The second chapter of Equipped is “The Blueprint.” Most of the chapter is taken up with a summary of what we’ll see in the rest of the book, but it starts off with a brief explanation. It says that the book is modeled after a home, with the chapters being the walls, roof, and floor of the home. They chose to do this because the home is the Domestic Church. This is a term taken from the 2nd Vatican Council, from the document Lumen Gentium. Lumen Gentium has this to say about the family:
"Finally, Christian spouses, in virtue of the sacrament of Matrimony, whereby they signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and His Church, help each other to attain to holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their children. By reason of their state and rank in life they have their own special gift among the people of God. From the wedlock of Christians there comes the family, in which new citizens of human society are born, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism are made children of God, thus perpetuating the people of God through the centuries. The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state (LG 11)."
Married people have a special calling, or mission, from God, which they agree to when they make their vows before God. That mission is to help their family to get to heaven by growing in holiness, by loving one another sacrificially, and by raising their children in the faith. It says that parents should be “the first preachers of the faith to their children,” by word and example. Notice that it doesn’t say that the Church, or the priest, or the religion teacher is the first preacher of the faith, it says the parents are. Parents have a unique role and relationship with their children. We learn about what is truly important in life from our parents. Every child, as they grow into an adult, has to choose for themselves what is going to be most important in their life and whether to live the faith or not, but what you say to them, and more importantly what you show them, can prepare them to make those decisions. If they look at your life and how you spend your time will they see that your relationship with God is very important, or not very important at all?
Fr. Bryan was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes from July 3, 2017 to June 2022.