Busted Halo
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Max Lindenman :
5 article(s)

Max Lindenman is a freelance writer based in Phoenix. He was received into the Catholic Church in 2008.
December 31st, 2009
A near-Irishman salutes Frank McCourt (1930-2009)
Also check out the latest Busted Halo Cast about Frank McCourt. Deanna, my ex-girlfriend, grew up in Boston. Recalling her early home life, she would sing a litany of parental neglect, substance abuse and financial mismanagement. Apparently, the one bright moment came when she saw one of her friends break most of her toes in a step-dancing accident. I envied her. She would never have to search for her Irishness. My own connection with the land of St. Brigid and Molly Bloom was much more tenuous. My mother’s family had left it sometime before the outbreak of the American Civil War. My father’s family, consisting of Polish and Ukrainian Jews, never made it there in the first place. Reaching backward across…
August 25th, 2009
How I decided not to become a priest
Around the middle of last February, just as the Lenten spirit of penitence was starting to kick in, an unexpected guest turned up at evening Mass. Tall and lean, graying and bearded, wearing a Dominican habit and an air of stern benevolence, he looked like central casting’s idea of a Grand Inquisitor. It turned out that wasn’t too far from the mark. He was, in fact, novice master for our province of the Order of Preachers. After the Gospel reading, he took the pulpit and delivered what amounted to a recruiting pitch for the order. To my own surprise, I found myself straining to take in every word. Becoming a Dominican sounded like a capital idea. Between the travel and the scholarship, it reminded me of grad…
May 27th, 2009
Thirtysomething, single and looking for affirmation
I attend church in a left-leaning parish that specializes in outreach services to students at the local university. It succeeds so well that every Sunday night at 7 p.m., the place turns into Studio 54 — a magnet for coltish, confident, overachieving young Catholics who glow as though someone tossed them into a swimming pool filled with chrism. Or so it seemed to me two and a half years ago, when I began to attend catechism classes offered through the parish’s RCIA program. I was a thirty-four-year-old bachelor and grad school dropout. Since leaving the academic life, I’d bounced from one office job to the next. My own glow had long since faded. But, in church, the promise of renewal hung in the very…
May 8th, 2009
A Catholic perspective on religious tattoos
Mark your calendars: We are have moved into one of those rare periods where being Jewish — throughout history a fairly exciting state of existence — is also fun. In her recent article, “Tattooed Jews: a new generation expresses its Jewishness in controversial ways,” Monica Rozenfeld reports that God’s original chosen people — a group that included my own father — has discovered the world of devotional body art. What a rich and varied world it is. Jacob wrestling God’s angel, the children of Israel avenging Dinah, even Maimonides and Nachmanides in a tug-of-war over a loaf of challah — any of these images might serve as a badge of religious pride to turn the heads of the nations.…
April 16th, 2009
Meeting the incorruptible saints whose bodies seem to defy decay
One evening last month, while surfing YouTube, I stumbled across a five-part slideshow on the incorrupt bodies of saints. Having once been a soul mate to television’s ghoulish Wednesday Addams, I launched “Part One,” expecting to get halfway through before my maturing tastes demanded I resume searching for the clip where Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, humiliates the geeks at the Star Wars premier. To my surprise, the spectacle held me in thrall. In every dead face, sanctity intersected with human nature in some unique and memorable way. St. Jean-Marie Vianney’s fine features hinted at a painful sensitivity. With her mouth half open, St. Veronica Giuliani looked as though she were…
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