. It's the ONLY explanation! The science is sound!
The façade of the Catholic church is crumbling. Their best sales-team are trying to fix it by selling "miracles" to the target market. What a job that must be. Who here would like to work in the marketing department of the Holy Roman, eh, pedo club?
Do they have a subchapter of NAMBLA?
She is healed until she dies.
Is it just the Catholic Church that believes an intermediary is necessary or more effective to gain favor with the Almighty? Why would a direct communication or request for healing not be considered?
As long as the world has simpletons we will be blessed with these religious theatrics. It makes my guts churn that people are so damn eager to believe this nonsense. Meanwhile thousands of innocents continue to die from numerous varied afflictions despite their fervent desperate prayers.
I think the idea behind that Ed, is, again, the idea that you are a worthless piece of shit, and as such, stand a better chance if you can get someone whose life has proven them to be more perfect, and thus, more worthy of god's attention than you, to intercede on your behalf. Nothing like religion to build up your sense of self worth.
Ever since the Moses story, it was believed that the Aaronid priests were an essential part of getting god to do what you want, for a fee of course, so the tradition, somewhat different, was alive among the Hebrews as well.
Also, the idea creates a paradox. Does god have a plan for the world, for each of us? If so, why would a prayer, by you or by a saint, change his mind? If his mind is that changeable, how perfect could his plan have been? If he changes his plan for you, as requested, thus creating a different future than you were originally scheduled, how many variables does he then have to change down the line, as a result of the change in the first one?
Is there a set of criteria a person, or a request must meet, for a mind-change to be successful? Why have we never been given an official list of what those criteria might be, instead of a crap-shoot, followed by, "God works in mysterious ways --"? Does he HAVE to? I mean, a simple list: "These kinds of requests could get god to change his mind -- These kinds don't have a snowball's chance in hell" - what could it hurt?
No intermediary required, @Ed. Just sometimes helpful. If you have an idea for the company you work for, you could go to the CEO directly. More likely you would go to a manager you trust who knows the CEO well. St. Thomas More might be an easier example to identify with for a lawyer who is trying to do the right thing in hard circumstances; a Polish pope who supported unionism might be easier to relate to for an ethnic Polish autoworker in the U.S. facing hard times. These are just expressions of faith by individual people, who have different needs and personalities.
Also, the idea creates a paradox.
Not a paradox, @arch. Just a lot of complexity.
If humans do indeed have free will, then of course our choices change us, and our neighbors, and the universe. God must respond to the change. Or if you're a fan of Whitehead, our choices change God in some ways.
I don't know if you have kids. For all of us with kids, we do have plans for them, or at least directions in mind. But they have free will. They choose different things than we anticipated. They surprise us sometimes; disappoint us other times, and the way we adjust to support them changes thousands of variables down the line. Their choices change our actions toward them and relationships with them; in some ways, their choices change us.
Lots of times we say "no" to our kids' requests, because we know those requests (for candy here, for getting out of a chore there) aren't good for them. Sometimes we say "yes", though, out of love, or because mom's on board, or because it opens up new possibilities - possibilities that could only be opened by that voluntary, free-will choice. There's a profound difference between dad saying "you have to play soccer" and a son coming to dad and saying "dad, I really want to play soccer."
All of that is anthropomorphizing a bit, of course. God is deeper and more complex. For a start at what sort of requests could get God to change his mind, though, I'd begin with what sort of requests could get you, as a father who cares deeply about his child, to change your mind?
"If humans do indeed have free will, then of course our choices change us, and our neighbors, and the universe. God must respond to the change. Or if you're a fan of Whitehead, our choices change God in some ways."
With one significant difference - no one I know of lays claims to my omniscience. Even if free will were real, an omniscient god would never be surprised, and in fact, would be in the perfect position to incorporate those changes into his original plan.
Oh, I don't reckon our understanding of things is quite good enough yet to be really thinking very cogently about the nature of omniscience in a 4 (or 10) dimensional framework. Does an actor who stands outside of time take in everything at once? Across how many universes? Does quantum uncertainty apply, so the act of the Creator observing the choices of His creatures outside of time cause the wave state to collapse into a unique and unanticipated reality, even though He can see that reality across all of spacetime at once?
Omniscience is only a stumbling block if you insist on a childish definition of omniscience in a universe we know to be far more complex.
"a unique and unanticipated reality" - unanticipated by whom, an omniscient, all-powerful god?
"a childish definition of omniscience" - how many definitions of omniscience are there?
Seriously, Bob, do you ever just take a moment and listen to yourself? Every explanation you give, to any of us, speaks to the rationality of your mind, yet logic tells me that no rational mind can possibly believe in a supernatural entity.
You appear to be an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in silly putty.
Exactly, Arch. You're being childish about God's omniscience.
The same applies to our understanding of leprechaun magic, which is far too limited to be considering very cogently. Does the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow stand outside of time or in another universe entirely? Does the act of the leprechauns observing non-faery creatures outside of leprechaun-land cause the pot of gold to disappear when we get too close to it? Do the leprechauns imbue the pot of gold with sentience enough to disappear on its own? Is it simply the act of observing the pot of gold itself, in keeping with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, that causes the leprechaun magic to make it disappear? We just don't know.
Leprechaun magic is only a stumbling block if you insist on a childish definition of leprechaun magic in a universe we know to be far more complex.
Rev Bob- "All of that is anthropomorphizing a bit, of course."
A bit? It could be easily argued that the very heart of religion(s) is awash in anthropomorphization.
If you were actually, in the spiritual sense, a son/daughter of god (reference: new testament Xtian bible) why would it require a 3rd person to be a liason between you and your invisible Pop?
Ignorant people seem to have much difficulty recognizing nonsense. The charade continues.
"why would it require a 3rd person to be a liason between you and your invisible Pop?"
I'm jumping in here out of nowhere, but I do know, in general, from experience, that advanced spirituality is a difficult subject and requires experts to make it clear.