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The declining quality of miracles

The rampant coverage being awarded in supposedly 'serious' news outlets to the attribution of a 'miracle' to the late Pope JP(mk-II) could so easily be a source of despairing eye-rolling for sane folk everywhere, who wince at such wallowing in blatant supernaturalism in the 21st century. Look closely at this 'miracle' for a moment, however, and there are reasons to be cheerful! Indeed, progress in a weird kind of way.

Just think about some of those miracles of yester-century!... Corpses that stubbornly refused to decompose... Corpses that came back to life for that matter... The sun zipping around in the sky... Blood and gore gushing out of spontaneous wounds in the hands and feet... WOW!... But what do we get now? Some nun suffering from Parkinson's (or, according to some sources, maybe another condition) not suffering from it anymore, and blokes with dodgy backs suddenly feeling much refreshed.

Zombies, vampires and other outrageously ludicrous otherworldly themes are no longer considered 'safe' territory for miracle-declaration. Instead there is a retreat into faintly plausible and fantastic-but-believable thisworldly myth. In short, the miracle writing is becoming a lot less 'Stephen King' and a lot more 'Dan Brown'.

They know that - in the West at least - they can no longer get away with the sort of obviously made-up ghost stories that would once have passed muster in an ignorant and credulous population. They are, in other words, on the run! The bar for what passes as a miracle will continue to be set lower and lower until, in just a few decades more, relief from a really bad bout of indigestion, or from constipation, or perhaps just finding a pound coin down the back of the sofa will all be considered evidence of a bona fide miracle warranting sainthood! Hallelujah!



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