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Book: Communicating Christ to the World
Author: Carlo Maria Martini
Sheed and Ward, Kansas City, MO, pp. 192

Excerpt from Introduction:

Few would find it strange that Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini would address a series of pastoral letters to the people of his Archdiocese of Milan on the theme of communication. Cardinal Martini has a reputation both as a communicator and as an innovative leader of his diocese. A scriptural scholar and teacher by training, he has led the people of Milan in a process of renewal through a sequence of pastoral letters, missions, radio programs, and conferences.

The letters on communication translated in this volume form an integral part of that renewal process. With an emphasis, first, on Christianity in daily living, the pastoral letters ask people to look at their own communication in the contexts of family, work, and entertainment.

Second, they continue Cardinal Martini's attentive focus on the young people of the diocese. He connects family communication and mass communication to the situation of the young and uses those connections as a bridge to the ongoing renewal of the diocese.

In this Cardinal Martini is probably the only bishop to have worked out such a detailed program of reflection on communication. He shows himself as not just a person concerned with mass media but with communication in all its forms. In doing this he embodies the spirit and tradition of recent Church thinking on communication.

Excerpt from Book:

A mistaken idea of communication

It is always dangerous to simplify in such complex matters. I dare to do so because I insist that there is a fundamental reason for many incomplete and failed communications.

What we are dealing with is a false idea of human communication that underpins many of our failed attempts to enter into communication with one another. Such a false vision does not err by defect, that is, through an incomplete ideal of communication. Rather, it errs from excess: It desires too much, it wants what human communication cannot give. It wants everything right now, it wants fundamental mastery over and possession of another. For this reason it is profoundly in error, even though at first glance it seems splendid and attractive. What is more beautiful than a total fusion of hearts and spirits? What is sweeter than a transparent, totally reciprocal communication, without shadows or veils? A greedy desire to possess the other lurks behind such an ideal, a desire that betrays the dark impulse toward domination. It is as if the other person were something to take apart and put back together at our pleasure.

Table of Contents:

Ephphatha, Be Opened!

Chapter 1: Seeing, the burden of communicating
1. The crowd of solitudes
2. At the roots of incommunicability
3. From denial to listening

Chapter 2: Listening and contemplating
1. The gift
2. At the origin of the gift
3. Reflecting on the gift
Conclusion: Mary, Virgin, Mother, Bride

Chapter 3. Action
1. From awareness to meaningful pathways
2. Pathways for communication
3. Techniques of communication
4. Verifications and practical applications

The Hem of His Garment


Chapter 1: Dialogues with television
1. Dialogue of one of the faithful with his TV set
2. In dialogue with communicators

Chapter 2: From the bishops of the global village

Chapter 3: From the height of a satellite

Some working conclusions


Letters to a family about TV
Letter to a family
Letter to a boy preparing for confirmation
Letter to a serious student
Letter to a young athlete
Letter to an intelligent catechist
Letter to a newlywed young couple
Letter to a grandmother
Letter to the infant Jesus