Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Domestic Church - Make Sure You Read the Bible

Our children can be wonderful evangelists to us, their parents. Since I've been thinking about how to inculcate a daily Catholic culture at home, I need to remember that evangelization, at its best, is a reciprocal activity. Last week, my seven-year-old daughter left me a to-do list. It was simple and profound, as children are wont to do. They have a way of cutting to the chase.
Here is her list:
  1. take good cari of Lizzy (Take good care of Lizzy) - Lizzy was the name she gave to a plastic necklace that she was pretending was a lizard.
  2. take cari of your sellfs (Take care of your selves) - This was directed toward me and my son.
  3. Dad make sher you read the Bible (Dad, make sure you read the Bible) - Apparently my son was not obligated to do this.

This was completely unprompted. And it was such a blessing in so many ways.

Little did my daughter know that she was reinforcing the message of the Second Vatican Council in Dei Verbum, which strongly urges us all to read Sacred Scripture:

The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the "excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:8). "For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."(5) Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere.

My daughter did not make this list for me because she sees me reading the Bible constantly. Where this urging on her part came from, I don't know, but I suspect it was the Holy Spirit working in her to guide me. Who could resist such a team as the Holy Spirit and my daughter?

There is a wonderful group of faith-filled couples with whom my wife and I have been associated for the past year. Last year we met monthly to read Fr. Walter J. Schu's, The Splendor of Love: John Paul II's Vision for Marriage and Family. It was a very good book and sparked a good deal of thought-provoking conversation. This year, we are having a monthly Bible study based on the Acts of the Apostles, and we are using the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible edition. I have never been part of a Bible study group. Better late than never.


the booklady said...

How sweet! And out of the mouths of babes no less! ☺

God bless them!

Pete Caccavari said...

I am always amazed at how well children evangelize and catechize their parents. We need to remember that our children watch everything we do (which gives us great opportunity and great trepidation!), and we need to remember to listen to our children more because they see some things so much more clearly than we do.