As the recipient of many well-deserved scoldings from several nuns during my career as a Catholic grammar school student a half century or so ago, this piece from Mary Rose at True Confessions of a Prodigal Daughter brought back a flood of memories. (I'm smiling as I write this but were Sister Juliana or Sister Clement or Sister Georgiana still around I'm certain they would be telling me, "Wipe that smirk off your face, young man!")
This past Sunday, I witnessed something I hadn't seen (or heard) in years. A scolding from a nun.
Who can scold like a nun? Heck, who still scolds, period? Everyone is running around, trying to be "sensitive" to other people's feelings and/or politically correct. It is just so un-PC to scold because really, who am I to tell anyone that what they're doing is wrong?
Enter the ardent nun, clad in her habit and wielding a powerful knowing that can't be denied. After all, this is a woman who has given up an opportunity to marry and have children just so she can pray all the time. She is not a woman to be trifled with.
And so I found myself slightly surprised when I was munching on my chocolate-glazed donut and suddenly witnessed an honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned scolding of a young boy by a nun. He was the altar boy for the Mass we had just attended and according to the nun, was too fidgety and obviously not paying proper respect to his duties. I couldn't help but smile when an adult friend pointed out this young boy wanted to become a priest and the nun snapped back, "Well, I can't imagine you would do well since priests must be very disciplined and you seem to lack that trait."
Wow, eh? What amazed me more was the fact that the young boy's mother came over to chat with me and the family friend notified her of said scolding. Her response? "Good. He needs to hear that. I'm glad she told him." I mean, double wow! Can you imagine if this type of exchange had happened in most schools? Oh, whoever did the scolding would have probably been dragged into an administrator's office to receive a verbal warning, and the parent would have wailed to high heaven that her perfect child was being abused.
The whole scenario was so refreshing but yet so rare that I had to think of what had happened to our culture over the past two decades that made such a scolding uncommon. It doesn't take long to see that when a nation loses its sense of right and wrong, it loses its way. It's no wonder so many young people are disrespectful and willful. When they have no one to tell them what they're doing is wrong, they'll keep doing the wrong thing.
Thank God (and I cannot say this enough) for the old-fashioned nuns who aren't afraid to speak up. I'm tired of the waffling, mamby-pamby type of spiritual coddling that makes up the majority of "spiritual formation" that is going on in churches and schools. Bring back the tough nun! Those glorious women who wear no make-up, don't care a whit about their hair, but are obsessed about their Spouse and will kick our butts hard if we don't straighten up and fly right.
God bless them!