During the time James Foley was in captivity, he tried to write letters to his parents, but they were intercepted. Resourcefully, he came up with the solution of composing one and asking a fellow-hostage who was about to be released to commit it to memory and transmit it to Foley’s family.
You can read the letter here. Because of the medium of transmission, Foley probably couldn’t make it as polished as he might have had he (a writer) actually been writing it it down.
So he cut to the chase. His message was about love and memory: love of family and memories of them that sustained him. Love and appreciation for the companions he had even during his terrible ordeal, the bad parts of which (which no doubt were many and severe, even before his death) he ignores. He was trying to reassure his family that their terror and and their fears were not as justified as they ended up being.
Foley’s letter also makes it clear that prayer helped to sustain him. Reading it, my hope is that prayer continued to sustain him in the dark hours of his final suffering on this earth, and that wherever he is now, it is a very good place.
In that spirit I offer this:
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
RIP James Foley.
[ADDENDUM: The Anchoress has some words on the matter of prayer, our response to ISIS, and martyrdom.
Here is an article about what Foley himself wrote about how prayer sustained him during his earlier captivity in Libya. And this is what Foley said in an article for the Marquette (his alma mater) magazine on the same topic, including how praying the rosary and sensing the prayers of others helped him.
Anyone who wonders why people keep saying what a strong person Foley was need only read these articles to understand.]