Fr. Dale began his homily at Christ the King yesterday by recalling his moral theology teacher at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The teacher would begin each class, Fr. Dale said, by silently mouthing, “Cara amici” – dear friends. He opened each encounter with his students by holding them in love.
Children and adults, Fr. Dale suggested, tend to believe what they hear over and over. If they are told they are defective, they are not enough, they will come to believe that and that will be the basis on which they act, the basis on which they will be who they are in the world. If they are told they are good, that they are enough, they can come to believe that, and that will be the basis on which they act, on which they will be who they are in the world.
What they – what we – need to hear over and over again is the truth. That Jesus’ love for us is not a feeling, something that can be lost. Rather we live in a constant state of Jesus’ love; that love is the ground of our being.
As Fr. Dale reminded us at the end of his sermon, what all need to internalize – and remind each other – is simply this, cara amici:
You are good.
You are enough.
You are worthy of God’s love.
You are a beloved child of God.
And none of that can ever change.