There was a miraculous story the other day about the most miraculous miracle that ever miracled.


Okay.  *deep breath*  It’s out of my system.  Long story short, last Sunday there was a bad car accident involving college sophomore Katie Lentz, whose Mercedes was hit by a drunk driver in eastern Missouri [later identified as Aaron Smith].  Her car was a twisted, mangled wreck, she was pinned, and her life signs weren’t looking good.  Before a last ditch effort to life the car upright and remove her, she asked if someone would pray with her.  That’s when he appeared.

The silver-haired priest in his 50s or 60s in black pants, black shirt and black collar with visible white insert stepped forward from nowhere. It struck Reed as odd because the street was blocked off 2 miles from the scene and no one from the nearby communities recognized him.

“We’re all local people from four different towns,” Reed said. “We’ve only got one Catholic church out of three towns and it wasn’t their priest.”

After he led them in prayer and anointed Katie and some of the other emergency workers in oil, that’s when the miracle happened …

Everything happened quickly after that. Twenty emergency workers pulled together and sat the car upright, Churchill Lentz said. Katie Lentz’s vital signs improved and a rescue team from a neighboring community suddenly appeared with fresh equipment and tools. Lentz was removed and rushed to the hospital.

Wow.  Must be a miracle!  No word on any of the other countless accidents that happen every day that don’t go nearly as well, but I’m glad this one did.  As always, it’s a shame God didn’t kill the solenoid in the drunk guy’s car, thereby preventing the accident in the first place, but God isn’t known for being proactive.  After the prayer session was over and Katie was whisked away, the priest mysteriously vanished …

… and everyone’s collective IQs dropped approximately 80 points.  Hell, even the articles I’m citing are calling him an “angel”.  I saw this on the news on Monday, and the reporters were just about falling over themselves about the miraculous story of how the priest suddenly appeared with no warning, how everything suddenly went their way after they prayed, and the fact that he wasn’t found in any of the pictures must mean he is a freaking angel I mean what other explanation is there come on people!!

“I have 69 photographs that were taken from minutes after that accident happened — bystanders, the extrication, our final cleanup — and he’s not in them,” Reed said. “All we want to do is thank him.”

“Where did this guy come from?” asked another Lentz pal, Travis Wiseman. “We’re looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie.”

[Katie’s mother] told USA Today that emergency workers said there is no way her daughter should have lived through the crash. She believes the man may have been “an angel dressed in priest’s attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us.”

The story stirred the imaginations of many across the country, including some who speculated he might have been a monk who died in 1927.  [SERIOUSLY?!]

Ironically, Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, had the most level headed response to the entire situation, suggesting it was probably an ordinary person who didn’t want to be identified and that humanity as a whole is capable of such kindness all the time.

Unsurprisingly, he was right.  The miracle angel-priest is none other than Father Patrick Dowling, who was driving back from Mass and got permission from the sheriff to approach the scene of the accident.

Dowling wrote in the National Catholic Register that he was returning from Mass when he came upon the accident scene.

“I absolved and anointed Katie and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not be hurt,” the priest wrote. “I left when the helicopter was about to take off.”

Well.  Now that that’s settled, can we all please stop losing our minds every time the circumstances surrounding an event appears just slightly out of the ordinary?  This is how religions start, ya know.  People see something they don’t immediately understand, and before a rational explanation has the opportunity to present itself, they’re babbling on about God and worshiping aphid droppings.

As for Katie, she’s going to be on the mend for a long time.

Lentz is recovering from two broken femurs, a broken tibia and fibia, broken left wrist, nine broken ribs, a lacerated liver, ruptured spleen and bruised lung, according to the Facebook page of her mother, Carla Churchill Lentz.

In light of this and the perpetual problem of God being a “reactive” and not a “proactive” miracle worker, I give this one a D.

Still, I sincerely am glad she’s going to be OK.

This entry was posted in Dr. Bob's House of Crap, Freedom from Religion, Religion in the News, The Illogical School and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to MIRACLE

  1. How does god decide which crash victim to minister to? My brother was following a jeep that overturned right in front of a church. The priest and my brother were both there, and the guy still died. There’s got to be something else to this miracle thing, something we’re missing….

    Still, like you, glad to hear the woman made it and is on the mend. She’s damn lucky.

    • Yeah, that’s what infuriates me about hearing stories like this. Every news outlet from here to Other Portland is breathlessly talking spinning this supposedly inspirational story, quick to point out the “power of prayer” and how “miracles can happen” only because they’re too lazy to look for the real answer and only too eager to tug at your heart strings to care . And let’s ignore all of the other accidents in which people were praying just as hard, if not harder, for themselves and their loved ones, only to get a “LOL SORRY NO” for their trouble. I guess they either weren’t righteous enough, or didn’t say their prayer in the right way, or didn’t have the right connections. Either way it really doesn’t do much to support the idea that He’s there to begin with.

      By the way thanks for de-spamming my comment. I should know better than to put links, but sometimes they’re the only way to get the point across.

      • Jason, It’s no problem. I get a lot of spam, and I’m sorry that your comment got pulled out like that. I’m going to write Word Press to see if there’s something I can do to prevent that when a comment’s already been approved. Stories like this are so frequent that I could have material to write about for several lifetimes. Even last night on the news here, two women were interviewed, and they claimed that God kept them safe from high winds. (They were in a church at the time, and they prayed. Geez.) I just roll my eyes…


  2. Kathy says:

    What does this say to those whose loved ones die in a car crash? Or of cancer, or natural disasters, or anything else, for that matter? God gets all the credit when good things happen, but no one blames him when bad things happen. A church in my city was just destroyed by flooding. Where was god? On his lunch break, maybe? What a crock!

    • You and Deb said a lot of the same things, so I’ll also point you to my response to her, but I agree. If you ask some people about why they were saved and why others weren’t, it’s all given up to “god’s will” … which suspiciously looks a lot like a combination of random chance and things we can’t easily explain. I remember watching a thunderstorm from the window of our back porch when I was little. Suddenly I saw a bolt of lightning strike no more than three feet in front of me on the patio. Scared the crap out of me and left a mark on the ground. Is it a miracle I wasn’t hit? Did God intervene? Of course not. I just wasn’t standing in the right place at the right time. I’m sure there’s a physical explanation behind it (like my being inside the house, for one), but I could just as easily have turned the entire thing into a story about God speaking to me and I’d have thousands of people nodding their heads and praising God’s wisdom.

  3. MichaelB says:

    Another Father Dowling mystery solved.

  4. Charity says:

    Hey Jason,

    Sometimes I just show up for your snarky outlook. 🙂

    I had commented on another blogger’s post a while back about faith and miracles. (I believe it was Nate’s,a former Evangelical turned non-believer.) I mentioned that maybe scripture should read “Without favor (instead of “faith”) it is impossible to please God.

    This all reminds me of my old Facebook days. I remember someone I went to Bible School with griping on the daily feed about wanting a Pyrex 9″ by 13″ glass pan. Bless God, guess what someone gave her that same week?

    Christianity=glorified begging

    • Snark is one of my core competencies. It’s a shame I can’t easily translate it into a steady, well-paying job. That’s not to say others haven’t done it (see the entire talk radio genre, for example), but I’m sure even I would get tired of hearing myself talk. Oh well. Thanks for the kind words, in any case 🙂

      Your comment about the baking glass reminds me of a post I wrote a while ago (maybe before you started following) in which I covered something similar. There’s nothing more shallow than treating God like a giant celestial wishing well for the little things while conveniently ignoring the general misery of the human condition that surrounds us.

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