Turn your thoughts away from texting, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, in fact, shut off your phone entirely. No phones at the dinner table is what Pope Francis shared this week in his papal address to Catholics in St.Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
Pope Francis tells families around the world that the “togetherness” of mealtimes determines the health of a family and we are at risk when we don’t take the time to focus on one another. “No, no silence.” Pope Francis says, instead share “affections, stories and events.”
Here’s the rest of what Pope Francis had to say:
“Today we reflect on a characteristic of family life that we learn from the first years of life: togetherness. . . . Its symbol, its ‘icon,’ is the family gathered around the dinner table. The sharing of a meal — and beyond the food, sharing affections, stories, and events — is a fundamental experience. . . .
Togetherness is a sure thermometer for measuring the health of relationships: if something isn’t going well in a family, or if there’s some hidden wound, it’s immediately clear at the table. A family that almost never eats together, or that, rather than talking at table watches television or looks at the smartphone, is ‘not much of a family.’ When the children are attached to the computer and the telephone at the table, and don’t listen to one another, this isn’t family, it’s a hostel! . . .
Today, many social contexts pose obstacles to family togetherness. It’s true, today it’s not easy. We must find a way to recover it. At the table we talk, at the table we listen. No more silence, that silence that isn’t the silence of nuns, but the silence of selfishness, where everyone does his own thing, or is on the television or computer . . . and they don’t talk. No, no silence. We need to recover family togetherness while adapting it to the times.”
Pope Francis addressed a topic that is crucial not only to family togetherness, but equally important for healthier eating at mealtimes too!
What is your family’s rule for technology? Do you say no phones at the dinner table?
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