Busted Halo
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Mike Hayes :
271 article(s)

Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
November 20th, 2015

Who gave Jesus his halo — how did he have it in the first place? Do we just presume God?…
The halo is an artist’s rendering of holiness and nothing more. Halos often symbolize “sainthood” in Catholic circles, but in Ancient Greece they were drawn behind heroes as having more than natural light around them.
The first halo in Christian art was in fact given to Jesus and used to represent Christ, rather than holiness. Artists would often paint or depict Christ before his baptism in the Jordan without a halo, showing that the halo is a human way of recognizing God in our midst. (After the baptism, Jesus was recognized as the Messiah).
So halos are human inventions, not God’s.

November 6th, 2015

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
What is the best way for a young adult to get involved in ministry without becoming one of the “little old church ladies”? I work for the Church and find that I still have trouble!…
My first thought is to simply be yourself. You need not become anyone other than who you are. So if you’re not a “little old church lady” than you will not be one. Some practical advice would be to take your life outside of the church seriously — but to do so in a spiritual way. St. Ignatius of Loyola would remind us to try to see God in our everyday actions, not merely those when we are inside a church. That will provide you with the opportunity to have a more

October 23rd, 2015

Q: I was recently asked, what do I believe, does the Soul/Spirit actual dies when the body expires? I said no the Soul does not die. Am I right or wrong?
Soul signifies the “spiritual principle in humanity.” Because the Greeks often emphasized that the soul needed to escape the body, we often have a tendency to “prefer” the soul to the body.
However, this is not Catholic theology. The body is nothing without the soul and the body gives animation to the soul. They work in consort throughout human life. We care for our bodies respectfully.
To you question more directly, the soul is immortal. It is the essential part of the human body that likens us to God’s image. It does separate from the…

October 9th, 2015

Overcoming anger is no easy task, especially when one has been hurt. It is possible however. Our first task to understand is that anger is an emotion. Emotions are normal and not at all sinful. However, we cannot allow our emotions to rule our decisions. The evil one would like nothing more than for us to fall into what St. Ignatius of Loyola calls desolation–thinking that all is lost or hopeless and that nothing really matters anymore.
Recovering from anger takes time and when we are thrust into desolate times it is important not to make any decisions or take any actions towards others when we aren’t thinking clearly. Only after we heal and can begin to see the light again can we actually make a good discerned…

September 3rd, 2015
Help for figuring out what to do with the rest of your life

Labor Day is upon us, and recent college grads are entering the workforce for the first time. However, far too many young adults are unemployed, unable to find a suitable job, much less a career. For many more, their current jobs don’t exactly match up with their idea of a “dream job,” and scores of others are underemployed (overqualified for their position) but need to work to pay the bills.
In my work as a spiritual director, I often specialize in helping people find meaningful work. I spend time helping young adults find where they believe God may be calling them and then help them take some proactive steps to put those desires into a practical career path. At the very least, I work with young adults to articulate…

July 17th, 2015

I commit the same sins over and over, and I feel bad going to confession when it is most likely I will commit the same sin. How do I say I will not sin again when I feel inside I will sin again? Am I using confession as a excuse to sin knowing I can confess and be forgiven?…
All of us have weaknesses and our sins are consequences of that. No one is perfect, and usually many of our sins are things that continue to trip us up time and time again.
That said, while we have this tendency toward some particular sin, we also need to attempt to get over this. Our efforts here must be true attempts to get past our sin, to get underneath the tendency, and to make a true attempt to stop the behavior.
Again, none of this is easy and therefore we have confession

June 19th, 2015

Question: As an animal lover and someone who has a deep connection to my pets, I’d like to know more about what the Bible says happens to our pets and other animals when they pass away. Does God have a place for them in heaven? Will we see them again?
As a dog lover myself, who is obsessed with my best friend, Haze the Dog, I always picture Haze bounding toward me when I reach the eternal reward, ready to greet me again.
The truth is that we know little about what heaven is like. What we do know is that this is a complete union with the Divine. So any earthly pleasures that we have come to know will be far exceeded by the complete joy that awaits us in heaven.
The Church teaches that we have dominion over the animals of the world…

May 29th, 2015

Jesus’ own words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” might lead us to think this is so, but the truth expressed here is to suggest that Jesus is both human and divine. The human part of Jesus’ experiences is what many of us feel in times of desolation: abandonment by God. But the Church teaches that even in the most desperate situations God never leaves us alone. Even in the worst cases of torture and death, we believe that God ultimately redeems all suffering.
In Jesus’ cross, we see a God who is unafraid to experience human suffering and human death because God has the power to defeat death and therefore God will do the same for us.
So, while Jesus may have had the human emotional…

May 14th, 2015

The Ascension refers to the day celebrated 40 days after Easter when Catholics celebrate the fact that Jesus returns to God after being with his disciples after the resurrection. It is a central element of our tradition and is included in the creed recited at mass each Sunday. It is also a Holy Day of Obligation and Catholics are required to go to mass on that day.
The scriptural basis for this comes from Acts 1:9-11.
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into…

April 21st, 2015

In the Second Chapter of John’s Gospel we read about the Wedding Feast at Cana. Mary approaches Jesus and asks him to do something about the fact that they have run out of wine. Jesus responds: “Woman, how does this concern me?”
Women in Jewish culture at the time were viewed as property and as unreliable witnesses. Men addressing women as “woman” was common, especially if a woman vexed a man — as seems to be the case here. Mary’s confidence in Jesus (“Do whatever he tells you”) should be read as an “eye-roll,” and it guilts Jesus into performing a miracle at his mother’s request.
While this was a somewhat derogatory term to call his mother,…

April 13th, 2015

Question: Did Pope Francis really say that those who do not believe in God can be saved, and that Atheists can also be saved?
Yes. Pope Francis said that not long ago:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class. We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all. And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently,…

April 8th, 2015

Question: My daughter died a couple weeks ago from cancer and before she died she saw our dead dog. Did he really come for her? Are they with me now, and will I see them again when I get to heaven and are they well now?
First of all, please know of our condolences to you and your family on the death of your daughter.
Secondly, in answer to the first part of your question, we don’t really know what ways we are welcomed by those gone before us into the heavenly kingdom. Is it possible that doggy came to welcome her? Certainly. All things are possible with God and in the unconditional love that pets often give to their human friends, I could see this being very appropriate.
In reference to the rest of your question, we can wholeheartedly…

March 30th, 2015

Some parishes, in an attempt to reenact the Last Supper (traditionally defined as a Passover supper) hold a seder meal for their parishioners. This recently has been the subject of much controversy. There’s a great article discussing this here.
In short, we should note the following:
1) A seder is not for Christians. Just as a Christmas tree is not for Jewish people. The use of a Hanukkah Bush is a grave misnomer according to the rabbis in my local community. As Christians, we should hold Jewish rituals in the highest esteem and moreover, not attempt to Christianize them. This may in fact be looked upon as anti-Semitic when we do so.
2) The modern seder did not begin until 70 AD, after the destruction of the temple.…

March 27th, 2015

Technically speaking, Catholics are firstly required to fast on Good Friday, meaning to eat only one full meal for the day and then to merely sustain themselves for the rest of the day — meaning two smaller meals that do not equal the one large meal.
To your question, Catholics are also required to abstain from eating meat on both Good Friday and each Friday in Lent (as well as Ash Wednesday). Fish is used as a substitute for meat-based meals. But of course with vegetarian diets abound in today’s day and age there are many other solutions besides fish.
Historically, since about the second century of Christianity, Christians abstained from meat on Friday as a kind of sacrifice and reminder that acknowledged…

March 25th, 2015

Question: I have a close friend. We spend so much time together, we also sleep in the same bed — no funny business. Is it a sin to sleep in the same bed and or house?
While the act of mere sleeping is not sinful in and of itself, this situation certainly lies in the danger zone of Catholic teaching. We call this the “near occasion of sin.” By sleeping in the same bed you are running the risk of the situation getting out of control. Perhaps you become more attracted to one another over time or more curious and attempt to take things a bit further. Perhaps you begin to notice your friend’s body more intimately and it begins to tempt you? Perhaps he/she has no feelings for you, but you begin to develop them…

March 11th, 2015

Q: I have a rather odd question regarding fasting during Lent while dealing with an eating disorder. Fasting (not eating) is very easy, yet could do me more harm than good. I want to practice according to the Church’s teaching, yet I want to stay healthy. What are your thoughts?
Fasting is a means of self-denial used as a penance for sins throughout the season of Lent. But good health takes precedence over any ecclesiastical law. For this reason the Bishops have noted that those over 60 and those under 14 do not have to fast. Those under the age might miss the point and those over the age are in need of nourishment and place themselves in danger if they begin a fast, especially those not in good health.
The United States…

February 27th, 2015

There are a bunch of possibilities here. The first is to take advantage of times when these issues naturally come up. So, you might organize a special event for Earth Day or bake and share Christmas cookies made with fair trade chocolate…

February 25th, 2015

Please, first of all, accept our deepest condolences. Suicide is always tough for those who are left behind, so please know that we are keeping you and your family in prayer.
Catholics trust in the mercy of God. That is THE central element of our faith and Pope Francis has taken great strides to make sure that it is preached far and wide to the faithful. What we know about suicide from a psychological perspective today, is that it is often not a free choice, most often as a result of depression or other mental illness.
Then we add to our knowledge, what we consider sinful behavior. For something to be a sin, a person must choose to do this sin freely. They must be in control of their own actions. If they are not, then their actions…

January 14th, 2015

Two weeks into the New Year and your resolutions — if you made any — have either started you on a path to self-improvement or left you feeling not quite up to the challenge. Invariably, some people will make a New Year’s resolution to pray more often (or at all!), and the effort comes to naught when they realize they don’t really know how to pray, or, perhaps, even what prayer is. So, why not get some help?
We often hire personal trainers, financial advisors, even dating consultants, to meet our goals. Why not find someone to assist us with our personal relationship with God? We call that person a spiritual director — someone specially trained in the art of spiritual direction.
Essentially, a…

January 9th, 2015

Question: What does God mean, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you?”…
This comes from the opening lines of the Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. This verse (Jeremiah 1:5) and the ones that follow are a call to leadership for the under-confident Jeremiah. Essentially, God is saying that he has given Jeremiah many gifts, and he doesn’t need to be afraid. God knows Jeremiah; he was born for the role that is being prescribed for him.
Jeremiah goes on to prophesize the fall of Judah to Babylon and that many of Judah’s people will be captives in a foreign land. So, the job of being a prophet was not an easy one. Often in our lives, we are called to difficult

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