Mother Marianne, a late 19th century American nun, has recently been canonized as a saint. There is a specific process of canonization nowadays, one that requires a thorough inspection of a candidate's life, including the examination of supposed miracles produced in her name.
May of these miracles today are the healing of the incurably sick, and that is the case of Mother Marianne. And while not a Catholic, her story is one that tips me toward the side that there are things out there besides purely physical processes. Of course, the true believers will embrace the stories whole-heartedly, while the eternal skeptics will say there was something going on that the doctors missed, but it's important to note that the Catholic investigators discount all sorts of reported miracles on lack of evidence, and the testimony of doctors are an important part of that process.
It's easy to say people were just ignorant of what was going on. It's much harder when actually faced with the scenario. I'm not a particular believer in miracles. But I am absolutely sure that if I witnessed one as dramatic as what is claimed in the case of Marianne, it would change my mind.
And at this point in my life, for the first time I can really put myself in their shoes. My mother is currently dying of an inoperable brain tumor. I've been watching her decline in an almost catatonic state for the last few weeks. And if she suddenly got better, even if it was only a partial recovery, and the doctors couldn't explain it (and I can't imagine how they could), you better believe I'd start being a believer.
I get it now. I understand why people believe in these sort of things. Even if my very Protestant mother would probably disapprove. Then again, maybe such an event would change her mind too.