Busted Halo
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September 10th, 2014

Ok, I give in. Everybody I know under the age of 40 seems to have invested in these tiny, expensive Fitbits, which you snap on your wrist or clip on your shorts. They measure your steps, the flights of stairs you’ve climbed, general exercise, and calories expended. They talk to you. In cheery, shrill little voices very early in the morning.
“Hi, Annie!”
“Good luck!” (Did it say “sweetie” or did I just imagine that?)
“UcandoitAnn”
My take on this whole “I-am-going-to-monitor-every-activity-of-my-day stuff” is that, sure, it can make sense. It may help you get more control over your eating and exercise. But, really? I need to know all of this?
I have a proposal. A fine one, I think. Let’s invent…

September 1st, 2014

It’s that time of year again — back to school! You might be (or know) a college freshman, junior, or grad student. Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories, you might be experiencing your own moments of back-to-school stress and transition. Busted Halo® has compiled a care package of resources just for you! Who doesn’t love receiving a care package? Explore what’s inside by clicking the icons below. We hope you can put these items to good use. And happy back-to-school season!

 
Featured in Busted Halo’s Dorm Room Care Package:
 
“Foods to Fight Back-to-School Stress” by Alexandra Horne
“Back to College: What To Pack and What Not TO Pack”…

August 29th, 2014
What the U.S. Open has taught me about my faith

With summer winding down, it can only mean one thing for the tennis fan. It’s U.S. Open time!
The tournament makes me think about the important role that tennis has played in my own life, including my spiritual journey.
My daily life is guided by sacred principles that are often reinforced by seemingly mundane experiences, particularly sports. Tennis, in particular, has taught me several important lessons about faith and spirituality.

Connecting the physical and spiritual
There is nothing better than having a place to express my joys and gifts. For me that place is the tennis court. An innocent excitement comes over me each time I walk out on the court. It’s that feeling of anticipation so familiar to a child…

August 27th, 2014

You’ve heard of love at first sight, but what about marriage at first sight?
Would you marry a complete stranger if they were technically your perfect match?
Would you watch a show about people in their twenties and thirties doing it?
The FYI television network is banking on you doing just that. Its new reality show, Married At First Sight, is about arranged marriages, and how they play out in modern society. Based on analysis, online exams and physical attraction tests, a panel of experts, including a sexologist, a spiritual advisor, a sociologist and a psychologist, choose the contestants.
Contestants agree that once the match is made, they will marry a complete and total stranger, never having seen them or…

August 27th, 2014

When I recently learned from a Huffington Post headline that Mary’s Gourmet Diner, a North Carolina restaurant, offers customers a 15 percent discount for praying before meals, my reaction was a tough-to-contain internal eye roll. From my perspective, public displays of religion tend toward showy obnoxiousness, usually having more to do with glorifying one’s own sense of goodness and piety than with glorifying God.
Doubling down on my judgment, I considered that praying for financial gain sort of flies in the face of Jesus’ “you cannot serve both God and money” warning.
And what about Matthew 6:5-6?
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues…

August 26th, 2014

August means going back to school, which means Labor Day weekend, which means barbecue! Having family and friends over for an end-of-summer picnic is an excuse to eat lots of great food. But sometimes the menu — burgers, hot dogs, mayonnaise-filled potato salad and Ruffles potato chips — can be on the unhealthy side. Putting these types of food into our bodies every once in a while isn’t too harmful, but consuming healthy food means a healthy and happy soul. I’ve gathered some recipes that will be sure to please all types of eaters at your Labor Day picnic, while remaining incredibly nutritious.
Wet your whistle
First, keep your guests’ thirst in check with things other than soda and sugary drinks.…

August 21st, 2014

FXX begins running a marathon of every Simpsons episode ever today for the next 12 days, prepping us all for Simpsons World in October (an exhaustive app/portal allowing users the ability to watch all 552 episodes from all 25 seasons of the show whenever they want). We decided to take this opportunity to rewatch, remember and list below our favorite spiritual (mmm…sacrilicious…) moments of our favorite animated series. Please feel free to add your own favorite Springfield spiritual moments in the comments below.

#10 – Bar & Church People Switch Places During The Apocalypse (The Simpsons Movie)…
The Simpsons has long poked fun at religious types and end-of-the-world scenarios, so nothing

August 13th, 2014
A reflection on Robin Williams' suicide and the disease of clinical depression

Robin Williams made the whole world laugh, and he died of sadness, how can that be true? I mean, he was the psychologist who healed Good Will Hunting. He was Patch Adams,… the doctor who brought laughter to sick beds. He brought humanity to Vietnam. How could he, of all people, take his own life? This is the unspoken irony beneath all the tributes pouring out at the sad news of the death of this unique, talented, and gifted man who inspired so many.
Robin Williams talked and joked about his struggles with addictions, with sobriety, with heart disease, and with his depression. We hoped that he was victorious over them all. If the report of his suicide is to be believed, apparently that was not true. I am a clinical psychologist

August 6th, 2014
Where to go for a relaxing, spiritual vacation

Whether you’re on a mad dash to plan a vacation before summer ends or you need an escape from the stress of your daily life, we have some places to go where you can recharge physically, mentally and spiritually. We’ve picked out our top 10 Catholic sites to visit (nine in the United States and one in Canada). Add the one closest to your vacation destination into your itinerary, or, if you live nearby, just plan a day trip, or a long weekend. These places offer breathtaking art and architecture, and inspirational histories, along with their obvious holiness. They are great places to bring the family or to take a solo pilgrimage.
West
Shrine of Saint Therese (Juneau, Alaska)
In these modern times, when our lives are…

July 30th, 2014

“If you build it, he will come.”
This is perhaps the most famous line of the movie Field of Dreams, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. With summer upon us and America’s favorite pastime in full swing, I have been reflecting on the movie’s deeper meaning for my spiritual life today.
Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer, hears a voice in his cornfield: “If you build it, he will come.” Ray has a vision of a baseball field on his farm that will host the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox players who were banned from baseball in 1919 after throwing the World Series. Despite nearly losing his farm, Ray goes ahead and builds the baseball field. He receives other messages that…

July 24th, 2014

Are you overwhelmed planning your annual summer vacation? We’ve narrowed down the list of places to visit to the best spots in the U.S. of A. with saintly names. Take your family somewhere new and exciting, but make it a learning experience too! These places have loads of history, as well as good eats and fun activities.

St. Louis, Missouri 
The city was named for Louis IX of France, the only canonized king of France. In fact, many other places are named for him in addition to this “Gateway to the West.” Louis IX thought of himself as the “lieutenant of God on earth” and died during his second crusade. If you visit the city, you certainly will find plenty to do. For a spiritual adventure, visit the Black Madonna…

July 22nd, 2014

Sometimes the most simple and repetitive moments can lead to something extraordinary. I had volunteered at the St. John of the Cross garage sale for many years, and had never thought about the impact that my volunteering might be having on others. A sunny Saturday in 2004 was when I met Lynda, a woman who would become like a grandmother to me.
The St. John of the Cross School transforms one person’s unwanted item into another’s treasures. A math classroom becomes a jewelry store. A history classroom becomes an art gallery, and so on. About 200 volunteers work hard for a whole week before the garage sale even begins, making the necessary preparations. People drop off their unwanted items at the door, and volunteers…

July 18th, 2014
How volunteering provided clarity for my career

Stacking mountains of canned goods might be considered more of a backbreaking activity than a life-changing one. I was not looking for “life-changing” when I volunteered at my parish food pantry in Chicago a few years ago. I had prayed that getting lost in the canned goods would provide some distraction while I figured out my career path.
I signed on for a four-hour volunteer commitment each week. The first day I arrived at the pantry, I was not sure what to expect. Volunteering in a food pantry or a homeless shelter is not an activity I did with my youth group or even as an undergrad in college. Social justice work was what other people did while I was busy pursuing a career in journalism. Through all of my 20s, I was…

July 16th, 2014

The summer entering my sophomore year of high school was a bittersweet one. I was transferring from my public high school to the Catholic one in the area. I was mad, but wanted to cherish the summer with my neighborhood friends. In order to graduate from St. Thomas, I had to complete 60 hours of community service, and I decided to get it out of the way that summer.
There was a farm down the street from my house which I started volunteering at three days a week. It was a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm — this means that through funding and volunteer work from the community, we were able to enjoy fresh veggies all growing season. I thought, and still think, that this is a spectacular concept. CSAs teach us the importance…

July 14th, 2014

It’s summertime! That means beaches,
barbecues,
long-awaited vacations and …
volunteering?
We already know all the things that make summer so wonderful, but this year, why not add something new to that list?
Don’t know where to start?
 
Here are five easy ways to find your volunteering niche this summer:

Clean House and Take Action

Go through your pantry and fill a box with nonperishable goods that you could do without. Summer is actually the time of year when food pantry activity is at its highest, since children don’t have access to school lunch and breakfast programs. Now, instead of just dropping the box off at your local food pantry, schedule time to volunteer. There are plenty…

June 20th, 2014
How to pick your team for World Cup 2014

Having trouble picking a team to root for in this year’s World Cup? As the competition heats up, here’s a guide (broken down by World Cup groups) to some of the teams’ Catholic roots.
BRAZIL (Group A)…
Not only is Brazil the host country of World Cup 2014, but for centuries Catholicism has been the biggest religion in the country. Brazilians threw one heck of a party for Pope Francis on Copacabana beach last summer during World Youth Day, and that might be enough reason to give them your support. The team has a player named Hulk who gives them a clear edge. He was recently injured and is muddling through the tournament. But you can’t keep a Hulk down for too long. By the way, there’s a huge statue of Jesus in Rio de

June 17th, 2014
Two years in a row huge crowds have descended upon Rio de Janeiro to celebrate faith (2013) and soccer (now). Can you tell the difference?

It is happening again. Nearly a year after Rio de Janeiro hosted World Youth Day, millions of screaming, face-painted, flag-waving fanatics have flocked to Brazil to fill up the streets and stadiums and make some noise. But this time it’s not the Catholic faith or Pope Francis inciting these pilgrims, but rather their love of a sport and the likes of Ronaldo, Suarez and Messi motivating them as they journey to worship at the altar of soccer, or as they call it all over the rest of the world, football, for the World Cup 2014. Noting the similarities in dress code and nationalistic pride between the two groups of pilgrims (or disciples, zealots, or supporters, depending on which vernacular you prefer…

June 9th, 2014
How walking across Spain for two weeks changed my life

There is a saying amongst pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, Spain’s ancient pilgrimage path: “The real Camino doesn’t begin until you arrive back home.”
The place where we grew up is typically “home.” It’s an anchor, and we can always return to that physical location. But the thought of returning also brings up a sense of apprehension because home is usually, in some way, dysfunctional. It can be difficult to leave home and return when older, as a different person.
Starting at a young age, I emotionally ran away from the arguing and fighting dysfunction in my family. When college rolled around, I physically ran away from my hometown of Portland, Oregon, to Spokane, Washington, hoping to escape…

May 28th, 2014

I don’t remember the first time I made someone laugh, but I must have liked it. As a boy growing up in suburban Chicago, I watched David Letterman nightly with a devotion bordering on obsession. Sleep, school and grades were all sacrificed at the altar of Stupid Pet Tricks and Top Ten lists. The world of late night television seemed to be so contrary to the grim, hyper-organized world of school, which dominated my life with its obligations, tasks and duties. Late night was a world of irreverent pranks, loud music and fun conversation. This was a world I wanted to be a part of. Little did I know.
Before becoming a Jesuit, I spent the better part of my 20s as a struggling comedian, and I can tell you right now that a life…

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