Busted Halo
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Mike Hayes :
239 article(s)

Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
September 25th, 2012

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,…

September 19th, 2012

Question: Why do we pray to saints? Should we really? Is it in the Bible somewhere? Lol When I was little my Mom would tell me to pray to Mary, God was busy she said, lol.
Have you ever had a friend who you asked to pray for you? That’s exactly the same thing that you’re doing when you ask a saint to pray for you. The big difference is that saints are people who the church has ample evidence that they are conclusively in heaven with God. So we ask for what we call their intercession…. Intercession means that we ask them to be the “middle person” between us and God. They bring our prayers to God and ask God to receive these prayers and to grant our requests. Because we believe that saints are indeed closer

September 11th, 2012

Before I answer this question directly, it should be noted that forgiveness does not give assent to the horrible actions committed by another. Forgiveness allows us to heal from harms done to us by moving forward and not allowing this pain to continue to control our lives.

June 28th, 2012

Our feelings are always important things to take note of, and we can use them as a way to discern whether what we are doing is something that God would want us to do. In this case, feeling guilty might lead you to discern more deeply. Why are you watching the movie to begin with? Does focusing on sexually explicit scenes make you a more loving, faithful or hopeful person, or do they just objectify the actors in the scene and create a lustful image for you to swoon over?
That said; focus is the main point. We almost cannot help but watch images these days that are in some ways sexually explicit. The creators are responsible for them, but how we react to them is key. Might you become more engaged with how women, for instance, are…

June 27th, 2012

There’s certainly no hard and fast rule in any Church documents that doesn’t allow priests to carry guns. Just as there’s not one that says priests can’t carry a bow and arrow either. But prudential judgment is what is called for here.
The question to ask ourselves is, “Does a priest need a gun to protect himself where there is a lot of violence — in an inner city, let’s say?” The further question is, “Would the gun actually cause undue harm in a situation and bring more violence into the situation than is necessary to subdue an enemy or to protect the general public?” In the general state of daily affairs, does the priest need to carry a handgun to defend himself? Probably not. Could carrying…

June 22nd, 2012

Of course it is. Particularly for its benefits with regards to mindfulness and the relief of stress through meditation. The issue that exists is that yoga is used in other non-Christian religions to invoke or pray to the gods they believe in. This is explicitly not what we do as Catholic Christians. We can, however, use the yogic poses for our own purposes. Paulist Father Tom Ryan helps people do exactly that. Check out his website.
from Mike Hayes and the Busted Halo Question Box…

February 29th, 2012

Yes. Depending on what the result of our impatience is, it could be a quite serious sin.
For example, if we are impatient in waiting for someone to die who is in great suffering and we euthanize them ourselves, we commit murder by allowing our impatience to rule us.
Impatience is something that is a bad habit and can be changed with frequent prayer. Listening to where God calls us and spending time in silence allows us to de-stress and relax a bit more with God.
Retreats are another good opportunity to deal with our impatience. We spend time with God away on “God’s time” not ours and realize that there is no place else to be but there for awhile. In doing so we can rest easy knowing that often there is often…

December 25th, 2011

An exact date was attempted to be calculated for the Nativity of the Lord but it was deemed impossible (there was/is not enough information available to determine this).  So originally, March 25th the first day of spring was discussed as an appropriate day to celebrate the birth of Christ to coincide with the re-birth of the spring!   However, other scholars noted that this would be a better day to place Jesus’ conception, as we believe that God becomes incarnate at the moment he is in Mary’s womb.
Therefore, if we add 9 months to that date we get…December 25th!
Secondarily, many Romans were sun worshipers.   Many celebrated a kind of sun feast day on Dec. 25, while others note a virility god…

December 23rd, 2011

Keeping vigil has always been a spiritual practice in Catholicism. This is what we are essentially doing by attending any “Vigil” mass, we wait in joyful hope for the coming of the Savior.

There is also a Biblical reference here that can be included. The Shepherds in Luke’s infancy narratives in his Gospel were keeping watch over their sheep on the nightly vigil. In a sense, we are the same shepherds today and we are entrusted to keep watch over one another.

December 20th, 2011

Of course they are! Catholics are free to sing “Jingle Bells” or “Frosty the Snowman” or any of the many songs that reflect the Christmas season.

Perhaps there are song parodies that might be objectionable material in general, but most of the tried and true carols that we know well can be sung by Catholics.

December 13th, 2011

I can offer three that would be good to pray with:
1) St. Thomas Aquinas — the official patron of scholars and a doctor of the church. His great work, the Summa Theologica, might just be something you’re studying in fact.
2) Blessed John Newman is not yet a saint but is on the way to being one. He was very active in the intellectual life and set up centers for discussion so as to merge Catholics with intellectual conversation at universities as it was often misconstrued that to be Catholic is to be anti-intellectual. Campus Ministry Centers across the United States often bear his name. Read The Idea of a University… sometime.
3) An obvious one is St. Ignatius of Loyola who founded the Jesuits whose charism is

December 1st, 2011

Question:  I dropped by a local parish recently to visit the Lord in their perpetual adoration chapel. When I got there, however, there were no other “adorers” there and the Precious Body was covered by a cloth. My question is this: Why cover Him up? It doesn’t make the host cease to be the Body of Christ, right? And covered or not, He is well aware that the chapel is empty, right? To be honest, it kind of reminded me of when I had a pet bird as a kid. At night, we would cover the cage with a towel so the bird would sleep. Haha I know it isn’t the same concept at work, but the similarities struck me as funny! Thanks for your time!…

Indeed I agree with you, this doesn’t make much sense and several liturgy

October 12th, 2011

Question: My daughter and I are doing research on a Saint from China (she is adopted from there). What is St. Lucy Yi ZhenMei the patron saint of?
While not any official patronage is assigned yet to St. Lucy Yi ZhenMei, she is one of the newly canonized Martyr-Saints of China.
She was born in 1815 and was always very pious even professing chastity at the age of 12. She taught children the faith and when approached by local parish priests to teach children she’d do it and never accept the small stipend that the priest would offer her for her service.
She’d later become a missionary and gave her life along with other Chinese missionaries who refused to renounce their faith in Jesus.
February 19th is her feast…

September 8th, 2011

As someone who lost two dear friends on that dreaded day of September 11, 2001, I know how incredibly painful it must be for anyone to consider forgiveness for those who carried out the violent acts of terrorism that day.
Too often, however, we equate forgiveness with being a doormat. That because someone has so drastically wronged us, we often have a default position that states that forgiveness would be naive at best for us in these grave matters because it sends those who harm us a signal that what they did was ok.
Nothing can be further from the truth about forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice and that choice says that one will no longer allow the hurtful event to continue to effect their actions. One consciously chooses…

May 26th, 2011

Catholics should remember those who gave their life for country and freedom, just as everyone else does on Memorial Day. Perhaps even doing so at mass is a particular way for Catholics to celebrate the day. It’s not a sin to be patriotic and to remember that some things are indeed worth fighting for when other means have not secured our freedoms. People have sacrificed much for our freedom and gratitude is our response on Memorial Day.
At the same time, we should also pray for peace and hope for solutions that will not require war and bloodshed. Lastly, we should also try to unite with the poor who are often victimized by war, sometimes intentionally. Can we see Christ in all of these people? That is where we might…

February 22nd, 2011

The Old Baltimore Catechism gave the definition of prayer as “the lifting of our hearts and minds to God.” However, we have to remember something that I think renders this definition incomplete. Simply put, we cannot magically lift ourselves to God. If only that were true! God instead lowers himself to come to us. It is God who is always willing to stay connected to us and we often turn our backs on God and disconnect.
So I think perhaps a better definition of prayer does not depend on our doing anything but rather on what God has already done. God is there for us and we need to stay open to that experience. So an amendment to the aforementioned definition could read: “Prayer is an opening… of our hearts

February 18th, 2011

Indeed. It might be best to start off with looking at what kind of stories you enjoy reading. If you like good humor, you may want to read Jonah or Tobit to get you engaged in reading other books. Love poetry? Try the Song of Songs, the Psalms or the Proverbs.
It’s also not always wise to read an entire book of the Bible in one sitting. Better to read sections over time and most importantly you should pray with the bible, opening yourself up to God and listening for what message God wishes you to hear with the words of scripture. It’s not important how much you read at one time but rather, that you are open to listening.
Read the Bible Boot Camp on the site. It could be best to read a grouping of books to start like the…

February 11th, 2011

The word “ministry” can be equated to mean the work that the church does in the world. Therefore anyone who does “ministry” is a minister. This includes priests, deacons, women religious, brothers and lay professionals (like youth ministers and campus ministers).
Usually all of these people hold a master’s degree in theology, divinity, pastoral ministry or religious education. Some are ordained or have made promises or vows to a religious community, while others are not and are merely employed by a particular parish or diocese or religious community.
Taking my own parish as an example we have an ordained priest who serves as the pastor, a religious sister who is the pastoral…

January 11th, 2011
(1930-2010)

I’m 7 years old and the Yankees are king. It seems as if they never lose and I hate them with a passion. Their owner George Steinbrenner and manager Billy Martin argue publicly over the way the team should be run. They even take their screaming match to TV and jokingly poke fun at their rift in a light beer commercial. “Tastes great” and “less filling” are the least of their problems. Their public feud gives New Yorkers something to talk about. And it all keeps Steinbrenner on the back pages. My childhood saw more of Steinbrenner on the back pages of the local papers than I can recall.
It’s amazing how much one remembers from childhood and George Steinbrenner’s was no different.…

December 31st, 2010

Why not?  There’s nothing that requires us to make resolutions at the start of the new year as Catholics, however, we do seem to be a religion that holds this practice in high regard.
Each time we go to confession we “firmly resolve with the help of God’s grace” not to sin again.  We renew the promises we made at baptism during the Easter Vigil and at other times.   We make a public display of making some kind of resolution at Lent as well.
So my advice is that while we don’t HAVE to do this at New Year’s perhaps we use this period of time as a warm-up for Lent.  We should think about something that we might want to give up for Lent that is seriously unhealthy for us and begin to make…

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