World Communications Day (WCD) is celebrated yearly on the Sunday before Pentecost. WCD originated during the Second Vatican Council in the Decree on the Media of Social Communications (in Latin, Inter Mirifica, meaning “among the marvelous”).
This year, for the 57th WCD message, Pope Francis chose the theme, Speaking with the heart “The truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). You can read the entire message here. Here are some takeaways.
“Once we have practiced listening, which demands waiting and patience, as well as foregoing the assertion of our point of view in a prejudicial way, we can enter into the dynamic of dialogue and sharing, which is precisely that of communicating in a cordial way.”
Pope Francis challenges our listening skills. Patience is key. When we listen, we must be able to put aside our ideas and thoughts, in fact, ourselves, so that we are not filtering or prejudicing what the other person is saying. Only when we listen with “the ear of the heart” can we enter into a true conversation and exchange ideas charitably.
“Communicating in a cordial manner means that those who read or listen to us are led to welcome our participation in the joys, fears, hopes and suffering of the women and men of our time. Those who speak in this way love the other because they care and protect their freedom without violating it.”
Pope Francis uses the gospel story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus as an example (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus walks along with the disciples, listens to their suffering, and offers a way for the disciples to understand the deeper meaning of what happened on the cross. Jesus does not dismiss the disciples’ despair or put it down, rather he helps them to enter more deeply and lovingly into it.
“One of his [Saint John Henry Newman’s] convictions was, “In order to speak well, it is enough to love well.”
Quoting St. John Henry Newman, Pope Francis explains that true communication is not a strategy, marketing campaign, or manipulation of any kind. Rather true communication, as Newman put so well, is about who we are, “a reflection of the soul.” It is all about how we love one another. Love is the essence of true communication.
Pope Francis ends with a prayer. Let’s join him:
“May the Lord Jesus,
the pure Word poured out from the heart of the Father,
help us to make our communication clear, open and heartfelt.”
May the Lord Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
help us listen to the beating of hearts,
to rediscover ourselves as brothers and sisters,
and to disarm the hostility that divides.
May the Lord Jesus,
the Word of truth and love,
help us speak the truth in charity,
so that we may feel like protectors of one another.”
Digital Learning and Technology Specialist