In his 2022 Lenten message, Pope Francis has also recommended that the 40 days of Lent be a time to confront addiction to digital media and focus instead on encountering those in need face to face.
“The arrogance of the time of the clock must be converted into the beauty of the rhythms of life. This is the reform we must make in our hearts, in the family, and in society,” the pope said at the audience.
Pope Francis noted that many modern cities tend to be “hostile to the elderly, and not by chance, also to children.”
He said: “This society has this spirit of rejection. It rejects so many unwanted children and it rejects the elderly. It casts them aside — they are no use — to rest homes, hospitals…”
“One completely loses sight of the bigger picture… The excess of speed pulverizes life: it does not make it more intense,” he added.
Pope Francis underlined that while old age imposes a slower pace, it is not a “time of inertia.”
“The meaning of life is not only in adulthood, say, from 25 to 60 years — no. The meaning of life is all of it, from birth to death, and you should be able to interact with everyone, and also to have emotional relationships with everyone, so that your maturity will be richer and stronger,” he said.
The pope stressed the importance of more interactions between people of different generations.
“The alliance of the generations is indispensable. A society in which the elderly do not speak with the young, the young do not speak with the elderly, is a sterile society, without a future, a society that does not look to the horizon but rather looks at itself. And it becomes lonely,” he said.
“May God help us to find the right music for this harmonization of the various ages: the little ones, the elderly, adults, everyone together: a beautiful symphony of dialogue.”