Daily Archives: February 22, 2011

The Comment Box Becomes a Relic

It turns out that Scott and Jean Adam, the Catholic couple who distributed Bibles in all sorts of corners of the world and who were just killed by pirates while on their way to Djibouti, were also friends of Midwestern Conservative Journal’s blog. Scott Adam left a few comments there during his ports of call, most recently in December.

Something their website mentioned that news reports haven’t: They were Catholic, but to prevent bad feelings against missionaries among fellow Christians, they got supplies of both Protestant and Catholic Bibles on their boat to give away free. That way, people could get what they wanted instead of feeling pushed and developing a resentment against Catholics, or making people with very little chance to get Bibles think they should refuse perfectly good Bibles out of conscience.

They knew the danger, and were trying to avoid the pirates. It just didn’t work. The flotilla they traveled with became a target, and the pirates came all the way over from Somalia to invade formerly free sea lanes.

May God be good to them, and may their prayers be with us.

Please pray also for their enemies the pirates, both those killed and those who surrendered. Of course they don’t deserve it. But of course the Adams would want their captors’ souls to be saved. Being a missionary is all about bringing light to those who don’t have it.

Finally, please pray for the special forces teams and the naval personnel on the Enterprise, and for the families and friends of these folks. I’m sure they would rather have gotten everyone back alive.

A journalist friend’s sad farewell to the couple.

* “Martyrs” informally, in the sense that they were on duty working for God when killed, although of course at this point we don’t know if they were killed out of hatred of the faith, or just because pirates are enemies of humanity.

Ditto, we don’t know for sure about this guy, but given that throat-slitting is traditional treatment for an “infidel”, it’s a fair guess.

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (holy and true) dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them one; and it was said to them, that they should rest for a little time, till their fellow servants, and their brethren, who are to be slain, even as they, should be filled up.”

** Why, yes, I’m prepared to be sadder about this, now that I know I’ve read this guy before. It’s natural enough.

UPDATE: I’m seeing conflicting reports as to whether Mr. Adam was still Episcopalian. He worked in Hollywood (including on The Goonies), and then after feeling a call to service, attended Fuller Theological Seminary. Later, he met his wife Jean.

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King of Mysteries anthology

This anthology of early Irish religious writings (mostly in translation, but with some original stuff quoted in Latin and Old and Middle Irish) is pretty darned sweet. It’s got stuff I’ve seen before and stuff I haven’t, but it’s all pretty interesting and adds value to what I knew.

Our man Augustinus Hibernicus has a lot of selections from his book translated here, but it’s not anywhere near the whole thing. So there’s that.

In the “Altus Prosator” section, there’s not only the original hymn by St. Colum Cille in Latin and an English translation, but tons of explanations of the meaning and translations of the little “vita” stories that go along with the poem. One of them (obviously from centuries later!) involves Mael Suthain ui Cearbhall (O’Carroll), who is described as not just Brian’s historian and bud, but his “soul friend” (spiritual director). Anyway, in the course of the story, Mael Suthain learns what sins God says are currently sending him to Hell: “getting children on the Bible”, sleeping with women, and despising the Altus (the popular devotion of reciting/chanting the hymn Altus Prosator). It turns out that “getting children on the Bible” means coming up with crazy interpretations for your own advantage, rather than going with tradition and scholarship. Mael Suthain promises (among his other amendments of his life) to go back to following the interpretation of the holy books, rather than his own.

So yeah, this is full of fun and interest and useful things.

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