Busted Halo
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May 8th, 2013

Every so often I find myself truly inspired by someone I’ve come to know or witness. We’ve all had important figures we’ve tried to emulate. If you’re Catholic you’ll know that the saints are such a “cloud of witnesses,” who exemplify Christ-like living for us. And while we’re talking about Jesus, is he not ultimately the one all Christians are meant to model? Being inspired to emulate is good, but I’ve found sometimes inspiration can be a letdown.
About five years ago my boss’ boss asked our department to read a book called The Fred Factor. Fred worked for the U.S. Postal Service but he turned out to be more than just an invisible postman. The author, Mark Sanborn, discovered that Fred went above…

May 6th, 2013

I spend a whole lot of time feeling restless. The type of restlessness that not only keeps me from sleeping at night, but dominates my entire mind with questions and anxieties and hesitations.
I’ve always been an anxious person. I worry about making my rent. I worry about my family’s health. I worry if I’m in the right career. About when I’ll settle down. If I should move. What I’ll do next. I worry about how much I worry. My rational self knows that so many twentysomethings feel this way; that these are just growing pains; that this uncertainty too shall pass. But then I think, what if these feelings of restlessness never go away?
Where I want to be
Many of us are familiar with the well-known…

April 15th, 2013
15 ideas for your tax refund

Is there any day more dreaded than Tax Day? Hopefully you all filed your 2012 taxes by now. Congrats. Take a breath. The stress is over and now you can sit back and relax while you wait for the one good thing about tax season — the refund. There are plenty of things you could do with that cash. Here’s a list of ideas for putting your tax refund to good use. (Oh, and if you ended up paying a tax bill this year, remember — God loves a cheerful giver.)

STOP! You shouldn’t consider this “free money” if you have credit card debt or any kind of loan to pay off. Use this extra dough to take a chunk out of the debt hanging over your head; put it all toward that, and say a prayer of thanksgiving for this…

April 2nd, 2013

Sunday, Christians around the world celebrated Easter, the commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Sunday night, fans of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead celebrated the third season finale of the AMC TV show about reanimated corpses. Coincidence? We’ll see…
Frequently, it’s joked around the internet that Jesus was the first zombie, even going as far as to re-dub Easter as “Zombie Jesus Day.” Unsurprisingly, the two terms have experienced a surge in popularity every year around Easter since 2006. However, there are a few key differences between Jesus’ resurrection and a zombie’s ascent from the crypt.
Fish and flesh
When you think of a zombie, what’s the first…

March 25th, 2013
A Lenten reflection on "Roll Away Your Stone"

I don’t pretend to know what “Roll Away Your Stone” is about. Mumford & Sons, the writers and performers of the song, apparently don’t know what the song is about themselves. But when the tune rolled up on my Pandora station the other day, I found myself jerked out of my half-listening state to sudden alertness by this line: “Stars, hide your fires.” I had reason. I am currently teaching Macbeth to my college freshmen, and this line is lifted straight from Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The line occurs in Act 1, Scene 4, when Macbeth, his ambition roused by a prophecy that he will one day be king, reflects on the obstacles in his path. The Scotsman’s thoughts have already turned toward…

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 11th, 2013

Spring break is coming up, and for many young adults that means time away from hectic work/school schedules and a much-needed week of rest and relaxation. Whether you’re traveling somewhere tropical, hitting the ski slopes, or simply staying home, don’t forget your faith! We are in the midst of Lent, after all — a season dedicated to spiritual reflection and deepening our relationship with God. Here are a few tips for nurturing your faith while on vacation (or staycation):

Help out around the community
Yes, you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on an all-inclusive resort for spring break. But what’s one less day poolside with a piña colada when you can be helping others who may not have the means or the…

March 7th, 2013

Exactly one year ago, I was in the middle of a 40-day Facebook fast for Lent. Naturally, I found a new obsession: compulsively checking my email. It was the final step in a long process. The test was taken, websites combed over, e-applications submitted, and emails with an “.edu” extension opened immediately. Now, it was time to decide where to go to graduate school.
I did the “safe” thing and applied to a lot of schools (eight, in fact). I wasn’t sure if the admissions staff would buy my story: Theology and psychology undergrad major who taught English for three years, worked for an economics department for two, and then decided to pursue … public health? Of course, it all made sense to me. Was it going to…

March 5th, 2013

Planning for spring break is a big… deal – beach or ski trip? All-inclusive resort or local hostel accommodations? Hurricane relief work or volunteering at a local shelter? Bet you didn’t see that last one coming.
For the 2-1/2 years that I have been in college, it has always been a goal of mine to participate in a service project. At Fordham University, where I’m a student, one group that offers such trips is Global Outreach (GO!), a cultural immersion and service program that facilitates students learning about issues of injustice around the country and the world. Teams of students are sent out every winter, spring and summer break to work with 

February 27th, 2013
Download and distribute our free Survival PDF to share with the high school grads you know

The next few months are anxiety-filled times not only for students but for parents and high school educators as well, as they begin finding out about college acceptances, financial aid packages, and everything else surrounding the move from high school to college. As the authors of a book about how to make a smooth transition to college life, we have become intimately aware of how stressful and exciting (and all the emotions in between) these next few months can be.
When The Freshman Survival Guide was first published in April 2011, we were confident that — after years of research and feedback from the online versions we’d posted on Busted Halo — the information, insights, advice and real-world…

February 12th, 2013

Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins, has long been one of my favorite days of the year. Mostly because, for all of my childhood, the day before Ash Wednesday (when I went to church and had some weird, dark substance smudged on my forehead) was dedicated to eating delicious, fattening food.
On Fat Tuesday the pink- and white-speckled countertops in the kitchen I grew up in were loaded with my (unhealthy) favorites: Spinach dip loaded with fresh artichokes and spinach, teeming with globs of sour cream, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Rotel dip with ground beef swimming in canned Campbell’s cheese soup and Rotel diced tomatoes. Red velvet cookies topped with syrupy, sweet cream cheese frosting. Hot wings…

January 29th, 2013

One thing that has stuck in my head since I was a child I learned from my mother who was a nurse. She came home from a continuing education class when I was about 12 years old with a tidbit that astounded me then and still astounds me today. The instructor communicated that researchers had discovered the frontal lobe of the brain, responsible for our creativity and imagination, is also activated when we pray.
Since learning that, I have always believed that there must be a profound connection between prayer and creativity. It also makes sense to me since prayer is the doorway to communicating with the Creator — me communicating with God and God communicating with me. One of the connections I have made is that being…

January 24th, 2013

Is anyone else out there as deeply disturbed by current events as I am right now? I know we’ve always had war in various places of the world, plus poor people shunted aside and ignored, plus victims of racism, homophobia, and violence to nature and humankind. But somehow, this year, these sad and bitter parts of human behavior feel like an iron cloak on my shoulders. I cannot even read about Syria anymore it is so upsetting, particularly after reading the luminous book, The Bread of Angels… by Stephanie Soldana, which tells of the monastery outside of Damascus headed by an Italian priest who tried to stay neutral and provide sanctuary for both sides in the conflict. He has since had to leave the country.
Today I ran around

January 22nd, 2013

We knew we were in trouble when the shoes floated down the hallway. My brother was the first to notice water leaking through the floor of our garage. He and my parents managed to heft the really valuable furniture, my deceased grandmother’s china closet and buffet, on top of my mattress, where they would be saved from the ravages of the flood. Even so, my family wasn’t prepared for how fast the water spread throughout the house, rising to six inches, enough to make buoys out of the sandals I kept under my bed.

January 15th, 2013
Reflecting on body image and acceptance

One day while browsing Tumblr, I came across a blog post from Humans of New York, a website that showcases the daily lives of strangers around New York City via photograph. One of these pictures was especially striking; it was of an NYU student named Stella Boonshoft, posing in her underwear. The picture, taken from her personal blog, is a testament to self-love and body acceptance. Stella, standing proudly and smiling, is celebrating her body, the way God made it, imperfections and all. The picture garnered national attention, not just on social networking sites, but on national television news networks such as NBC, which aired a Today Show segment on Stella.
Body messages
As a young person admittedly influenced…

January 6th, 2013

When you turn on the radio you’re inevitably going to hear one thing and one thing only — mainstream music. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a handful of these mainstream artists. However, I’ve noticed a 180-degree turn in the content and inspiration for their music. Nearly every song that gets airtime today is about the collapse of a relationship.
Take Adele for example. “21″ was an award-winning, best-selling break-up story. Some songs from the album are filled with sorrow, some with anger, but all center on the painful break up with a long-term boyfriend. But when those drums begin pounding and Adele’s signature soulful singing hits, we can’t help but turn up…

January 5th, 2013

You may have read about the conversation between Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Stephen Colbert held at Fordham University on September 14 and moderated by Fr. Jim Martin, S.J. — but chances are you didn’t hear about from someone who was actually there. Due to the media blackout surrounding the event, no major news sources were present. Lucky for you, we, the Busted Halo interns, study at Fordham and were able to attend “The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life.” We’re here to provide an eyewitness account of the discussion, the events preceding it, and how it affected us…

December 21st, 2012

For one month each year, I get to work with Santa. The real. The one and only. Santa Claus. You see, I’m a seasonal employee at Macy’s Santaland in Herald Square in New York City. And at Santaland, we are not focused on making money during this highly profitable financial quarter. (Note the fall… Christmas ads, Black Friday sales cutting into Thanksgiving, and year-round Christmas layaway plans.) In fact, on my first day of orientation, a manager told me: “We are not here to make money. We are here to make memories.”
All I want for Christmas
After watching hundreds, probably thousands of visits with Santa Claus, I’ve realized there’s a pattern in what people want for Christmas as they grow up. The young

December 19th, 2012

In the time it takes to read this article, I expect you will be distracted. You may receive an email at work, the phone might ring, your baby could cry, a colleague will sneeze, your dog may fart, and thus — I lose your attention. You may come back to the article, or in many cases, you may move on to cater to one of the many noises, sounds or smells we come across in our daily lives. If that point is now, thanks for reading and I recommend you stop feeding Fido leftover Indian food.

December 17th, 2012

“Early on Tolkien had a car, he drove like a manic,” explains Daniele Lucas to a group of 20 people taking her J.R.R. Tolkien Tour in Oxford, England. “Tolkien endangered everyone’s life who was in the car with him, including his own. Soon afterwards, he completely lost his taste for driving anything motorized.”
In Oxford, Tolkien tours are common and tourists make daily pilgrimages to such sacred spots (scroll down for some photos) as the colleges that Tolkien taught at, the pubs where he met with the Inklings (his informal writing group), the sidewalk where he read early excerpts of The Lord of the Rings to children and the house where Tolkien lived when he wrote The Hobbit.… (The first film of a three-part

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