To mark World Communications Day on Ascension Sunday, which falls on 29 May, Pope Francis’ communications message this year addresses the theme of listening with the ear of the heart. The Holy Father is inviting all of us to reflect on how listening - which is both sincere and deep - can have a profound and positive affect on every part of our lives, in our interaction with others, and on how we pray.
Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “In his message for World Communications Day 2022, Pope Francis is encouraging all people of goodwill to listen attentively to everyone we engage with. In doing so we are expressing, not just a mark of sincere respect for the dignity of the other, but in doing so we are also laying the foundation stone of genuine relationships, which in turn is foundational to the relationship between God and humanity.
“It is in all our interests to note Pope Francis’ concern that many people ‘are quickly losing the ability to listen to one another, while at the same time listening is undergoing new developments, especially due to new forms of communicating.’
“As the Catholic Church in Ireland, and around the world, continues on our journey of faith and spiritual renewal, it is also timely that Pope Francis highlights the importance of listening in the context of this local and universal synodal process. In his message, Pope Francis says,
‘The most important task in pastoral activity is the ‘apostolate of the ear’ – to listen before speaking, as the Apostle James exhorts, ‘Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak’ (1:19). Freely giving some of our own time to listen to people is the first act of charity.’”
Archbishop Martin concluded, “I wish to take this opportunity to offer my prayerful support and gratitude to all those who have participated in local parish-based listening, discussion and prayer gatherings which have been taking place across the island as part of the Church’s ‘Synodal Pathway’ process. Our National Pre-Synodal Assembly, to take place on 18 June in Clonmacnoise, will be greatly enriched by the fruits of these meetings which represent the initial listening stage of the Irish Synodal Pathway. I invite everyone to listen with their hearts to the World Communications Day message of Pope Francis as it informs our journey on the Synodal Pathway.”
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