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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”…

September 1st, 2014

It’s September, summer is coming to a close, school is beginning and fall is right around the corner. Don’t forget to check out our Dorm Room Care Package for yourself or anyone you know that is heading to college this year. If you missed our article about honoring the sacredness of Labor Day, check it out here. And don’t forget, September is the celebration of Saint Gennaro.
Oh, and our own Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, has a big birthday coming up at the end of the month!
Download the September 2014 Wallpaper:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · Mobile · Facebook
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen monitors, mobile devices and a Facebook…

August 29th, 2014

Earlier this summer, Pope Francis released his “Top 10 Secrets to Happiness.” Along with “live and let live” and “be giving of yourself to others” was a reminder for young people of the sacredness of work. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people, he said.
We need to be creative with young people … It’s not enough to give them food. Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home [from your own labor].
The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops beautifully describes the connection between work and human dignity, stating: “Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected,…

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 28th, 2014
Organizations put solidarity into action at the U.S.-Mexico border

The U.S.-Mexico border has always been a hub for immigration and a point of political contention. Most recently, an explosion in the number of children fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the United States has sparked more debate. While politicians, advocates and policy analysts continue to address the root causes of migration, there are humanitarian and relief organizations — many of them with religious roots — that are focused on meeting the needs of migrants at the border. This is just a short list of the many groups that work tirelessly to show compassion, listen to migrants’ stories, and help meet their immediate needs. All of these organizations encourage volunteers,…

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 22nd, 2014
Why racism and police brutality are right to life issues

Does black life matter? Once again our country is at a crossroads with its “unfinished business” of race relations. Within the past few months, headlines have described the stories of several unarmed black men killed by police. Either through blog comments, or in regular discussions, the opinions of who was at fault, usually differs depending on the race of the individual speaking. Now, I don’t want to put everyone into general categories, because not all black people think the same way and not all white people think the same way, either, but for the sake of brevity in this article, I will use generalities.
I’m writing through the lens of a young adult black male from New Orleans, Louisiana. My city’s…

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 11th, 2014
Busted Halo® says goodbye to Fr. Steve and sends him off with a list of our favorite Fr. Steve moments!

For the past two years, the readers of BustedHalo.com and the listeners of The Busted Halo Cast podcast and “The Busted Halo® Show” on Sirius XM Radio have been blessed by the ministry of Fr. Steven Bell, CSP. Later this month, Fr. Steve will be leaving the Busted Halo® team and begin sharing his many gifts with the more than 50,000 students at Ohio State University, where the Paulist Fathers have a vibrant campus ministry outreach.
We here at Busted Halo® have been so very thankful for the pastoral care that Fr. Steve brought to readers and listeners through his many articles, videos, virtual retreats, podcasts, and many segments on The Busted Halo® Show. He shared a passion for helping others deepen their…

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…

August 1st, 2014

Although some schools and universities still begin their school year in September, most students and teachers out there find themselves a little bit melancholy when August rolls around, signally imminent “Back to School” days and their waning freedom. So this month we provide you a tranquil image (St. Peter’s Church bell tower in Perugia, Italy) to keep you calm during your last few weeks of summer vacation. The Transfiguration and the Assumption are the big holy days of this month, of course.
Download the August 2014 Wallpaper:
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The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen…

July 30th, 2014

Anyone audacious enough to claim a Christian response to the arrival of tens of thousands of immigrant children at the United States’ southern border should, at the very least, do several things.
First, they should acknowledge they do not and cannot possibly speak for all Christians. They should also admit to what is most likely a grossly incomplete grasp of the myriad political, social and cultural contexts of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and other Central American countries from which many immigrants are coming. Finally, they should concede what is probably a very limited understanding of U.S. immigration policy.
With all that in mind, I will say that as someone who aspires to Christianity, I have…

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 23rd, 2014

Last summer, I spent a month interning as a medical translator for migrant farmworkers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It wasn’t the typical summer vacation, and there were some challenging moments. I don’t have any illusions that I changed the world or made a big impact, but I learned a lot about what it means to be human.
As a bit of historical background, during World War II, the United States established the Bracero Program, which brought Mexican farmworkers to replace the U.S. farmers who had gone to war. This system of importing labor from nearby countries evolved and became institutionalized; farms came to depend on it. However, with stricter regulations on immigration and growing nationalist…

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 21st, 2014

A few years ago, I moved to Peru to work as a teacher with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). Each year, the school where I taught picked a tema trasversal, or transversal theme, toward which the entire academic community would strive.
I like the idea of naming a broad idea that encapsulates a particular season of life. When I consider my own tema trasversal for the year and a half I spent in Peru, I consistently arrive at “presence.” It arose almost every day during my time with JVC, rearing its head in everything from the books I read to the retreats I attended and the community activities in which I participated.
Why presence was so important is probably not mysterious. Service programs take all kinds, but volunteers…

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