VATICAN CITY, FEB. 22, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The culmination of communication is communion, a prospect that is possible thanks to Christ’s redemption, says John Paul II in his new apostolic letter.
This spirituality of communication is one of the clearest contributions of the letter, entitled “The Rapid Development.” It was published Monday.
In the text, which is addressed to those involved in social communications, the Holy Father shares his experience as communicator. The themes of the text echo those of the Second Vatican Council decree “Inter Mirifica.”
“The world of mass media also has need of Christ’s redemption,” the Pope begins by saying in the most reflective passage of the letter.
The Holy Father writes: “To analyze with the eyes of faith the processes and value of communications, the deeper appreciation of Sacred Scripture can undoubtedly help as a ‘great code’ of communication of a message which is not ephemeral, but fundamental for its saving value.”
“Salvation history recounts and documents the communication of God with man, a communication which uses all forms and ways of communicating,” the letter says. “The human being is created in the image and likeness of God in order to embrace divine revelation and to enter into loving dialogue with Him.
“Because of sin, this capacity for dialogue at both the personal and social level has been altered, and humanity has had to suffer, and will continue to suffer, the bitter experience of incomprehension and separation. God, however, did not abandon the human race, but sent his own Son. In the Word made flesh communication itself takes on its most profound meaning: thus, in the Holy Spirit, the human being is given the capacity to receive salvation, and to proclaim and give witness to it before the world.”
The Pope continues: “The communication between God and humanity has thus reached its perfection in the Word made flesh. The act of love by which God reveals himself, united to the response of faith by humanity, generates a fruitful dialogue.
“Precisely for this reason, making our own in a certain sense the request of the disciples, ‘teach us to pray,’ we can ask the Lord to help us to understand how to communicate with God and with other human beings through the marvelous communications media.”
From this perspective, John Paul II states, “The media provides a providential opportunity to reach people everywhere, overcoming barriers of time, of space, and of language; presenting the content of faith in the most varied ways imaginable; and offering to all who search the possibility of entering into dialogue with the mystery of God, revealed fully in Christ Jesus.”
The Pope further notes that there is “a culminating moment in which communication becomes full communion: the Eucharistic encounter.”
“By recognizing Jesus in the ‘breaking of the bread,’ believers feel themselves urged on to announce his death and resurrection, and to become joyful and courageous witnesses of his Kingdom,” he writes. “Thanks to the Redemption, the communicative capacity of believers is healed and renewed.
“The encounter with Christ makes them new creatures, and permits them to become part of that people which he, dying on the Cross, has won through his blood, and introduces them into the intimate life of the Trinity, which is continuous and circular communication of perfect and infinite love among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Father adds: “Communication permeates the essential dimension of the Church which is called to announce to all the joyful message of salvation. For this reason, the Church takes advantage of the opportunities offered by the communications media as pathways providentially given by God to intensify communion and to render more penetrating the proclamation of His word.”