Pope Francis: FAMILIES, TALK AND LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER, ESPECIALLY AT THE DINNER TABLE.
Pope Francis reminded all families during his General Audience of Nov. 11, 2015 the importance of striving to live the virtues needed to have a loving and peaceful atmosphere in their home.
The Pope noted how sitting down together at the table for the family dinner, sharing a meal and the experiences of the day, was a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity.
Conviviality is a sure barometer for measuring the health of relationships: if in a family something has gone awry, or there is some hidden wound, it is immediately understood at the table. A family that hardly ever eats together, or that does not talk at the table but watches television, or looks at a smartphone, is a “barely familial” family. When children are engrossed with a computer at the table, or a mobile phone, and do not talk to each other, this is not a family, it is like a boarding house.
Pope Francis also stressed the importance of the family meal, a symbol of togetherness, and how it is disappearing in some societies.
Recalling family virtues helps us to understand. We too have known and still know, what miracles can happen when a mother fixes her gaze and attention, protection and care on the children of others, in addition to her own. Until recently, one mother was enough for all the children in the courtyard! Indeed, we are well aware what strength is acquired by a people whose fathers are ready to go to protect everyone’s children, because they consider children an undivided gift, that they are happy and proud to protect.
Today many social contexts create obstacles to familial conviviality. It’s true, today it is not easy. We have to find a way to recover it. At the table we talk, at the table we listen. No silence, that silence that is not the silence of monks, but the silence of selfishness, where each one is focused on himself, or the television, or the computer … and does not talk. No, not silence. It is important to recover that familial conviviality and adapt it to the times.
The Holy Father appealed to families during his audience, to talk and listen to one another.
SEE MORE IN http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2015/documents/papa-francesco_20151111_udienza-generale.html