In the third chapter of the book, Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture, we read about the first wall of the house, our God-given identity. We are unique and unrepeatable people. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are sons and daughters of God.
“God is love,” as we read in the first letter of St. John. God is eternal, which means that He didn’t have a beginning but has always existed, and that He won’t have an end, or stop existing. But, if God is eternal, how can God also be love. Love has to be shared with another or given away. Before God created the universe He was alone, wasn’t He? No, God wasn’t alone, because God is a Trinity, and the Trinity is an eternal exchange of love. Before time began, the Father has been pouring Himself out in a total gift of love to the Son, and the Son has been receiving the Father’s love and pouring Himself back out to the Father, and they have both been pouring themselves out to the Holy Spirit. God is a relationship, a perfect sharing of love. We are destined to share in the eternal, perfect love of God. That is the reason that we were made, and that is what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.
The first wall of the house is to make sure that you and your children understand this. We all we know about religion is the rules, the “thou shalt not’s,” then we’re doomed to failure. We have to understand God’s love for us and that we are destined for the same love. Our job on earth is to love and serve God by living in His love and by loving one another as He has loved us.
Fr. Bryan was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes from July 3, 2017 to June 2022.