Tuesday, February 27, 2018

No Rest For The Wicked continued

I should post this before I forget what I had intended to do nearly a month ago.  The thought was to read (actually listen to)  "A Captivity of Nearly Three Years Among the Savages of Nootka Sound", by John Jewitt (1783-1821) and try to come up with advice for parents who are hopping to send their children away some day.  It so happened that I also listened to "The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki", by the Army Corps of Engineers, which finished with an account by a German Jesuit priest, Father John Siemes, who was two kilometers from Hiroshima when the bomb dropped. 

I suppose the first bit of advice to the parents is to give up all hope:  Whether they do good or bad, in the end something terrible might happen and sweep everyone away with no regard to character or the love and investment of parents.  In the case of John Jewitt, he and another man were the only ones of the crew who weren't slaughtered.  The Indians had been given a minor insult from the captain, and the Indians then took revenge for all the past injuries that they had remembered from the white man.  For the Jesuits, several of them died while going about their charitable activities in Hiroshima.  A different in the character is John Jewitt's longing to go home, as opposed to the Jesuit's focus on the job that had been suddenly thrust upon them.

Yet still there is a case for encouraging good character and self discipline, as John Jewitt's father admonished his son when he was about to leave England.  The German John Siemes also worked with the survivors to exhaustion saving those that they could.  One little anecdote that I liked was when an irate Japanese officer was about to cut down father Siemes with his sword alleging that the catholic priest was an American paratrooper.  The German Jesuit managed to convince the Japanese officer otherwise, in spite of his garb, which in many ways reminds me of the several narrow escapes from death that John Jewitt experienced in his captivity.  In the end, God preserves who He preserves and takes us all away according to His plan.  May He grant us the strength and opportunity to do a little good along the way.


Rummuser said...

This is a rather unusual and poignant post. What brought it on?

I have not listened to or read either of the books but, will decide to or otherwise after I receive your response.

Looney said...

There was nothing in particular. When I travel, I like audio books and have mostly chosen from Librivox.org. My target is historical narratives of different sorts, or maybe original philosophical writings. Sometimes novels are chosen, but only if they have been deemed significant after a century or more. These two works were at a lower priority.

My position at my church perhaps has some impact, since I see the concerns of parents for their children with the family problems periodically spilling into my domain. The child who originally the parents hoped was destined for Harvard ends up at home unable to function in society, or one of a number of other scenarios. It would be nice to be able to make all the problems go away, but this isn't possible. Parents seek council on how to better deal with things, and this is very difficult since every problem is different and it is sometimes the result of birth, and other times the result of a series of earlier things that cannot be reversed.

Rummuser said...

Okay. I see where you come from.

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

Agreed. No matter what parents do or say, in the end, it will happen what G-d Wants it to happen. Parents can only do their best to put their children on the right path as this will help their and their children's soul in the after life.