WhentheKyeComeHame1

Nothing is better for man than a good wife…
Hesiod, Works and Days

One might wonder whether that is an overstatement.

It was once suggested to me that Thanksgiving is a good time to focus on one thing for which we are grateful. It now strikes me that this practice will be especially fitting when a particular gift is not just one gift among others. Certain gifts somehow embody so much more; even the whole.

What if who I am—indeed, who it has been given to me to be—cannot be separated from this particular gift? What if my reception, be it ever so inadequate, of this gift has been the ground from which other gifts—some of them persons!—have been given to me?

Some men do not have a wife; there are vocations other than marriage. Some married men, alas, may not have a good wife; they, I suppose, must try to find the gift even in this. And then some, God-forbid, have a good wife, but do not receive and respond to that gift. Perhaps for some of us it is still not too late: to respond, to live in gratitude.

I see a great task before me. But only a fool would turn away.

Naturally speaking, what greater good indeed is there for me, than my good wife? God grant me the strength not only to have gratitude, but to live it.

Hesiod (8th century B.C.) was a Greek contemporary of Homer, and likewise an epic poet.

Image: When the Kye Come Hame, Scottish

Originally posted at Bacon from Acorns

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John A. Cuddeback is a professor and chairman of the Philosophy Department at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, where he has taught since 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America under the direction of F. Russell Hittinger. He has lectured on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, friendship, and household. His book Friendship: The Art of Happiness was republished in 2010 as True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness. His writings have appeared in Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, and The Review of Metaphysics, as well as in several volumes published by the American Maritain Association. Though raised in what he calls an ‘archetypical suburb,’ Columbia, Maryland, he and his wife Sofia consider themselves blessed to be raising their six children in the shadow of the Blue Ridge on the banks of the Shenandoah. At the material center of their homesteading projects are heritage breed pigs, which like the pigs of Eumaeus are fattened on acorns, yielding a bacon that too few people ever enjoy. His website dedicated to the philosophy of family and household is baconfromacorns.com.

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