Pope Francis wrote on 23 January 2015 a message for the 49th World Communications Day, Ascension of Jesus, 17 May 2015.
Title: “Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love.”
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (cf. Lk. 1: 39-56) serves as an inspiration. When Mary greeted Elizabeth the infant in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy. “Communication is a dialogue intertwined with the language of the body.”
After birth we are still in a “womb” – the family – made up of various interrelated persons. “In the family we learn to live with others despite differences. Family members accept one another because of the bond.” This bond is root of language which in turn strengthens the bond.
This relationship “enables the family to become the setting in which the most basic form of communication, which is prayer is handed down.”
“In the family we learn to embrace and support one another, to discern the meaning of facial expressions and moments of silence.”
“This greatly helps us to understand the meaning of communications as recognizing and creating closeness.”
“The family is where we daily experience our own limits and those of others.” The family can become a school of forgiveness. Forgiveness is itself a process of communicationtowards rebuilding “communication which broke down.”
Families who have children with disabilities have much to teach us. They are incentives to openness, sharing and ready communication with all, thanks to the love of everyone.
In a world of “discord, foul language and gossip” “the family can teach us to understand communication as a blessing, not cursing. “Goodness is always possible.”
The media can be both a help and a hindrance to communication in and between families. Media can be a hindrance if they become a way to avoid listening to others, evade physical contact, fill up every moment of silence and rest. The media can help communication when they enable people to share their stories, stay in contact with distant friends, etc.
“The family is an environment in which we learn to communicate in an experience of closeness, a setting where communication takes place, a communicating community.