(ANS – Rome) – From the very beginning, humanity has cultivated the art of storytelling. Stories are an activity that is the basis of every human relationship. In recent years, the communication industry has taken this art into hand, making it known as “storytelling”. On January 24, 2020, the feast of St. Francis of Sales, Pope Francis sent a message for the 54th World Communications Day, entitled: “That you may tell your children and grandchildren (Ex 10:2). Life becomes history“. “I would like to dedicate this year’s Message to the theme of storytelling,” says the opening message.
Those who are educators by nature and vocation know that telling stories to children, adolescents and young people is a fundamental element. Don Bosco himself, in the Memoirs of the Oratory writes: “I continued to take care of the boys, entertaining them with stories …”.
Narratives are now in fashion. Everyone tells us stories. Everyone makes up stories. And the net is full of stories that captivate. But is this what the Pope asks in his message for the World Communications Day? “Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us.”
The document presents in a didactic and clear way the beauty and the need to tell stories, or better, to “weave stories”, because “By immersing ourselves in stories, we can find reasons to heroically face the challenges of life.”
Not all stories are the same, the Pope warns: “How many stories serve to lull us, convincing us that to be happy we continually need to gain, possess and consume. We may not even realize how greedy we have become for chatter and gossip, or how much violence and falsehood we are consuming.” For this reason, patience and discernment are needed to rediscover the stories that transform.
The message specifies that “it is not a matter of simply telling stories as such, or of advertising ourselves, but rather of remembering who and what we are in God’s eyes, bearing witness to what the Spirit writes in our hearts.”
The message focuses on the fact that man is called to tell and fix in his memory the great love story between God and humanity, which has Jesus at its center, “his story brings to fulfillment both God’s love for us and our love for God.”
Like Don Bosco, everyone is invited to learn to “tell edifying stories”, the “wonderful stories” of God.