In his Message for the World Day of Communications 2022 (29th May) Pope Francis speaks about ‘Listening with the ears of God’.
He quotes St. Paul: “faith comes through listening” (cf. Rom 10:17).
But in fact he says the initiative is Gods. A God who wishes to communicate with us. A God who speaks to us, and to whom we respond by listening to him. In the end, even this listening comes from his grace. God always reveals himself by communicating freely; and on the other hand, man and woman are asked to tune in, to be willing to listen.
Therefore, when seeking true communication, the first type of listening to be rediscovered is listening to oneself, to one’s truest needs, those inscribed in each person’s inmost being. And we can only start by listening to what makes us unique in creation: the desire to be in relationship with others and with the Other. We are not made to live like atoms, but together.
Very powerfully he states, “Communication does not take place if listening has not taken place”. It is only by putting aside monologues that the harmony of voices that is the guarantee of true communication can be achieved. And the ability to listen to society has never been more valuable.
A synodal process has just been launched
In the Church, too, there is a great need to listen to and to hear one another. It is the most precious and life-giving gift we can offer each other. “Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by him who is himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the word of God”. Thus, the Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that the first service we owe to others in communion consists in listening to them. Whoever does not know how to listen to his brother or sister will soon no longer be able to listen to God either.
Speaking of the synodal process Pope Francis concludes his Message, writing:
Let us pray that it will be a great opportunity to listen to one another. Communion, in fact, is not the result of strategies and programmes, but is built in mutual listening between brothers and sisters.
With the awareness that we participate in a communion that precedes and includes us, we can rediscover a symphonic Church, in which each person is able to sing with his or her own voice, welcoming the voices of others as a gift to manifest the harmony of the whole that the Holy Spirit composes.
The World Day of Social Communications is on Sunday 29th May. This is the only World Day established by the Second Vatican Council. In 1963 the Council issued the Decree on the tools of social communication, Inter mirifica, which included the proposal that the Church celebrate a day dedicated to social communications. The first World Communications Day (WCD) was observed on 7 May 1967, under the pontificate of Saint Pope Paul VI, who drew attention to the communications media and its enormous potential for cultural transformation. WCD is celebrated annually on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which in 2022 falls on Sunday 29 May.
Download pdf copy SGN-Special-edition-on-Synodal-Pathway-June-2022
For more on the Synodal Pathway see Home – Irish Synodal Pathway
Day of Prayer in Thanksgiving for the diocesan phase of the Universal Synod: 5 June
Pentecost Sunday, which this year falls on Sunday 5 June, has been designated as a Day of Prayer in Thanksgiving for the prayerful engagement and listening that has taken place across the country as we journey together synodally.
National Pre-Synodal Assembly: 18 June in Athlone & Clonmacnoise
As part of the Church’s ‘Synodal Pathway’ process, this event will be greatly enriched by the fruits of all those meetings which represented the initial listening stage of the Irish Synodal Pathway.