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.
January 27th, 2016
No. Television and Internet broadcasts of Mass are useful for the sick or those unable to get to Mass because of some other infirmity. If you were to miss Mass because you are purposely choosing to attend another event (say, a baseball game) that is a violation of the commandment to honor the Sabbath. As the Catechism notes: You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests. What is required is to gather as a Christian assembly of faith, not necessarily Mass, per se. There are plenty of parishes in the country, and many…
January 22nd, 2016
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…
December 22nd, 2015
CNS/Bridgeman Art LibraryAn 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 25, 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 nine months to that date we get … December 25! Secondarily, many Romans were sun worshipers. Many celebrated a kind of sun feast day on December 25, while others…
December 18th, 2015
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.
November 20th, 2015
(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) 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,…
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
An image of Jesus as the Lord of Health is seen in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City (Catholic News Service photo/Chico Sanchez)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…
May 14th, 2015
(From left:) Christ’s ascent to heaven is depicted in a stained-glass window at 1) St. Clotilde Church in Chicago (Catholic News Service photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World); 2) St. Therese of Lisieux Church in Montauk, N.Y (Catholic News Service photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic); 3) St. Mary’s Basilica in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Catholic News Service photo/Crosiers)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…
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
Matzo and drops of wine are seen on a plate at a Seder table.(Catholic News Service photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)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…
March 27th, 2015
Fried haddock and other items fill guest’s plate at a Friday fish fry at Pennsylvania church(Catholic News Service photo/Bob Roller)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,…
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…
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