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What’s the 1st gesture of charity? Pope’s answer


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Pope with priests at the general audience of May 11, 2022.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/29/22

Knowing how to listen, to let others say everything, not to cut them off half-way ...

Today is World Social Communications Day, and this year, the Pope’s message for the Day has the theme Listening with the ear of the heart.

After praying the Regina Caeli on this May 29, the Holy Father mentioned the Day, and gave a quick summary of the importance of listening:

Knowing how to listen, besides being the first gesture of charity, is also the first indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication: knowing how to listen, to let others say everything, not to cut them off half-way, knowing how to listen with the ears and with the heart. I hope that everyone may grow in this capacity to listen with the heart.

From Paul VI

World Social Communications Day was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and is celebrated on the Sunday before Pentecost. This year, it coincides with the feast day of Paul VI.

With this day, the Church considers how it can use our modern communications media to best promote the Gospel.

From the Pope’s 2022 message:

From the pages of Scripture we learn that listening means not only the perception of sound, but is essentially linked to the dialogical relationship between God and humanity. “Shema’ Israel – Hear, O Israel” (Dt 6:4), the opening words of the first commandment of the Torah, is continually reiterated in the Bible, to the point that Saint Paul would affirm that “faith comes through listening” (cf. Rom10:17). The initiative, in fact, is God’s, who speaks to us, and to whom we respond by listening to him. In the end, even this listening comes from his grace, as is the case with the newborn child who responds to the gaze and the voice of his or her mother and father. Among the five senses, the one favoured by God seems to be hearing, perhaps because it is less invasive, more discreet than sight, and therefore leaves the human being more free.

Pope Francis
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