Busted Halo
author archive
The Editors :
400 article(s)

December 17th, 2008
Children with torches

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact
In Normandy, during Advent children would run through the fields and orchards with torches and set fire to bundles of straw, to drive out vermin that would damage the crops.

Today’s Prize is: My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ
This Friday, December 19, we will choose the winner of our grand prize: a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits as well as a free six-month (6) subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio (a value of over $200). Remember, all entries received for a daily prize through 3 a.m. EST December 20th will be eligible to win our random drawing for our grand prize. There is no limit to the number of times you can enter

December 16th, 2008
A Sign of Relief

Return to the Advent calendar.
Surprising others this Christmas……

Like coffee?  Know someone else who does?  Buy a pound of fair-trade, organic, shade-grown coffee to support Contemplatives in Action, a New Orleans-based urban ministry and retreat experience.
 
“A Sign of Relief Blend” coffee benefits people in New Orleans still recovering from recent storms, as well as roasters from Americus, GA (Café Campesino) and coffee farmers in Mexico, Sumatra, Indonesia and Nicaragua. 
To purchase pounds of coffee for New Orleans churches and communities and for purchases of 5lbs. or more, call 504-376-5856 or email info@contemplativesinaction.org.
For other orders, go to cafecampesino.com.

December 15th, 2008
Harry Reasoner

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Quotable…
So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some quiet morning, the touch will take.

— Harry Reasoner

Today’s Prize is: Sirius Women’s T-shirt + Sirius Swag — Combination of various items (subject to availability) — Sirius pens, paperweights, key chains and mouse pads.
This Friday, December 19, we will choose the winner of our grand prize: a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits as well as a free six-month (6) subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio (a value of over $200). Remember, all entries received for a daily prize through

December 14th, 2008
Gaudate Sunday

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact…
On the third Sunday of Advent — also known as “Gaudete Sunday” or “Rejoice Sunday” — the rose-pink candle is lit and the priest’s vestments are the same rose hue.
This Sunday begins a more joyous phase, as our waiting for the newborn Savior is nearly over.

Today’s Prize is: Sirius-XM Hat + Sirius Swag — Combination of various items (subject to availability) — Sirius pens, paperweights, key chains and mouse pads.
To win today’s prize: Give us your name and email address along with the email address of one friend you’d like to introduce to BustedHalo.com® using the form below by 3 a.m.

December 13th, 2008
The Advent Images

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact
In England, an old Advent custom called for poor women to carry around the “Advent images” — two dolls dressed to represent Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. A halfpenny was expected from anyone who encountered them. For those who refused, bad luck was to menace their household. And if you were not visited by the doll-bearers before Christmas Eve, a similar streak of bad luck was to befall you.

Today’s Prize is: Halo Store Grab Bag — Choose any book, DVD, or CD from our Halo Store (May include: Googling God, Mary and Me, Beautiful Mess (Bill McGarvey CD), Yoga Prayer DVD, or Isaac Hecker: An American Saint or Magnificat… Christmas Season prayer

December 12th, 2008
A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold...

Return to the Advent calendar.
Surprising others this Christmas…

“A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold”…(from the Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear?”)
Our Savior faced a cold night in a barn on that first Christmas; he was wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep warm and placed in a feeding trough for animals. There are children today who face similarly harsh winters and BustedHalo® prayerfully asks that you keep in mind the innocent victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — children who are in refugee camps and poor neighborhoods. Operation Iraqi Children is one organization helping kids and they have an urgent need for blankets, backpacks, shoes and tarps.

December 11th, 2008
Feast of the Seven Fishes

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Eating……

A tradition of Sicilians and Italians is Cena Della Vigilia di Natale, a seven-fish dinner on Christmas Eve—one fish representing each of the seven sacraments of the church (or some say each day of the week.) The tradition comes from the observance of Vigilia di Natale, the wait in vigil for the birth of Jesus. Italians fasted until after receiving communion at Midnight Mass. In later years it became a day of fasting and abstinence, meaning a day with only one full meal, and with no meat and dairy allowed.
Some Italians moderate the feast, serving only three fish dishes representing the three Wise Men or the Holy Trinity. Alternately, the feast can have as

December 10th, 2008
Anne Rice on Christmas commercialism

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Quotable…
It seems to me in retrospect that the department stores and the dime stores did an excellent job of extending the “sacred space” of Christmas in those days. And I sometimes wonder whether for people of no religion, this might have been the only sacred space they knew. When people rail now against the “commercial nature of Christmas,” I’m always conflicted and unable to respond. Because I think those who would banish commercialism from the holiday fail to understand how precious and comforting the shop displays and music can be.
— from Anne Rice’s “Called Out of Darkness: a spiritual confession

Today’s

December 9th, 2008
St. Martin's Advent Fast

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact…
Advent has been around since the 4th century, when it was a time of great fasting, similar to what Catholics do throughout Lent. In addition to fasting, dancing and similar festivities were forbidden.
In some countries Advent would start on November 11th, which is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. Thus the great fast was known as “St. Martin’s Fast,” “St. Martin’s Lent” or “the forty days of St. Martin” — and on the day before there was a lot of frolicking and heavy eating, as with Mardi Gras today.

Today’s Prize is: Sirius T-shirt + Sirius Swag — Combination of various items (subject to availability)

December 8th, 2008
Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Return to the Advent calendar.
Surprising others this Christmas……
Susan Harrison is living proof that attitude, perspective and determination can change a life.
Abandoned by her mother to a relative, Susan was raised in a home with little love and much abuse. Enduring physical and psychological pain, Susan focused on good grades and sports. “I kept trying,” she says. “I kept thinking that there has to be something better.” Without role models, Susan floundered. Just a few years out of high school, she became pregnant.
“I was working full-time in security while I was carrying my baby, but the company decreased my hours,” says Susan. “It just wasn’t

December 7th, 2008
That's the Way It Was... One Christmas Eve

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Quotable
During the Vietnam War, after a holiday cease-fire had been announced, veteran news anchor Walter Cronkite signed off the evening news broadcast by saying:
Goodnight, it’s Christmas Eve. It’s seven o’clock and there’s peace in the world. We don’t know if there’ll be peace in the world tomorrow night but we know, tonight, Christmas Eve, there’s peace in the world.

Today’s Prize is: Halo Store Grab Bag — Choose any book, DVD, or CD from our Halo Store (May include: Googling God, Mary and Me, Beautiful Mess (Bill McGarvey CD), Yoga Prayer DVD, or Isaac Hecker: An American Saint or Magnificat… Christmas Season

December 6th, 2008
St. Nicholas

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact…
Saint Nicholas of Myra, a Greek Christian bishop of the fourth century, is the primary inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was famous for his generosity to the poor. In the most famous story, he gave an impoverished faithful Christian man dowries for his three daughters, so they would not have to become prostitutes. A more legendary version of the story has St. Nicholas throwing a gold bar through the window when each daughter needed her dowry. With the last daughter, the window was closed, and rather than break the glass, he climbed to the roof and threw the gold bar down the chimney.

Today’s Prize is: a Sirius-XM Hat and Knapsack.
This day’s contest

December 5th, 2008
"Visions of Sugar-Plums?"

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Eating……

"…While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads" — from "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (better known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)

What the heck are “sugar-plums” anyway?
Sugarplums are simply dried, sugared plums. In the Victorian era, they were most popular as a Christmas treat, but were also served year-round. The technique of creating sugarplums is very time-consuming, but not too hard.
Summer, when plums are ripe but firm, is the best time to make your own. Many gourmet stores carry sugarplums—but, according to food expert Arthur Schwartz, it is better to buy them from Europe.

December 4th, 2008
American Elites and Their Response to Torture

Panel 2, part 1 (see part 2 and Further Reflections below)…
The photographs that revealed the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib shocked the world. American military personnel and civilian contractors are seen engaged in practices prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and U.S. and international law. Further revelations about CIA rendition policies, deaths in custody, Guantanamo detainees, and government secrecy raise critical questions about U.S. culture and the practices and conditions that have fostered the resort to torture.
This Headline Forum, sponsored by the Fordham Center for Religion and Culture examined two issues:

What in U.S. culture predisposes us

December 4th, 2008
Who created manger scenes?

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact…
St. Francis often gets credit for creating the Nativity scene. However, his scenes were live ones—with real animals, real straw and a real trough. Modest Nativity scenes include, at minimum, a manger—sometimes known as a crèche or crib—which was a feeding trough for animals. (Some say this is so because Jesus came to offer himself as food for all creation.) Home nativity scenes usually have little figurines and can fit on a mantelpiece with relative ease. Some people choose to put them under their Christmas tree to symbolize God’s gift to all of us in the birth of Jesus.
Amazingly, many pet owners report that, each Christmas, their dog always sits right near

December 3rd, 2008
Ho, Ho, Ho, Ay?

Return to the Advent calendar.

Advent Fast Fact…
Canada Post, tired of seeing too many letters addressed to Santa end up in the dead letter files, came up with an ingenious solution.
Postal codes in Canada consist of six characters, alternating letter-number. For example, an address in Toronto might have a postal code of M6G 2M1.
The good folks at Canada Post assigned Santa his own postal code: H0H 0H0.
Since 1982, over one million letters per year mailed using that code have received an answer from one of 11,000 retired or current Canada post employees.

Today’s Prize is: a Sirius-XM Hat and Knapsack.
This day’s contest is over. The winner was: Carol R. of Lacey, WA
If you enter our drawing using the form

December 2nd, 2008
Popular Culture, Graphic Representations of Torture and Violence

Panel 1, part 1 (see parts 2 and 3 below)…
The photographs that revealed the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib shocked the world. American military personnel and civilian contractors are seen engaged in practices prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and U.S. and international law. Further revelations about CIA rendition policies, deaths in custody, Guantanamo detainees, and government secrecy raise critical questions about U.S. culture and the practices and conditions that have fostered the resort to torture.
This Headline Forum, sponsored by the Fordham Center for Religion and Culture examined two issues:

What in U.S. culture predisposes us to torture or to a tolerance

December 2nd, 2008
Surprising others this Christmas...

Return to the Advent calendar.

While we are all warm and snuggly around a family fireplace, men and women are serving our country in the war-torn Middle East.  
BustedHalo is asking their readers to send phone cards to soldiers this year so they can call their loved ones at home on Christmas.
There are two different ways that you can send phone cards to troops:

If there is a soldier that you know, and you have their full name and address:

You can order a card through AAFES. AAFES is the Army Air Force Exchange Services, basically a store on base that also has an online catalogue. Their link is: https://thor.aafes.com/scs/default.aspx.
You can also send a card through a non-profit organization. (Military branches…

December 1st, 2008
Sartre

Return to the Advent calendar.
Advent Quotable
While serving in the French army in 1940, Jean-Paul Sartre, the existentialist philosopher and playwright, was captured by Germans and placed in a prisoner of war camp. Before Christmas, a fellow-prisoner named Paul Feller who was a Jesuit, persuaded Sartre to write a Christmas play for the Christians imprisoned with them. By 1940, Sartre—who had been baptized a Catholic—was a declared atheist, but he agreed to the request out of a sense of solidarity with the other prisoners. The following is a brief excerpt from the resulting play, called “Bar-Jona,” in which Sartre offers a moving reflection on the Virgin Mother and her newborn son, Jesus.…

November 30th, 2008
Where does the idea for an Advent wreath come from?

Return to the Advent calendar.
   
Advent Fast Fact…
The Advent wreath actually has pre-Christian Germanic origins. During the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice) people used wreathes with lit candles as a sign of hope that the warmth of the sun and extended-sunlight days would soon return. In Scandinavia during winter, lighted candles were added to a wheel. Prayers were then offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth.

Today’s Prize is: a Sirius-XM Hat and Knapsack.
This day’s contest is over. The winner was: Mari A. of Philadelphia, PA
If you enter our drawing using the form below, your entry will

powered by the Paulists