Equipped is about giving us information and techniques to help people to grow as parents and help their children to grow in virtue, especially chastity and self control, but the last chapter, “Confidence in Divine Mercy,” reminds us that Christianity is not about following a bunch of rules for their own sake, but about growing in our relationship with our Loving God. After all, as Dr. Scott Hahn says, sin isn’t just broken rules, it’s broken lives and broken relationships, and sin distances us from God, because it is incompatible with Who He Is. We didn’t do anything to earn God’s love, He loved us before He made us, so we can’t do anything to lose God’s love. We don’t do good things to try to make God love us; we do good things because God loves us.
We read in chapter 9, “But their (children’s) greatest need in life is not a good understanding of sexuality, a good sexual track record, or even good parents – their greatest need in life is God, including an understanding of their adoption as His children, as well as his Divine Mercy.” The information and tools in this book can help you to avoid and overcome temptation, but, as much as we try to minimize it, we all still sin sometimes. God’s gives us His mercy so we can return to His love, be strengthened by His grace, and continue to grow closer to Him. As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable; always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:55-58).
Fr. Bryan was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes from July 3, 2017 to June 2022.