Hello and God bless you!
Any links to websites where I can listen to homilies ? Thank you!!!
You can find a lot on AncientFaith.com. They have lots of great podcasts, and also some video series, including Be the Bee!
Hello! I was wondering , why aren't the saints smiling in icons? Wouldn't they be smiling because they are with Christ in His kingdom? Thank you! -Evangelia
That's a great question! The saints are swept up in the joy of Christ, it definitely makes sense to think about them smiling. We even see this in pictures of modern saints; someone like St Porphyrios is smiling all the time!
On the other hand, icons also try to show the peace the saints experience in Christ. A smile might give the wrong impression in that sense. The saints live something much deeper and longer lasting than a smile can show.
You understood it perfectly hahaha!
Ok good, just making sure!
What's your opinion on all the Goya pages?
Sorry if we're not understanding your question, but we think every GOYA at every parish should have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It's a great way to stay connected with your parish, and preach the Gospel using technology!
Question continued----- can you please make a video on why orthodoxy is awesome and so rich! Thank you so much
Great point! That's a lot for just one video, we hope every episode of Be the Bee gives a little taste of why Orthodoxy is so awesome!
Hello Y2AM! I was wondering if you could recommend any good books for young adults (16+) for teens who are orthodox and want to learn more about its traditions, where it originated or even about the founder of the church, Jesus, himself. If you have any valuable advice that would be great. Thanks!
Thank God, there are a lot of wonderful books out there! There are great books like "The Orthodox Church" by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, and "The Orthodox Church" by Fr. John Meyendorff.
It's also important to learn about the beliefs of the Church. There are a lot of wonderful books by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, like "For the Life of the World," though his books can be a little challenging.
Of course, don't forget the books of the Bible. We can learn a lot about the Church by reading the Gospels and Epistles.
And don't forget that there are wonderful podcasts that can teach you a lot about our Faith and history. Fr. Thomas Hopko has several wonderful podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio.
Happy reading (and listening)!
I've been spending a LOT of time on social media, and I find it hard to drop it and read the Bible. When i try to read The Bible, i skim really quick and go back on my phone. Please help me to find a way to focous if you can , thank you!
Good question! Since you're already on social media, do you follow the Archdiocese, Y2AM, and other Orthodox channels? That way there will always be something Christ-centered in your feed.
And have you downloaded the excellent Daily Reading app? It allows you to look at the saint and readings of the day right on your phone, and also lets you look at a lot of different services and prayers. If you're going to be on your phone, why not use it to learn more about the Faith?http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/internet/mobileapps/dailyreadings
This also brings discipline to mind. Maybe you need to "fast" from your phone. You can set a rule for yourself, so that every night after a certain time you put your phone away and won't look at it until the following morning. That can be great time for prayer, reading the Bible, and silence.
Speaking of discipline, here's an episode of Be the Bee that talks about how our little choices (like fasting) build the discipline and strength we need to make more important (and more difficult) choices in our lives. God bless!
Are there any people on ask that are 11 years old or under
We don't know, sorry!
I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for all you do. I love OL with FJ and Be the bee!!!!! I'm always excited for the next episode and podcast to come!!!!
Thank you! Anytime you have any questions or ideas for episodes, let us know!
I just want to say that your be the bee episode on, What is Sin?, was one of the best you guys have done! AMAZING! Keep them coming++
Thank you! We really appreciate your prayers and support. God bless you!
Can you make a be the bee on confession? Thanks!
Well, since you asked nicely. :-)
Xristos Anesti! Thank you do much for this program! It truly helps us bring Christianity to our youth- And there is a need for that in today's society.
Truly He is Risen!
Thanks for these kind words! Please let us know where we can do better, and what new things we can do for you all.
Hello be the bee! I recently had 2 deaths in my family and they were very close. They were my grandmothers sons and they passed two weeks apart. My grandma is very strong but so depressed and upset. How can I comfort her. I'm not sure how to. Thank you
We're so sorry to hear this. May their memory be eternal, and may God console your grandmother!
At times like this, it may not be possible for us to offer comfort. Death is a very difficult thing, and we all deal with it as best we can. Don't worry about having the right words to say. Honestly, what words are "right" in the face of such pain?
The best we can do at times like these is just be there for people. Even if it's something as simple as sitting in silence with your grandmother, with no distractions like cell phones: our honest presence can be much more powerful (and communicate love more effectively) than words. Be there for her, as best you can.
Also, be sure to offer prayers for those who have fallen asleep, and for your grandmother. Ask others to pray for them as well. And ask a priest to commemorate them during the Liturgy, and by offering prayers for the departed. When we offer ourselves and each other to God, we can find comfort in unexpected ways.
May God remember us all in His Kingdom!
Hello, I've always wondered how does a priest become a confessor? Thank you Y2am!!!
Great question Lia! A presbyter (the people we normally call "priests") serves with the permission and in the name of the bishop: the bishop ordains him, and he only serves with the blessing and permission of the bishop. For instance, a presbyter always serves on an antimension (or antimins), a special liturgical cloth that the bishop signs his name upon. It's how a bishop shows he's given permission to a presbyter to serve the Liturgy.
Similarly, a presbyter needs the blessing of the Bishop to hear confessions.
Because a presbyter needs a certain degree of preparation and maturity to hear confessions and be a spiritual father, they usually serve for at least a few years before receiving the full blessing. And sometimes, bishops grant this blessing in stages (so a presbyter can hear confessions from kids at summer camp first, then eventually from anyone).
Sometimes, if a presbyter is mature enough, he may receive the blessing very soon after being ordained.
Hi Y2AM, I have a question- are ordiniations the only time someone can assume a new name, or can they change they name anytime they want with the approval of the church? Thanks!
Interesting question! The only times we've ever heard of people receiving a new name is during monastic tonsure (becoming a monk or nun) or sometimes after ordination (it's not technically part of the ordination service, or necessary to be ordained).
What stance does the church take with confession and communion to teenagers. Is it required that I take confession before communion or am I (16 years old) allowed to have communion without weekly confession? Please help and Xristos Anesti +++++++++!!!!+++++
Truly He is Risen!
This is a great question! There's no one-size-fits-all answer. The best way to approach Holy Communion is with a spiritual father. You can work out with him how often you should confess. Some people go to confession every week, some people go every month, some go every month.
Doctors give different people different prescriptions, depending on what they need to be physically healthy. In the same way, spiritual fathers give different people different prescriptions, depending on what they need to be spiritually healthy.
You're on the right track, though, because we should all do our best to prepare to receive Holy Communion. The details (how much we fast, how often we confess, etc.) will differ from person to person, and also differ at different points in our lives. Remember you're not alone, and God has given us wonderful priests to help!
God bless you!
I'm 15 and I really want to pray, can you please help me I'm not sure if I need to pray a lot or a little
We're often told to worry about how much or how little we pray, but that can be a bit misleading. Prayer is about our relationship with God, and that's something we can develop every moment of every day if we approach prayer moment by moment, rather than in big intimidating chunks of time.
We actually made some Be the Bee episode on prayer. We hope they help! Also, do you have a spiritual father? Someone who knows you and what you're going through can give you the best possible advice.
God bless you!
I am 16 and fast every wed and friday throughout the year. I was wondering if i am now old enough to do the full 40(50) days for lent? With school and sports and upcoming exams it is very hard to do but i want to do it? Do you have any input?
Christ is Risen!
It's wonderful that you recognize fasting as important, because it is!
This is a difficult question to answer in the abstract. Many young people fast, and many older people do not. Fasting is a discipline, and we need to properly develop it in our lives. Some people make the mistake of pushing themselves to fast too much too soon, and give up entirely. Others don't push themselves enough, and miss out on the benefits they could receive with more work and preparation.
Plus, fasting is about much more than just food!
Having a trusted Spiritual Father who knows you (and your strengths and weaknesses) will help you find the right path and fast in the way that will be best for you.
We've done a few episodes of Be the Bee on fasting. Have you seen this one?
Hey y2am! I love be the bee ❤️
Thanks! Glory to God!
And we love making Be the Bee!
Our Faith is so rich, and we have had so many amazing teachers over the years. God, through the Saints and Church Fathers, has given us more treasures than we can count!
One treasure is this image of the bee. It's an idea that's centuries old, and goes back at least to St. Basil the Great. St. John Chrysostom and Elder Paisios also used it through the years. Fr. Jason inherited the idea from them, and we've been running with it ever since!
How can we resist the devils temptations and block bad thought from our minds?
This is one of our toughest battles. But it doesn’t have to be a battle. There is a better way than fighting sin head on! And an easier way!
St. Porphyrios suggests that we not waste our energy on trying to stop the thoughts, but rather:
"Let all your strength be turned into love for God, worship of God and adhesion to God. In this way your release from evil and from your weaknesses will happen in a mystical manner without your being aware of it and without exertion...It is better, that is, to devote ourselves to love through the study of hymns and psalms. This study and preoccupation directs my mind to Christ and refreshes my heart without my realizing it. At the same time I pray, opening my arms in longing, love and joy and the Lord takes me up into His love.”
We talked about this "easy way" in an episode of Be the Bee. Check it out:
Now that Lent has begun, I'm hearing a lot about going to Confession. I'm 8 years old and I was wondering at what age you should go to Confession?
Great question! There's no one-size-fits all answer. You are never "too young" to go to confession. It depends on what you're spiritually ready for, and what's best for you. Confession is a beautiful sacrament of the Church that allows us to release all our troubles and offer them to God. He can bear them much better than we can!
Is there something that bothers you? Go to confession. Is there something you want to tell someone, but have trouble saying? Go to confession.
In fact, it may even be helpful for you to start now. Confessing our sins can be hard, and we can be tempted to hold some things in. Going to confession now rather than when you're "old enough" can make it easier to open your heart and allow God to take your sins away.
Hello y2am!! I have a couple questions.. What is the orthodox view on American / western Christian music. Is it bad for Orthodox Christians to listen to this music. I think it gives a false teaching message and confuses me. Thank you!!!
Thanks for your question! Maybe the best way to think about this is to look at how music confuses you. What about the music leads you astray, do you think? Is it the music? The lyrics?
We can't really point to any teaching about music generally, so let's think about this in terms of temptation. If something leads you into temptation, whether it's music or movies or anything else, then it's best to (like we said in the last question) "pluck it out" from your life. Maybe that means listening to different kinds of music. It's hard to say in the abstract, it depends on your particular struggle and your particular needs.
This is why it can be so helpful to have a spiritual father, someone that's gotten to know us and how we struggle (whatever it may be), and can give us the support and advice we need to keep our focus on Christ.
God bless you!
Why is it wrong to castrate oneself if Jesus said to remove your eye or ear if they make you sin??
A human being is body and soul, together. Our bodies are a great gift, an important part of who we are, how we relate to each other, and even how we relate to God (remember, we are physically baptized, we physically eat Holy Communion, etc.).
Matthew 5:29 is an example of the words you mention. However, to properly understand the Scripture, we need to look at the verses in context. In this case, if we look at the verse right before it (Matthew 5:28), we see that Christ is talking about lust in the heart.
St. John Chrysostom explains that Christ isn't speaking about our physical bodies, about literally plucking our our eyes. "For it is not the eye that sees, but the mind and the thought." Christ is teaching us about temptation and sin, and how dramatically we need to remove ourselves from the things that cause us to stumble. The image he offers is a powerful one, which pushes us to think about our relationship to sin and temptation.
We need to remove ourselves from sin, not our body parts. Our body isn't the problem, it's a blessing!