First question: Where does my new name go? I am John Justin-Martyr Charles Wright? Or does it go after my middle name: John Charles Justin-Martyr Wright? Do I use the whole saint’s name (Justin Martyr) or only his Christian name (Justin)?
Mark Shea replies:
In answer to your questions: Your birth name has been erased from all records, both written and electronic. You are now always and only Justin Martyr to us, the perfect Philosopher Spy. You will do as we bid, go where we command and think only what we allow. Your identity has been erased and all who knew of your existence have been liquidated. You report directly to the Vatican. Your password is “Lancer”.
The part of particular interest to me is: all who knew of your existence have been liquidated. This is the kind of thing you wish your husband would have bothered to check on before he had the whole family annihilated.
Luckily, while my church is not so fortunate as to have albino monk assassins (you got to admit that kind of thing is cool!), we do resurrect the dead.* So, thanks to their timely prayers, I and the children have survived our encounter with the Vatican Cleaners and will live to breathe another day.
*I collect accounts of people in my church who have raised the dead through prayer in recent years. Currently, I am aware of at least fifteen accounts, if one counts both people and animals restored to life. This does not include the time my prayers brought John back. I don’t include that because I did not have any proof he was actually dead.
On the other hand, there is the following interesting fact: at the time of our car accident, John was a vituperative atheists who thought that there was no soul, that prayer was nonsense, and that life ended with the body – and he continued to believe this for about 15 years after this event. And yet, even though I had not told him — or anyone else — that I thought he might have died, John went around telling people that he’d died and I had brought him back. He even started a novel he never completed based on a related premise.
How he explained this conviction of his in his atheistic mindset, I never found out.