Santiago, Chile. Inauguration at the University of the Andes

To inaugurate the academic year at the University of the Andes, journalist and professor Consuelo Toro spoke on «Blessed Josemaria as communicator.» The April 17th event was attended by students, faculty and friends of the university.

Professor Toro explained the success of the spread of Blessed Josemaria’s message through a classic paradigm of communication theory: «who is saying what, how, to whom, and with what effect». The first step is the message, having something to say. In the life of Josemaria Escriva, ever since October 2, 1928, when God let him see what he wanted of him, the content of his message was always the same. This was the call to holiness and apostolate in the midst of the world through professional work, the universal call to sanctify all human realities. Blessed Josemaria dedicated his life to the transmission of this message, placing all of his considerable personal abilities at its service.

But the message, the intangible and primordial element of the communicative process, requires a form. One can speak or write or act. Msgr. Escriva did all three. His undeniable human talents for communication and a deep and serious intellectual preparation are shown in his homilies and in all of his writings, which combine spontaneity with erudition. In them we find clear simple images, accessible to everyone, which become metaphors for spiritual realities, truths discovered only in contemplation. With his colloquial tone and anecdotes, Blessed Josemaria used language to take his listeners by the hand and lead them to gradually understand the depth of the message he had the mission of transmitting.

Finally comes the receiver, without whom there is no communication. Josemaria Escriva knew how to establish a personal relationship with those he was seeking to reach. He never lost sight of his «public.» Quoting John Paul II, Ms. Toro said: «Communication is more than the process of transmitting information or stirring emotions. At its deepest level it is a personal act of love, a generous self-giving of mind and heart.» Therefore, she concluded, the key to Blessed Josemaria’s effectiveness as a communicator «is not found only in the form in which he transmitted his message. His words are eloquent, but they sink into the soul of his listeners only because they unite the divine and the human.»

Romana, n. 34, January-June 2002, p. 140.

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