This year's lent starts today with Ash Wednesday. Aleteia invites its readers to challenge their children to limit video games to one hour every week in honour of Bl. Carlo Acutis.
Lent is often a time when both adults and children choose a Lenten sacrifice, choosing something to give up for 40 days.
The traditional sacrifice for children has always been sweets — seeing if they can last until Easter Sunday without partaking in any yummy treats.
While that can often be a difficult sacrifice for children, have you ever challenged them to give up video games? – Aleteia writes.
A “Carlo Acutis Lent”
While many people hail Bl. Carlo Acutis as the “patron saint of video gamers”, he actually had a much more complicated relationship with screens.
He certainly loved to play video games, but one day he was playing with his friends and became appalled by how aggressively they reacted after playing for several hours.
His friends all went home crying, and after that day he was determined to limit his video games to one hour every week.
Many children are connected to screens for eight hours a day and play video games for at least three hours a day. That means some children are playing video games for roughly 21 hours every week. In other words, almost an entire 24-hour day!
For many children, this type of sacrifice will be the most difficult and it may cause many tears. However, if that child is able to turn it into a sacrifice to God, uniting their pain to the pain of Jesus on the cross, their lives will be changed.
On a brief practical note, if you choose to challenge your children to embrace this type of Lent, be sure to provide alternative activities without screens. If you don’t, it will turn into a mess and your child will be back to video games by Ash Wednesday evening.