This is a story about Adam. Adam is three years old. He lives in Iraq. And he was killed on October 31.

He was killed at the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad when armed militants who said they were part of the Islamic State of Iraq—a group with ties to Al Quaida—stormed the cathedral. Adam’s parents and others, including two priests, were killed. One priest was killed at the altar. The other was gunned down leaving the confessional.

Eventually, Iraqi  forces stormed the cathedral ending the hours-long siege. In the end, 58 people were killed and 75 were injured.

In his presidential address this past Monday, the opening day of the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, Cardinal Francis George shared Adam’s story.  He recounted the tale through the eyes of an American Dominican sister, “a friend of a friend,” who had written about the situation from that country.

She wrote, “Adam witnessed the horror of dozens of deaths, including that of his own parents. He wandered among the corpses and the blood, following the terrorists around and admonishing them, ‘enough, enough, enough.’ According to witnesses, this continued for two hours until Adam was himself murdered.”

I must confess that after so many years, tales of the plight of the Iraqi people have drifted into the background of my daily reality. But Adam brought it back and reminded me that sometimes we need to say “enough” regardless of how scary it may be or what the repercussions.

Cardinal George echoed that, saying, “We have all experienced challenges and even tragedies that tempt us to say, ‘enough….’ May the Lord during these days give us vision enough to see what he sees and strength enough to act as he would have us act. That will be enough.”

So I ask, to what today will you say “enough?”

Credit: CNS photo/Mohammed Ameen, Reuters
Caption: Residents load the body of a victim into an ambulance outside the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad November 1.


About the Author

By day, Susan Hines-Brigger is the managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger. By night, she and her husband, Mark, are the caretakers and social directors for their four kids: Maddie, Alex, Riley, and Kacey.