I spent Saturday morning, along with six of my children, helping the Missionaries of Charity.
Whenever we visit them, I have to remind the Noisykids to obey the nuns without question or backtalk. I have no desire to have to take one of my children aside and 'counsel' them when we should be working.
So I found it both irritating and amusing that whenever the sisters told me to do something, I had to stop myself from saying something, either a suggestion to do it a better way(read MY WAY), or worse, ask the question "WHY?"
Somehow I kept control of my tongue, and as I worked the rest of the morning, I began a list of guidelines which would help me keep a spirit of generosity and humility while working with the sisters.
By the time I was done, I realized the guidelines would apply just as well to dealing with my wife, or even God, for that matter.
1. Remember who is the boss. You are there to help, not take over.
2. Do not second guess what they want. They think in different terms than you do. They are thinking of things from the perspective of eternity.
3. Do not argue with the sisters. Refer to #1 and #2 above.
4. Do not tell them what to do.
5. Remember the nuns are modeling their lives after a Woman whose last words recorded in the Bible were "Do whatever He tells you."
6. The nuns(and my wife as well) are poster children for the term 'disinterestedness' - they are not thinking about what's in it for themselves.
Granted, I am the head of the household, and have the final say in matters which affect the home. But in so many things my wife has a better grasp of what needs to be done. In those areas I usually defer to her judgement; decisions about clothing, meals, and so many other important things are better left to her.
I am reminded of a comment made by James Stenson, on the subject of parenting. He said that the easiest way to become a successful father was to marry a great woman, put her high on a pedestal, and DO WHATEVER SHE TELLS YOU.
I have certainly done the first, and since my wife truly is the heart of our home, I am working hard to do the second and third.
ON ANOTHER NOTE:
I believe Our Lady of Guadalupe left an image of herself behind because she knew what St. Juan Diego would say when asked whom he saw:
Contrast that to the detailed description of Our Lady by St. Bernadette Soubirous, and you can see why the Blessed Mother supplied a picture. This is not to say that St. Juan Diego was incompetent; rather, it indicates that he is a man, and described things as a man would. For the sake of all of us, the Blessed Mother gave us the picture to make up for his limited description.
A gentle reminder:
I like how his blanket makes the turn before he does.