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Louis Sullivan :
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Louis Sullivan is from New Jersey and a recent graduate of Fordham University where he majored in English and theology. He was an active member of Fordham’s Campus Ministry as a Eucharistic Minister, lector, and member of the liturgical choir. Louis is a writer for Dark Knight News and publisher of From the Batcave. Louis is also an intern at Busted Halo.
April 9th, 2014

First of all, in the (paraphrased) words of the great Ricky Ricardo,  I’ve got some ‘splaining to do. You see, even though in my most recent post it looked like I was pretty resolute in my dedication to the Lenten sacrifice I’d chosen, such claims did not come without added challenge. This week, I’ll be in California for a quick vacation with my family, but naturally, along with that comes added allure to the possibility of skipping out on my Lenten  promise. However, there’s also the possibility to learn a lot more from the extra struggle, and in the spirit of that, I’m going to do my best to post here daily about the unique challenges of vacation in Lent.
With that having…

April 6th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

We’re getting close to the end of Lent, with Easter only a couple of weeks away, and with that in mind. I took some time today to look back on my Lenten journey so far. Reflecting on the season, I realized something: this Lent has taught me to be more comfortable with being hungry (and thirsty, for that matter.) An example, if you don’t mind: yesterday, I woke up, had my breakfast (nothing major, either– just a regular old bowl of cereal), and proceeded to go about my day. I headed off to the movies for a screening, and chose without hesitation to forego my typical popcorn and soda habit, not only because of my Lenten sacrifice, but because I simply wasn’t as enticed by it as usual. Don’t get…

April 4th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

No, it’s not a typo– today, I’m talking about dessert and fasting, particularly in regard to the story of Jesus’s temptation in the desert and my Lenten sacrifice so far. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the story (or just want a quick refresher) it goes like this: following His Baptism, Jesus went out into the desert to fast for 40 days and 40 nights in order to prepare for the start of His public ministry. While He is there, Satan appears to tempt Him, offering food and power and doubting that He is truly the Son of God. Jesus rejects his offers, and when the devil departs, angels appear to tend to Him.
So how does this relate to our Lenten journeys? Well, as you can imagine, the segment…

April 4th, 2014
A review of Darren Aronofsky's latest film and tips for watching and reflecting on it

With Darren Aronofsky’s Noah out in theaters, one of the major questions that’s been floating around is: Is the film accurate? The answer, honestly, depends on what you define as “accurate.” The film gets quite a few biblical details wrong (and adds plenty of its own dramatic tweaks and twists, though that sort of thing has come to be accepted for pretty much any film adaptation nowadays), but understanding the overall accuracy of Noah begs a larger question: How do we interpret the story of Noah and the Flood in the first place?
To start, yes — there is… historical basis for the story of Noah, at least on the flood front. However, it is merely basis, as Catholics consider the tale to originate from an ancient

March 30th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

It happens to all of us, and it’s happened to me: I caved in and broke my Lenten promise. Here’s what happened: I have a jar of jellybeans on my dresser– my girlfriend’s little sister gave it to me a while back because of a joke we have about the little candies, and it’s become a staple of my decorative entourage (which, for context, also includes a little Thor and a “World’s Best Brother” puppy plush I got from my little brother at Christmas a few years ago. I’m trying to paint the scene for you here.) Anyway, I was walking by said dresser last night and, without really thinking about it, opened the jar up and grabbed a handful. As I chewed up the candies, I realized…

March 28th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

That passage, from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, is pretty much the opposite of my Lenten experience so far. Yes, there has been “Water, water every where,” but there has also been plenty to drink. I’ve been having quite a bit of water (and juice, lemonade, iced tea, and such) as part of my commitment to not drinking any soda this Lent, and it actually hasn’t been too bad.
What has …started to kick in, though, is the realization that Coke, Pepsi, and the like had become akin to water for me. The first few weeks of Lent,

March 23rd, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

As another week of Lent rolls by, surprisingly I’ m still discovering new perils and pitfalls along my Lenten journey. One such danger that’s been lurking in the background and particularly plaguing me is the dreaded midnight snack.
Now I don’t know how you operate, but I am without a doubt a night owl. I always have been, from the time I’m little, and despite trying to change my habits from time to time, I always end up reverting to a stay-up-late sort of schedule. Unfortunately for both my Lenten sacrifice and my eating habits in general, my late nights tend to be accompanied by a desire to add an extra trip to the kitchen to my day. Whether it’s for something smallish like some cookies…

March 18th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

If you’ve read almost anything else I’ve written for Busted Halo, you know I’m quite the moviegoer. As such, I’ve got some pretty fixed rituals for my average trip — big ol’ cup of soda, similarly oversized container of popcorn, buttered and salted just so — not healthy rituals by a long shot, but a pattern nonetheless, and one that is almost irrevocably linked to my cinematic experience. (Stephen King shares my sentiment, if you’re curious, in an old Entertainment Weekly …piece that has stuck in my mind since 2008.) So with my popcorn and soda mentality at its standard operating level, that is to say quite ingrained, I headed off to the movies the other

March 17th, 2014

As the so-called “Luck of the Irish” would have it, I would …pick this week to limit myself even further for Lent. With St. Patrick’s Day today, and my Irish family (Sullivan? Irish? Who’d have thought?!?) pulling out the stops to celebrate, it’s the not so perfect time to have imposed some extra restrictions on my already pretty restricting Lenten decision. Nonetheless, challenge though it was to my Lenten mantra of “no snacks, soda, or sweets” (before you ask, soda bread doesn’t count– we’re just talking liquid soda here!) I think I did pretty well. I say “was,” by the way, because with my little brother and sister still in

March 16th, 2014

Now, before I get going on this I want to say that I’ve heard it go both ways, and I’m definitely not saying that mine is 100% right. Ok? Here goes: I don’t take Sundays off in Lent. I’m sure some of you already know exactly what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t, basically what I mean is this: if you take a simply mathematical look at the span of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, you come up with 46 days, not 40 (maybe 47, depending on how you count days, but either way, definitely not 40.) This has been frequently treated as a reason to take Sundays “off” from your Lenten sacrifice, as Sunday is typically a day of feasting rather than fasting.
But I don’t…

March 12th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

In the past week, giving up soda, snacks, and sugary treats has proven quite the challenge already. The most difficult part so far, though, hasn’t been what you’d expect. It hasn’t been choosing something else to drink or putting aside dessert or anything like that; no, the trickiest part of my Lent so far has been trying to figure out how to stop cheating on the self-imposed “no snacks” rule.
You see, it’s pretty easy to loophole a rule when you make it yourself, so there’s been plenty of “these chips are part of my lunch” or “well, I woke up late, so I can call this my breakfast even though it’s lunch, and still eat 2 ‘meals’ later.”…

March 5th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

For Lent this year, I’m cutting snacks, soda, and sweets in general out of my diet. What that means for me is not just refraining from eating sugary foods and drinking soda, but also from eating pretty much anything other than just my three meals a day.
But why do this? Well, it basically all comes down to the idea of fasting. Overall, we fast as a way to give back to God and as an act of solidarity with those who may not have access to the luxuries that we have. Additionally, we sacrifice for Lent to try to move away from the things that have turned us away from God in one way or another in our lives, and to try to get back on track.
It is in light of those two concepts that I chose to give up snacks, soda, and sweets for Lent this…

February 27th, 2014

12 Years A Slave… hurt. Emotionally, sometimes even close to physically, it was painful to watch … and that’s putting it mildly. The film pulled no punches when dealing with the harsh realities of America’s slave trade and the evil acted out by those who took part in it. The movie tells the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwitel Ejiofor), a free African-American from Saratoga, New York, who is drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841 by men he thought he could trust. Solomon witnesses firsthand the malice of slave traders as he is passed from master to master as a piece of commerce, experiencing treatment unlike any he had ever received in his life.
Showcasing such horrors as rape, murder, brutal whippings,

February 27th, 2014

We’ve seen some moving tales as part of this year’s Oscar race, from the heartbreaking journey of Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave to the harrowing story of Dr. Ryan Stone’s struggle to survive outer space in Gravity. A standout among them, though, is Philomena, which chronicles a woman’s search for the son she had as a teenager and lost to forced adoption. The story goes as such: Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) had a child as an unwed teenager, and as a result was shamed, cast out from her family, and sent to live in a convent where she was punished for her perceived sin. The nuns there gave her no medication during childbirth, one of them even going so far as to say that “the pain is her penance.” After her son was…

February 25th, 2014

I’ve got a bone to pick with Gravity, or with its marketing scheme at the very least. The film, a tense walk with Sandra Bullock through the worst space trip since 1979, presents itself as a sci-fi survivalist nightmare, think Open Water in orbit…

February 21st, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is nominated for three Oscars — Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects — and anyone who’s seen the film can attest to the fact that it deserves at least the nominations it’s received, particularly the visual effects nod. After all, it’s nothing short of incredible what can be done visually with computer technology these days; a team like those who worked on Desolation of Smaug can create people and places that interact so seamlessly with the live actors and real environments that you’d swear they were really there. These men and women can make a dragon,… and a believable one at that, who walks, talks, and spits bursts of flame without

February 13th, 2014

This year’s Oscar race has certainly been an interesting one, especially on the spiritual front. The nominees have shown incredible depth and range as far as spiritual themes go, and Prisoners is no exception. The film, now available on DVD, showcases the transformative effects on a man of one tragic event, as we watch Hugh Jackman’s character abandon his morals in pursuit of the people who took his daughter.
“We do it to wage war against God,” one of the kidnappers tells Jackman’s character, Keller Dover, when pressed for their motive, “because losing a child turns good men like you into demons.”
By their own definition, then, it would appear that by the end of the film, the kidnappers win —…

January 24th, 2014

Though the Oscar race is going to be tight this year in some categories — will Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globes win be echoed? 12 Years A Slave or Gravity for Best Picture? There’s one thing I’m certain we’re going to see. Frozen is going to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Why? Here are three reasons:
Music
I admit that this is more of a reason why Frozen is probably a shoe-in for the Best Original Song category (which I also suspect it’ll win, though it definitely has stronger competition there.) Still, because Frozen… is a musical, it’d be unfair to divorce the film from its music. The original songs in this movie echo Broadway like nothing that has been created for the silver screen in a long

December 27th, 2013

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”… (Mark 10:15)
It is often said that children are closest to God; that through their wonder at the world, care for others and genuine joy, we are reminded of the way God wants us to view His creation and treat each other. For many of us, the movies and television we watched when we were little can be a powerful gateway back to our own childhood — things like Sesame Street and The Muppets in particular have the power to bring us back to the way we saw the world back then. Muppets of all kinds are more than pervasive in my home— from summer trips to Sesame Place with my 7-year-old little sister (and my 14-year-old little

December 26th, 2013

As the year draws to a close let’s take a look back over the events of 2013 and remember the things that we have lost over the past 12 months (some for the better). Whether they left us cheering or jeering, here are 13 “endings” from 2013. What would you add to the list?
Breaking Bad — After five seasons watching the exploits (and tragic downward spiral) of chemistry teacher turned meth dealer Walter White, fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad finally got to see how the story ends. Though we had to bid Walter White and Jesse Pinkman goodbye when the final episode aired September 29, there is some good news for Breaking Bad addicts: AMC is moving forward with a spin-off series, Better Call Saul, based on lawyer Saul Goodman…

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