Busted Halo
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Mike Hayes :
267 article(s)

Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
September 5th, 2014

No. Holy Water is a sacramental, a material object that is blessed and used to increase devotion and should not be thrown out into sewage systems. Holy Water can remain in receptacles for long periods of time if need be or if there is a need to clear out fonts or holy water receptacles, one should take the water and use it to water the earth outside a church or it can be poured down the sacrarium in the sacristy which is a sink where the pipes go directly into the earth.…

September 3rd, 2014

Question: I was raised Catholic but there are things I don’t believe any more, like praying for the dead and praying to Mary. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Can I attend Mass?

Yes. Actually, anyone can attend mass. Non-Catholics and even non Christians can attend Mass. All are always welcome and encouraged to come even out of mere curiosity.
I believe however, you are actually asking if you can receive communion. While the reception of communion is up to each individual, I would encourage you to think about this carefully. By receiving communion you are stating that you believe in all the elements of the creed. If there are things in the creed that you don’t believe, then that’s a good sign that…

September 2nd, 2014

The easy answer to start off with is that the water that is used is not holy water. It is ordinary flat water from a bottle or a faucet.
During the offertory part of the mass (Which begins the Liturgy of the Eucharist) the priest pours just a few drops of water into the chalice and then says: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”
This is done to symbolize the water and blood that flowed from the side of Christ on the cross (John 19:33) after he was pierced with the soldier’s lance. It calls our attention to the fact that what is human (our gifts of bread and wine) will become divine soon in the consecration.
The prescription…

August 15th, 2014

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

August 13th, 2014

Question: I know its a touchy subject but I was always taught that people who committed suicide would go to hell. I read a article that said the churches got together and literally started saying this to keep people from killing themselves because their lives were poor, ect and thought they could just kill themselves and go to heaven to be in a better place. Does this make sense? So is this teaching untrue?…
The Church’s teaching is ever evolving with new discoveries and her teaching on suicide is no different.
In today’s times, we know much more about mental illness than ever before. We now know that anyone who commits suicide is not in control over their own actions. For something to be sinful, by definition,

August 8th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
Q: My question is about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As a convert, I have always wondered about the sins I committed before I became Catholic. Because I was Protestant, I did not go to confession, but instead asked for forgiveness directly from God, without a priest in prayer. Are those sins forgiven or do I have to go to confession for them? Am I living in past sin?…
Forgetfulness is not a sin, so if you merely forgot to mention these, then it’s just suggested that you add them to your next confession. If you purposely withheld them, then that is a sin (often called a sacrilege), and you will need to confess that you purposely withheld these

August 1st, 2014

Lately, we’ve been bombarded with so many sad events. From the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down in Ukraine, to children and others fleeing Central America because of unbearable gang violence, to the fighting between Israel and Palestine, the world indeed looks like a precarious place.
In times like these, we are called to pray for and to do whatever is necessary for peace. And Pope Francis has given us good examples of both.
Regarding the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, Pope Francis drew attention especially to minors seeking asylum from the violence and oppression in a speech directed mostly at Mexico, but with a clear call for U.S. immigration policy officials to pay attention.
“Such a humanitarian…

June 20th, 2014
How to pick your team for World Cup 2014

Having trouble picking a team to root for in this year’s World Cup? As the competition heats up, here’s a guide (broken down by World Cup groups) to some of the teams’ Catholic roots.
BRAZIL (Group A)…
Not only is Brazil the host country of World Cup 2014, but for centuries Catholicism has been the biggest religion in the country. Brazilians threw one heck of a party for Pope Francis on Copacabana beach last summer during World Youth Day, and that might be enough reason to give them your support. The team has a player named Hulk who gives them a clear edge. He was recently injured and is muddling through the tournament. But you can’t keep a Hulk down for too long. By the way, there’s a huge statue of Jesus in Rio de

June 19th, 2014

“I remember in Brazil, they’d provided for me an enclosed Popemobile, but I cannot greet the people and tell them I love them inside a sardine can, even if it is made of glass. For me it is a wall.” — Pope Francis to La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper…
We’ve got one cool pope. The guy greets large crowds all the time, kisses kids on the head, drinks coffee from strangers, and reportedly sneaks out at night to visit the homeless.
So, perhaps the popemobile, a vehicle with bulletproof glass on all sides, is sending the wrong message.
I remember when the popemobile first arrived on the scene after the attempted assassination of John Paul II. We all thought it was kind of cool, but it did seem to restrict

May 16th, 2014

Earlier this week, Pope Francis ordained 13 new priests, and he took great pains in announcing what he considered their main job to be as clerics: Be merciful.
In his homily, the pope said that he gets upset when he no longer sees people going to confession because people were “scolded” by their confessors, “as if the church doors were closed in their face.”
“Please don’t do this,” the pope told 13 new priests he ordained in the basilica. He used the example of Jesus who never tired of showing mercy to others. Pope Francis said priests should remember that Jesus “didn’t come to condemn but to forgive.” More from Vatican Radio:
He called on the newly ordained to “be…

April 29th, 2014

Q: Sometimes I cannot keep an erection long enough for my wife to climax. Is it a sin if I manually or orally complete her climax? Is it a sin if my wife manually or orally completes my climax? The older I get (I am 71) the more often this happens. I love my wife and could not see a day I would not like to try to make love to her.
Not every single sexual act, per se, need be procreative, but within a “sexual session,” if you will, there needs to be “openness” to procreative activity. In this case, you are in fact being open to procreation, but your age and your physical limitations prevent the pregnancy naturally. Normally, these acts would only be used as “foreplay” to pro-creative sexual activity…

April 25th, 2014
Papal Saints John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized — is Oscar Romero far behind?

Upon the death of John Paul II, the chants began in the streets of Rome: “Santo Subito! Santo Subito!” (“Sainthood now!”)
Now a pope doesn’t make a saint willy-nilly; this takes careful deliberation. When the process of making saints began, they were named by acclimation of the people in a particular area. That is why we have names like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Anthony of Padua. When the full population in an area followed the example and began calling a person a saint, it stuck. (Obviously, that kind of system can be abused and actually the Church has gone back and removed some saints from the rolls because they frankly just didn’t measure up.)
John Paul II will be named a saint by Pope Francis. Some would…

April 23rd, 2014

We usually talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost, the feast we celebrate 50 days after Easter when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. These spiritual gifts are given to us by God and are intended to guide the way we live our lives. It’s God’s hope that we nurture these gifts in order to become who God wants us to be.
Signs that we are appropriately harnessing these gifts are the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The presence of these fruits in our lives is a good sign that…

April 16th, 2014

The Old Testament has (almost) never been read at the Eucharist during Easter season. St. Augustine of Hippo in the 4th Century started this based on earlier practices by Cyril of Jerusalem.
While there are no readings from the Hebrew Scriptures during the Easter season, there are several readings from here at the Easter Vigil. Here we draw out the history of our salvation in one night…from creation, through Abraham, through Moses, etc.
During the Easter season, the Hebrew Scriptures are replaced by the Acts of the Apostles. The logic draws upon the practice of looking forward from the resurrection to balance the Easter Vigil’s looking back on our salvation history.
On weekdays in the Easter season in fact,…

March 27th, 2014
President Obama’s trip to the Vatican is a coming home of sorts

As President Obama and Pope Francis lock eyes for the first time, I imagine that the pope’s pastoral presence has brought back many memories for our country’s Commander in Chief.
What most people don’t know is that while the president is not a Catholic in terms of religious denomination, he was certainly steeped in the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching in his early days as a community organizer in Chicago. Those days shaped most of his political social thought as well as his religious outlook. Take this quote from President Obama’s commencement address to graduates at Notre Dame in 2009:
And something else happened during the time I spent in those neighborhoods. Perhaps because the church folks I worked…

March 11th, 2014

“A Jesuit named Francis … a little something for everyone,” I texted my colleague who works at a Franciscan University.
I watched as Pope Francis emerged on the balcony last March and bowed his head, asking the crowd to pray for him. I was taken aback at the new Holy Father’s humble gesture. Not only could you hear a pin drop in St. Peter’s Square at that moment, but many of my students were captivated by the event, many of whom aren’t even Catholic.
“I love this ceremony,” said a Jewish student standing near me. “Does the new pope do this every time?”
“We could only hope,” I joked. “No, this is new. Maybe this guy will surprise all of us.”
It indeed has been a whirlwind year since the election…

March 4th, 2014

Pope Francis wrote a letter to all of us, that is, each family — asking for prayers for October’s Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The synod (group of church leaders) is being convened to discuss “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.”
In short, this will be a large meeting where Catholic bishops from all over the world will gather to discuss matters relating to families. As the pope put it in his letter, “This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation… and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church.”

January 10th, 2014

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.

January 8th, 2014

I am separated. I was only married for a month and it was never consummated, and it was outside of the Church. Can I receive communion?
Yes! In the eyes of the church you were never married if this was simply a civil ceremony. The marriage not being consummated is also grounds for annulment. It sounds to me as if you would like to dissolve this marriage. I would talk with your pastor about all of this, make a good confession, and then you should be free to receive communion.…

January 7th, 2014

The King James Version has 39 books in the Old Testament, all written in Hebrew. However, the Old Testament of the New American Bible contains 46 books, including an additional seven (Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch) which were part of an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint. Those are the main differences. So if you want to read those books you’d need to read those in the NAB which is the version Catholics use at mass.
Other differences is that the NAB was translated in 1970 — more than 350 years after the KJV was produced — which makes it more accurate academically. However, the New King James Version was produced in 1982 and it has included…

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