In 1838, Opium was the major expression of what was wrong in China. Between 4 and 12 million people were addicted. The opium was sold by foreign dealers, who enriched themselves, and encouraged opium use. The Chinese Emperor decided to ban the import of opium, and two wars were fought. The Chinese Emperor saved his people at a great cost.
In 1965 cigarettes were everywhere with 50% of men and 33% of men smoking. It was cool to smoke, it was social to smoke, and the media wanted us to smoke. In recent years, not only has smoking use decreased, it is no longer the "cool thing to do." This happened not through war, but through information, communication, and positive reinforcement.
The woman in the Gospel loves her daughter and wants what is best for her. The daughter was struck by a demon, and the mother sought Jesus. The early church fathers tell us that because of Jesus' death and resurrection the devil has weakened in power. More common than possessions by the devil are addictions and habitual sins. Many adult addictions and habitual sins are becoming more prevalent in children. With the rise of technology, new addictions are arising, with the same old sins in new ways. Technology itself can be an addiction, as mild as caffeine or as severe as cocaine. In addition technology can be a gateway to the same old sins- lust (online pornography, sexting), greed (online gambling, loot boxes), anger (online bullying, self loathing, seeking out self harm), sloth (wasting time), pride (online commenting, seeking the new, seeking to be the most powerful character in a game, seeking to be desencitized), gluttony (immoderate internet use), and envy (instagram). I am 28 years old, and I cannot keep up with which sites and apps are popular among teens, tweens, and young children. YouTube, Minecraft, club penguin, and musical.ly contain videos and content made by adults or older kids aimed to shock and scandalize younger children. Musical.ly and other sites have videos about self harm. Facebook, Instagram, youtube, snapchat, musical.ly have pornography. On any site or game with a chat feature, creeps and predators are talking to children. Yet, unlike with opium and cigarettes, technology is unlikely to go away, and has broad practical application.
Many children around the world, and even children in our own parish are dealing not only with addictions in the colloquial sense, but with diagnosable problems because of internet use. Children cannot deal mentally with the gutters of the internet. As adults, accidental exposure to those gutters are unhealthy for us, but we have the potential to cope. Children do not develop the possibility of healthy coping mechanisms to what can be found in the gutters.
The answer is not to forbid technology, but to use technology well. You and your children can learn to build airplanes or rockets. you and your children can learn to cook in the Cajun style. You and your children can give talks on favorite subjects. You should talk about what they do online, about what their friends do online. Talk in a way where you are informed and in a way where you can discover together the proper use of technology.
The other part of the equation is to take a look at ourselves, and our own behaviors. We should be able to model good technology use to our children, but even if we cannot model good behavior we should do what we can to keep our children from falling into any traps we have fallen into.
If we love our children, like the Canaanite woman loved her daughter,we should, like her seek all of the help we can, both spiritual and practical.
- This Sunday, we will be picking parsley and chopping tomatoes and onions. We would love to have 40-50 people to stick around and help.
- St. Vincent de Paul First Saturday of Every month 6:30 pm- 8 pm serving meal at men's Gettysburg shelter 1921 S Gettysburg Ave, Dayton, OH 45417.
- Initiatives- To what is God calling you? What are your hopes, dreams, and ideas for our parish? What do you want to do? Mission, charity, prayers, work, fundraisers, or maintenance? How can we support you?
- Festival cooking schedule Sunday, August 5 12 pm (parsley). Monday, August 6 10 am(grape leaves) (15-20 people would be great), and Thursday, August 9, 5 pm (kafta) (10 people would be great).
- House of Bread Monday, August 13 9 am - 2:30 pm. Come all or part time.
- The Syriac College videos will begin to appear on our parish website.
- We have a great opportunity for our $15,000 matching grant, we are are at $7300 and can accept donations of $250 or more. The donations can go towards naming rights for any part of our building project.
- Pilgrimage trip to Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine and Basilica August 15. We will leave from the church at 1:15 pm and be back around 1 am.
- We are 20 days away from hosting The Greater Dayton Lebanese Festival. Sign up sheet will be available in the hall. With 250 volunteers, we only need to volunteer 3 hours each the weekend of the festival. With 125 volunteers, we only need to volunteer 6 hours each the weekend of the festival. We also need to volunteer for the preparation of the festival.
- Church-wide garage sale small fundraiser. August 16- 18, 9am - 2 pm under the tent. We will collect furniture and household donations to sell to benefit the Church. Coordinators and volunteers needed for pricing and selling.
- Young adult meet up this Thursday after the Kafta
- Adult Arabic class Saturday 11:15 am
- Children's Dabke class Saturday 11 am
- Adult Dabke class Sunday 8 pm
- Bible Study Sunday 10am