If nuns ruled the world …

If nuns were ruling the world, peace and justice would reign!

I believe that if the ‘good sisters’ that I had in grade school, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, were alive today, the economy would not be in the shape it is! Allow me to imagine what things would be like if Sister Euthalia were in charge.

“Mr. Madoff, what are you doing?”

“I’m creating a Ponzi scheme, Sister. I’m going to get people to put their money in an imaginary investment that will allow me to rip them off for billions of dollars for myself,” he said with a smile!

“You wipe that smile off your face or I’ll wipe it off for you! Now sit down right now and give that money back today! Don’t you know stealing is wrong? And get to confession!”

“But Sister, I’m not a Catholic!”

“Don’t you back talk me, young man! The light’s on for you every Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 9. And it’s lights out for you if I don’t see you there! Do you understand?”

“Yes Sister.”

“And for your task, write 5,000 times: ‘Thou shalt not steal!’ ”

“Yes, Sister.”

“Now, you bankers and mortgage brokers, what are you doing making all these loans that you know people can’t pay back?”

“Everybody’s doing it, Sister. We wanted our share of the profits!”

“Everybody’s doing it? Everybody’s doing it? If everybody was jumping off a cliff would you jump off, too? Now get to confession and do some things to atone for all the harm you’ve caused!”

“Yes, Sister.”

“And write for your task 1,000 times: ‘I will not deceive people for my personal gain!’ ”

“Yes, Sister.”

“Now, you, Johnny and Susie, what are you doing signing up for mortgages that you can’t afford?”

“Nobody told us what was in the contract, Sister?”

“Nobody told you? Didn’t you learn to read in the first grade? Didn’t you learn to add and subtract, multiply and divide, by the third grade? Do you think you’re just supposed to sit there like a bump on a log and do nothing?”

“No, Sister.”

“Well, you just sit down and write 500 times: “’I will look before I leap. I will read before I sign. I will not blame others!’ ”

“Yes, Sister.”

Sister Euthalia and God did it right. Occasionally I think she even gave God some advice!

It’s always easier to prevent a mess than it is to clean up a mess. The good sisters would have prevented today’s disaster. There is no substitute for learning right from wrong, truth from falsehood, responsibility from irresponsibility.

The good nuns who taught most of us are gone now. As someone said, “They lived anonymous lives, and they are buried in anonymous graves.” But the good they did still lives on. And they live on a realm beyond time where goodness is eternally rewarded.

We learn from the Scriptures that God’s ways are not our ways. When we try life without God we don’t always end up in such great shape. Someone has wisely said: “You can’t break the Ten Commandments. You can only break yourself against them!” Much in our world is broken today. The Ten Commandments are doing just fine!

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.