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Mike Hayes :
265 article(s)

Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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

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…

December 30th, 2010

The word sounds ominous enough when it’s spoken in reference to an older person, but when it’s used to describe the dying months of a 37-year-old woman, it is dreadful to my ears.
One of my all-time favorite people, Elizabeth Bonwich — or “EEEEEEEEEEEEE BEEEEEEEEEE” as I would call her in my best “public address announcer” voice whenever I greeted her — spent her last few months in hospice. She died on Saturday Dec. 18th in the late evening. Elizabeth had five different kinds of cancer for nearly 20 years. Cancer robbed her of her ability to walk without a brace and a cane, caused a constant ringing in her ears and, in general, gave her lots of reasons to…

November 2nd, 2010

Just as we have All Saints Day (Nov 1) in the Catholic Church where we celebrate those who have gone before us who we consider saints, we take an additional day (Nov. 2) to pray for all of those who have gone before us who may not yet be saints in heaven with God.
While All Souls Day is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is an opportunity that many take to pray for the souls of those who have died over the past year. While we have hope that all those we love are with God in heaven, it is not a certainty. So we pray for those in purgatory especially on this day, that they might soon be joined with God forever.…

October 27th, 2010

Walk away–just as you would do if there were a company selling credit cards or any other group on campus that you’re not interested in.
Being aggressively approached by a religious group is a serious problem on many of the Campuses in the United States. Some groups have invited people into their churches and then berated their religion. Others are quite inviting and appropriate at the same time. They let people understand what they are about and then they give them the freedom to come and go as they please.
Some are cults, a serious issue. Any group that tries to deprive you of sleep, makes unreasonable demands on your time, or tries to seclude you from family or friends is one to avoid.
Most campuses have…

October 20th, 2010

Certainly. However, you should investigate a few things. Is the retreat an “interfaith” retreat or is it run by a non-denominational church? There’s a huge difference there. The Campus Ministry Association or other governing body would be a good place to ask about those running the retreat. Are they well-known to the University community? That’s a good sign if they are, that the retreat is welcoming all faiths and not simply trying to recruit members from other churches by disguising themselves as a non-denominational retreat or bible study.
That being said, several campuses I know have done an interfaith retreat successfully with equal representation from all faiths. The experience…

September 14th, 2010

Question: I’m an ardent and faithful Catholic who has been in a relationship with a guy who was raised a Buddhist. While he does not often practice his faith or even believe fully in it’s teachings, he finds that it is an important aspect of his Mongolian heritage. We are getting serious and have talked about marriage. He knows that as a Catholic, I must promise to raise our children in the Catholic faith and he is fine with that. However, he would like our children to know his faith as well. Is it possible to raise our children with both faith traditions, knowing that they will have to ultimately choose in the end? Thanks!

It’s not advised to let the child choose when they get older because

September 7th, 2010

Liberation Theology is a school of theological thought that is centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of liberation from poverty or unjust social situations, most especially in Central American Culture. It arose as a moral reaction to the poverty cause by social inequalities in that region. Gustavo Gutierrez is the most famous of the liberation theologians who wrote their central text, A Theology of Liberation.
Liberation theology was criticized by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the 80s for proponents pushing Marxist concepts. However, the field still flourishes today with many pushing a link between the seeing God in the poor and oppressed and looking at Biblical and theological…

August 18th, 2010

If you’ve seen the movie The Rookie, with Dennis Quaid you might know this answer.
St. Rita has recently been touted as an unofficial patron saint of the sport because of the references made to her in this movie where Quaid plays Jimmy Morris, an actual ballplayer, who makes an unbelievable comeback to become a major league ballplayer. While coaching St. Rita’s high school team, Morris is encouraged to go to a minor league tryout long after his playing days seemed over. Now well past his prime, Morris astounds scouts with a miracle 98 MPH fastball.
Religious medals have been printed with an image of St. Rita on one side and a batter on the other.
A second reference to St Rita is contained in the book Miracle…

August 11th, 2010

The strange answer to this question is Clare of Assisi. Why is is strange? Well, there was no TV in Clare’s time for one and two, Clare was in a secluded community of women’s religious modeled after St. Francis’ teachings. In fact, Clare and Francis were quite close and she cared for Francis at the end of his life when he was ill. So the patron saint of TV never even watched one show or saw the invention itself.
So why television?
Pope Pius XII declared Claire the patron saint of TV because as was nearing the end of her life and was too ill to attend Mass, images of the Mass appeared on the wall of her cell much like a TV screen would look.…

August 6th, 2010

The Transfiguration is a Gospel event from the life of Jesus that is reported in three of the four gospels (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). Jesus went up a mountain with his disciples that overlooks Jerusalem and is seen with Elijah and Moses while he “transfigures”, meaning that the disciples see Jesus as He would appear after the resurrection. The gospels report that Jesus face and clothes became “dazzling white.”
The story is meant to not simply be a miracle but also has several other meanings to ponder. One is that Jesus is the fulfillment of the old law and the prophets (why He is seen with Moses (Giver of the law) and Elijah (greatest of all prophets). As they overlook Jerusalem…

July 23rd, 2010

Jesus makes the analogy so that people will understand that God cares for us as a parent cares for a child. Some might say that he knew what He was doing when he opted for using “Father” as opposed to “Mother.”
God is genderless, but there is a great absence felt by those who do not have the love of a Father, especially men, who have lost or never known a Father. A horrifying statistic is that about 70% of prisoners in the United States do not have a father in their lives. He may have realized that people lacked this bond and would need to seek God in order to fill that absence.…

July 10th, 2010
Discussing faith, family and Derek Jeter with longtime Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard

Bob Sheppard, the longtime Voice of Yankee Stadium died this week at the age of 99. Sheppard’s majestic elocution gave players and spectators goosebumps for over half a century. Sheppard was also devout in his Catholic faith and he was kind enough to offer Senior Editor Mike Hayes an interview about both his faith and his career as he tried to return to the public address booth after an undisclosed illness. Sadly, he would never make it back. We’re reprinting our interview here. You can also hear the full audio version of the interview here on a Busted Halo Cast.
Anyone who has attended a Yankee’s home game since the mid-twentieth century has been greeted by the unique—and now legendary—style

July 7th, 2010

Simply put, no. In fact, it seems impossible. What we know from psychology about suicidal behavior is that the person is not in control of their own actions.
For a matter to be sinfully grave, one would need to willfully do that action. Therefore in the case of suicide, one isn’t sinning willfully.
It’s important to note that at one time the church did deem suicidal behavior as an action that would merit hell. After careful discussion with the modern psychological community, the church proclaimed their teaching in a new light. This is a great example of how the Catholic Church remains in dialogue with the world, especially with the scientific community, always learning and evolving with modernity.…

June 22nd, 2010

A basilica is simply an important church building designated by the pope because they carry special spiritual, historical, and/or architectural significance. Once named a basilica the church can’t lose its status as a basilica. A basilica may or may not also be the cathedral of the diocese. This is the highest permanent designation for a church building.
A cathedral is the church where the bishop’s throne (called cathedra) is located. It is the main church of a diocese. A cathedral may or may not be a basilica. It is the home church for the bishop or archbishop of a Catholic diocese while a basilica may also be the cathedral in the diocese there is no requirement for it to be so. For example, The University…

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