Busted Halo
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Mike Hayes :
261 article(s)

Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
June 19th, 2013

This is a question that has befuddled people for centuries upon centuries. The Old Testament, in particular the Wisdom Books, try to tackle it. For example, Ecclesiastes addresses the question of why bad things happen to good people with: “Everything is the same for everybody: the same lot for the just and the wicked, for the good, for the clean and the unclean, for the one who offers sacrifice and the one who does not. As it is for the good, so it is for the sinner; as it is for the one who takes an oath, so it is for the one who fears an oath. Among all the things that are done under the sun, this is the worst, that there is one lot for all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3).
The concept of divine retribution was well ingrained…

June 14th, 2013

No. Catholics believe that heaven is not a place per se but rather a state of being that does not correspond to the limited scientific laws that we find here on earth. The life we share with God goes beyond stages of sickness and makes us all one again with God — where sickness can never have power over us again.
The Church teaches that “In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men. ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.’”
It sounds to me like perhaps there might be some fear that Mom may no longer remember who you are because…

June 11th, 2013

When we look at the two stories of creation in Genesis (yes, there are two…… look them up), we read not a literal story but a mythological one, in the best sense of that term. The point of the story is that God cares for creation and human beings have a primary place as a special creation of God.
Science holds that there is the possibility of life on other planets. Mathematically speaking, it is quite possible that life may exist elsewhere in other galaxies.
The Church would take a humble position before God in stating that we do not know all things. Only God knows the origins and the hidden secrets of the universe. Therefore, should we discover life on other planets, we would believe that God was the creator of those

May 28th, 2013
Pope Francis reminds us that Christ’s sacrifice is not just for Catholics

It’s often that religious people adopt a “holier than thou” attitude that professes that they have all the answers and that their particular religion is the wing nut that holds God together for the rest of the planet. (“If they’d only join OUR religion, all would be well with the world.”)…
And while I’m sure that Pope Francis would hope that most people would in fact, see the beauty of Catholicism, last week he reminded all of us that “doing good” surpasses any affirmation of a particular faith tradition:
“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

May 23rd, 2013

As reforms begin at the Vatican Bank, more officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion, Pope Francis has also taken on global, personal, and spiritual financial matters in his papacy. Last week while speaking to new Vatican ambassadors he highlighted that “the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences… People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way.”
Reflecting on the economies of the world, Pope Francis pointed out that some exist simply to make money without adequate consideration for the rising number of people living in poverty in our midst. The idea that economic growth is the answer…

May 23rd, 2013

This is a part of the fraction rite called the commingling. The priest quietly says the words “May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.” It comes from an ancient sign of unity with the Pope. Many, many years ago the pope would share small piece of the body of Christ with other Catholic churches in the city of Rome. They would then commingle this in their chalices as a sign of unity with the Pope. While we don’t do this any more the symbolism is the same.
It’s also a symbol of the resurrection. Christ’s resurrected, yet broken body is reunited with his blood coursing once again through his body.…

May 9th, 2013

Technically, no. But it is perhaps the best metal suited for a chalice. The gold goblet after all is a longtime symbol of family and tradition.
There’s a more practical reason for a chalice to be made of “material that must be noble, durable, and in every case adapted to sacred use. In this sphere, judgment belongs to the episcopal conference of the individual regions.” (Inaestimabile Donum -Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery from the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship.). Everything else is highly BREAKABLE!
So more common or breakable items should not be used such as glass or clay but may be allowed by the Bishop of the diocese especially in countries…

May 2nd, 2013

This statement comes from the early part of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. He believed that God calls us to:
“a complete indifference with regard to all created things, not preferring health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to humiliation, long life to a short one. We wish only for those conditions that will aid our pursuit of the goal for which we have been created.”
In short, this means that our dependance needs to rely on God. Do we believe that God cares for us, in some way, in even the most dire situations? If so, then it doesn’t matter what might befall us.
A great example comes from when you need to make a choice about your next move in life and you narrow things down to two choices. Being…

April 26th, 2013

Question: How many times a day is it permissible for a lay person to receive communion? I know canon law states “Can. 917 One who has received the blessed Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only within a Eucharistic celebration in which that person participates, without prejudice to the provision of can. 921 §2.” But I don’t know what it means to “participate in a Eucharistic celebration.” For example, if I attend daily mass on Saturday morning and receive communion again at the Vigil mass on Saturday evening. If I receive communion at the Saturday evening mass am I permitted to receive it again on Sunday morning? Am I permitted to receive it on all three occasions? (In…

April 18th, 2013

Question: I am 17 and sometimes at mass or adoration, I get teary – eyed. I asked a priest about it and he said it was the gift of years. He explained it a little bit, but I want to know why people experience it at different ages. I don’t feel like I’ve reached spiritual maturity to receive this.
I think you misheard your priest, I’m sure he was saying the gift of TEARS.
Tears are actually a biological release triggered by a strong emotional experience. They are the body’s way of providing relief.
In church parlance, a strong experience of God can be so overwhelming that tears flow. I know this has been the case in my own life. I often don’t feel this coming on until it happens and then…

April 12th, 2013

Question: I recently started listening to your podcast. I was wondering what the Church teaches on organ donation after death. I have to renew my health card soon (I live in Canada), and I got a form for organ donation. I know that it helps others, but I also know that the body is special and that it will be used for our resurrection. Hope you can help, thanks!…
The gift of one’s organs is a precious gift given to another. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was himself an organ donor when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and often lauded the practice of organ donation as long as it “is done with full consent and not part of a business transaction.” Once he became Pope and passed a certain age the donor card became

April 8th, 2013

Pope Francis reminds all of us of the important gift of God’s mercy in our lives

April 5th, 2013

Pope Francis has announced that he will not be living in the papal apartment but rather will remain in the Vatican guesthouse where the cardinals stayed during the conclave. (He’ll upgrade to a slightly larger room in the guesthouse so he can receive visitors in a larger living room.)

April 2nd, 2013

Last week Pope Francis chose to carry out the Holy Thursday ritual of “washing feet” in a special way by presiding at the mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Casal del Marmo Youth Detention Centre in Rome.

March 26th, 2013

Question: Why is it okay that we have Church Festivals where excessive drinking and gambling occur? I thought we believed those things were only okay in moderation.
Freedom is one of the main tenets of the Catholic faith. Just because booze and gaming tables are around doesn’t mean that you need to partake in them.
However, to your point, there should be a limit set by the bartenders to “cut off” those that have “had enough” and even for the gambler who doesn’t know when to quit–although that is a lot harder to control. A good compromise might be to give a free table to AA and GA at those events to help those who have addictive tendencies in case they need to reach out to someone.…

March 21st, 2013

Question: Everyone is saying the pope picked Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. Is it possible he picked it after St. Francis Xavier who was a Jesuit?
Pope Francis recently addressed this himself:
I will tell you the story. During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paolo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Cláudio Hummes — a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two-thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said, “Don’t forget the poor!” And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking…

March 19th, 2013
6 ways for Pope Francis and the rest of us to address transitions in a new career

No cardinal ever says he wants to be the pope — and it’s not because of his humility. Being pope is a backbreaking, overwhelming task. The room where the new pope vests in the papal robes is called the “Room of Tears” for a reason!
Sometimes we’re all afraid of responsibility, and young adults know this all too well. From your first job to that first big promotion, responsibility on the job can be daunting and filled with daily pressures. And often, while the prospect of a new profession or promotion is exciting, transitions are tough.
So, here is some unsolicited advice from my new book, Loving Work, to help Pope Francis prayerfully make his way through the papal transition — and hopefully some…

March 12th, 2013

This quote is attributed to St. Francis: “Speak the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.”
Our example as Catholics is to what most people will pay attention. Conversely, we discredit our religion each time we are hypocritical, when we are unkind, treat people unfairly, or act out of character in ways that are not consistent with our faith. When our religious leaders violate these same principles, we lose much in the face of those who we hope to evangelize.
I’ve found when we’re unashamed about simple things like going to mass, or participating in parish events, or speaking out for the vulnerable, others get curious and wonder what makes us tick. They ask some questions about…

February 25th, 2013

This is an age old question that stymies many people? What kind of God allows bad things to happen? And more importantly, like a child who gets burned after touching a stove, we apt to not want to be hurt a second time. Trust gets more difficult when we are hurting and evil has an opportunity to kick us when we are down and most vulnerable during these times.
St. Ignatius talks about desolation often. And indeed this is exactly where evil wishes to keep us: In a place of hopelessness, where nothing can ever be right again. Our faith tells us otherwise. We don’t have a God that shields us from pain and suffering. In fact, our God embraces our pain and suffering to Himself by taking on our likeness and then dying on a cross.…

February 12th, 2013
Three steps for Catholics returning to the Church after being away

I often run into people who, upon finding out that I’m a lay minister in the Catholic Church, inform me that they’ve been away from church for some time. Many aren’t angry with the church (though some are and often have good reason for being so!), rather they’ve simply fallen out of practice. Many tell me that they’d really like to return but they’re “afraid the roof will cave in.” It can be quite anxiety provoking to come back to church. Who knows what kind of feelings this might stir up? The truth is that relief,… not anxiety, is the central emotion that many people feel upon “coming home” to the Catholic Church.
But how does one “come home”? Do you need a formal invitation? Is there a need to announce

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