Category Archives: Johann Apakass

By such and such an offering

Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer, 17th century, Johann Apakass
Background Image: Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer, 17th century, Johann Apakass

In Matthew 22: 21, regarding the obligation to what is owed to the state (taxes), “Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” This is one of those quotes from the Bible most people are familiar with, and I believe Emily is referring to a similar idea, though with a twist.

In the first line she does not specify what the “offering” is, she only describes it as “such and such”. And by not describing the exact details of the offering it takes away any value it has because it is just “such and such”, as in some common whatnot. And if she is talking about money (and taxes) then what she might be saying is that since money is part of the “web of life” then the “martyrs” are the people who have value (as in we know their names unlike some governor history has forgotten and is thus only known as “Mr so and so”) because they were not beholden to the “web of life”. St. Ignatius of Antioch was eager to be martyred because he believed that he was only beholden to God, not the state (Rome, in his case).

Of course this is all pretty common thinking and not a terribly original idea, so why did Emily write this? Could her father have been dealing with some financial issues and she wrote this in order to keep some perspective on what the real value in living is? Or had she given a gift to someone, perhaps a flower or a poem, but the gift was not appreciated and so she feels some comrodorie with the martyrs whose act of giving their lives is appreciated by history, if not by the people who took their lives. Who knows; there is not enough information to go off of to determine intent.