LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Maria Sanchez is admired by many of her fellow parishioners for her devotion to the faith. She never misses a Sunday mass, and she usually attends several others during the week. She can often be seen at her local parish during the early morning hours praying, and she volunteers each week to help feed the homeless. So when a mysterious image appeared on her bathroom wall last week, strangely resembling a human face, Sanchez was both terrified and excited.
"I have been having mold problems in my bathroom, and so I went in there to clean last week and suddenly I see this face on the wall!" Said Sanchez. "My heart leaped within me. I thought that maybe the Virgin was showing herself to me in the mold. But something looked very strange. I began to think to myself that this was not the face of a woman."
Sanchez then stared at the alleged image in the mold for several minutes.
"I concluded that this was not the face of a woman at all, but the face of a man, but I did not recognize who this was."
After taking a picture of the spot, and contemplating what it might mean Sanchez called her neighbor, Elizabeth Lawrence, a professor of religion at Orange County Community College, to come over and see the site for herself.
"I immediately knew who it looked like." Said Lawrence, "The image strongly resembled the Reformer Martin Luther. It was uncanny!"
Now Sanchez is faced with a "crisis of faith" of sorts. Being a devout Catholic she is torn in how she should respond to the appearance of Protestant Reformer on her bathroom wall.
"I don't know what to think now." Said Sanchez. "Why would I have this miraculous appearance of a man who left our faith and despised our truth?"
Sanchez has turned to a number of priests in the Diocese of Orange for help interpreting the matter.
"I think this is just a coincidence." Said Fr. James Reily, pastor of St. Augustine's Church, Sanchez's parish. "I see no reason to think this is some kind of miraculous appearance of Martin Luther on her bathroom wall.
Still others offer a different interpretation.
"The appearance is indeed a miracle but also a warning." Said Fr. Francis McAdory. "The fact that this mold spot appeared on the bathroom wall is indicative that the teachings of Luther belong in the toilet. There is no other explanation for this."
But Sanchez has been reluctant to draw any solid conclusions.
"I'm just not sure what to do right now." Said Sanchez. "One person tells me one thing and another person tells me something else. I even visited a Lutheran church this Sunday just to see what it was all about. I'm not converting or anything like that, I think I just need to examine all of the facts."