SVD understanding of Communication
(From SVD documents. All rights reserved. Copyrights by Divine Word Missionaries)
For most of the people, including pastoral workers, communication has to do with the media or mass-media. Our SVD understanding of Communication is much wider:
“Communication at its most profound level is the giving of self in love and consequently a basic attitude necessary for us Divine Word Missionaries”.
The communication dimension represents a challenging call for integrity as we engage in dialogue. (…) “an effective messenger witnesses to the message …” (“the medium is the message”) (…) our dialogue will only be successful if we ourselves and our communities are faith-filled, intercultural, fraternal and welcoming.
The Word is essentially about communication. (…) The Word is the Father’s communication to humanity, a Word that lives among us so that we have an opportunity to respond. Communication is absolutely necessary for mission. For mission is born of the Trinitarian God, “God-in-Communion,” …
The Communicating Word shares the Father’s love for us in a very concrete, fleshy way. This Word is not merely a disembodied message, but rather a person who speaks and who also waits and listens for our response. God’s love transforms us and makes us communicators. The Word is continually “made flesh” in us as we communicate that love to others.
Speaking of communication as a characteristic dimension of our life and mission requires that we drop our habit of focusing on mass media and acquire a new understanding of communication as a human process of socialization and communion. Such a change of understanding requires something similar to the “Copernican revolution” in mission, which is no longer understood in terms of geography but in terms of missionary situation. Communication cannot be reduced to the mass media and to highly specialized ministries. Its horizon is much wider, for it includes us as persons constantly involved in the process of interrelationship. In fact, we ourselves are the principal means of communication, and our playing field is the community and the society in which we live. Communication requires our adaptation to an incarnation in the culture and reality which surround us.
God initiates the communication which we call mission, and God expects a response (communication!) on our own part. Undoubtedly, our first and most important communicative response will be the intimate dialogue of prayer. (…) … origin and model of our communication is the mystery of the Trinity (God who is community and communication).
… we find the perfect model of a communicator in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God.
… a life devoted to the Communicating Word does not mean that we merely learn appropriate techniques. Like Jesus, we don’t simply broadcast a message. We also share ourselves. Such sharing requires a listening attitude. It also requires conversion, for we must move from attention to ourselves to attention to the Other. True communication is an attentive sharing in love.