Rome (Italy). On 21 May 2023, on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the 57th World Social Communications Day (GMCS) is celebrated. The theme, announced on 29 September 2022, on the Feast of the Archangel Michael and developed in the Message of Pope Francis released on 24 January 2023, the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, is:
Speaking with the heart
“The truth in love” (Eph 4:15)
Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See, during the Conference “The words of Pope Francis on how to stay in information and communication” at the Lumsa University of Rome, organized by the Catholic Union of the Italian Press (UCSI Lazio), recalling the latest Messages of Pope Francis, observed:
“Technologies change, while the root that remains is the heart. The root lies in communion. (…) Love is free. And it is based on this supreme fragility which is feeling the need to love and to be loved, to give and to give oneself. Here is the root of communication. For this reason, connection alone is not enough; for this reason, we have, more than the duty, the need to re-weave the unity of the human race with the heart, the communion that unites us. But here is the paradox of our time: we are interconnected and also alone. In the end everyone is closed in on self. The word communio then reminds us that today more than ever we should clarify that communication is not in one direction only, (…) communication is rooted in the relationship, which should be sincere, profound, and stable.”
And again: “There is no communication if there is no communion and there is no communion if there is no communication. Without a true relationship there is no true communication.” Ruffini underlined that communicative creativity lies not only in the ability to write, graphic, edit…, “but also in that of weaving a deep relationship between people.
If we review in succession all the Messages on communication of Pope Francis, his public interventions, and the parts of encyclicals on the subject, highlights the Prefect, this is the common thread: the idea that communication is neither technological nor functional, but relational, which is not a science or a technique, but a constructive, active, and participatory experience.
This means speaking from the heart and listening, as the Pope said in a dialogue with journalists from the foreign press, “Build, do not destroy; meet, do not collide; to dialogue not monologue; to understand each other, do not misunderstand each other; walk in peace, do not sow hatred; give a voice to those who have no voice; do not act as a megaphone for those who scream the loudest.”
This is the Pope’s lesson, Only after seeing with the eyes of the heart, listening with the ear of the heart will we be able to understand and speak from the heart.”
“It is enough to love well to speak well,” summarizes Pope Francis in his Message, recalling the “luminous and fascinating” example of St. Francis de Sales, who, starting from the “criterion of love”, recalls that “we are what we communicate.”
And it is precisely the wisdom of the Saints, which becomes life given and fully realized, that invites, as Mother Mazzarello suggested to the Sisters of the Community of Carmen de Patagones, to “go forward with a big and generous heart” (L 47,12), to weave relationships of authentic fraternity through a communication that knows how to disarm souls, promoting a language of peace.
Meaningful reflection and sharing!