March 21, 2020
Pope Francis was recently asked how people can best use this time of forced isolation or quarantine.
“We must rediscover the concreteness of little things, small gestures of attention we can offer those close to us, our family, our friends. We must understand that in small things lies our treasure,” he said.
There are small acts of kindness, affection and compassion that often go unnoticed in daily life, “but they are nonetheless decisive, important,” he said.
“For example, a hot meal, a caress, a hug, a phone call. They are familiar gestures of attention to the details of everyday life that make life meaningful and that create communion and communication among us,” he said.
The pope said some families normally spend mealtime in silence “because the parents watch television while they eat and children are on their mobile phones. They look like monks, all isolated from each other” with no communication, he said.
“Listening to each other is important because that’s how we can understand the needs, efforts, desires of the other. This language made of concrete gestures must be safeguarded. In my opinion, the pain of these days should open us up to this concreteness,” he said.