Busted Halo
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September 12th, 2012
How to buy wisely by letting your spiritual side help make economic decisions

Most of us don’t like to think of ourselves as consumers. I know I’d always hated the term. I’m a human being, after all, not just a buyer of things. I disliked the word “lifestyle” for similar reasons; I live a life, not just a “style” that naturally requires buying more things.
Then a magazine story I was editing about Rob Walker, a consumerism critic for The New York Times, called me out. He was explaining why the Times… needs such a thing as a consumerism critic.
“People constantly tell me that they’re ‘not much of a consumer,’” he said. “That’s the mindset everyone comes to this with. Everyone thinks they’re sharper, less greedy, and more virtuous

September 10th, 2012

Moving is not fun. I’ve been at it for two weeks. I’m tired. I’m cranky. My back hurts, and my hands are torn from ripping tape and hauling moving box after moving box. In lieu of my college-age brother, I have become the go-to heavy-object lifter, and I’m still upset about my favorite basketball shorts ripping on a particularly aggressive nail in the garage. Moving turns me into a short-tempered, irritable human being with a really short fuse, and I resent it because that’s not who I am in real life.
There’s absolutely nothing that makes you prioritize what you need and don’t need quite like moving. When you live in one place for a long time, decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t need requires…

September 4th, 2012

If you’re a student entering a new academic year you may be excited for the opportunity of new beginnings, a chance for new friendships and learning new things. But you might be wondering how your spiritual life fits into a new school year — or even the search for a new job. Some may find that their spiritual life is lacking, or not even close to a top priority, as they work to earn a degree. For everyone, though, spirituality plays some kind of role in his or her academic or professional career.
While most enter university studies to earn a degree that will lead to a career, there is another layer that motivates us to pursue and endure long hours of work and study: a search for meaning and truth. God is ultimately the…

August 22nd, 2012

Transitioning to college or graduate school for the first — or third — time can uproot you physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s important to remember the things that will help you stay grounded and make these life changes some of the best experiences of your life.
Church. …Before moving to college, I had always gone to church with my parents, every Sunday without missing a beat. Now you’re on your own and it’s up to you to maintain that connection. When I started college, finding a church came easy because I go to a Catholic university with the physical church itself located less than a stone’s throw away from the dorm where I live. Find a nearby church and connect with the

August 7th, 2012

Penn State was a place so honored and revered that it became known as Happy Valley. The entire university built up an image of unfaltering prestige and loyalty. “Success with honor” was the football program’s slogan. That image has been destroyed.

August 6th, 2012

Religion has been a part of the Olympic games since, well, always. The first Olympic games trace back to 776 B.C. when events tied to festivals celebrating Zeus, the most important Olympic god and father of humanity.

July 25th, 2012

Alex’s Pick: “You’re Turning Into John Wayne” by Twin Atlantic
Twin Atlantic is an alternative rock quartet hailing from mighty Scotland. At first listen the song seems like an attack on American culture, when in fact the group is preaching a much different message. The band speaks about staying true to where you came from and not imitating something else — “Now here’s a great Scottish theory / Have you lost your latitude and longitude?”… This message is reflected in the music video as well. The band had just been signed to a major label and was being sent to America to tour for a year. In the video, they are trapped inside of a display window — an act for everyone

July 24th, 2012

An old saying goes, in order to experience Easter you must go through Good Friday first. According to The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman… trilogy, even superheroes aren’t immune to this tenet. The film provides a thorough examination of the themes of sacrifice and resurrection, two of the fundamental principles of the Christian life.
As followers of Jesus, we are continually invited to participate in his sacrifice on Golgotha in multiple ways, while regularly encountering the joy and glory of the resurrection in our daily lives. These two principles — irrevocably linked to one another through the events of those three days in Jerusalem long ago —

July 20th, 2012

As an obsessed fan of professional sports, I’ve noticed an alarming trend over the past few months. There seems to be a new instance of professional athletes not being… well, professional, almost every week.
In the NFL, the New Orleans Saints have suffered the consequences of secretly running a “bounty program” for the last few years. This means that players and coaches would pay players for knocking members of the opposing team out of the game. For example, when the Saints were preparing for a playoff game this past season, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said, “We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill [San Francisco running back] Frank Gore’s…

July 11th, 2012

I hate moving. I have moved seven times since I graduated from college. This August, we are moving again. I am vexed. Terribly vexed.
I know that moving can be an adventure. I know that a change often does me good. But, to be perfectly honest, I am anxious. I didn’t realize just how anxious I was until a few weeks ago when our 4-year-old son (the oldest and the self-appointed spokesman/chieftain of the tribe of little ones that inhabit our house) stomped down the stairs into the living room with his arms folded across his chest and proclaimed with unadulterated sass that he is NOT moving to Ohio. This was followed by an emphatic “Hmmph!” as he threw his head to the side in an Oscar-worthy demonstration of defiant indignation.…

June 22nd, 2012
Discerning not to take a job and trusting God with the future

I don’t know too many people who get really excited about job hunting. As a new graduate, I certainly do not look forward to curling up with my laptop on a Friday night to rework my résumé.
I’m in my mid-20s. I have two degrees, and I’m nearing the end of a one-year internship. When my internship ends, I will join countless new graduates searching for their perfect career while trying to be realistic about paying bills.
Recently I was offered an awesome “grown up” job and surprised myself by turning it down even though I have no idea where I’m going to live or work in six weeks. And that’s totally fine with me.
Big decision
A while back, I heard that a great nonprofit organization was hiring. The position…

June 19th, 2012

I’m a guy who needs breaks.
Take this article, for instance. Before typing this sentence, I checked Facebook, Twitter, Google News, and strolled by Time magazine’s website, which I haven’t done in ages. Then, on a whim, I decided to try and make iced coffee out of regular drip coffee, which, after tasting it, made me really appreciate places that do that professionally. Then I thought about making a Pinterest account, decided against it, and paid some bills instead — which of course required my downloading a bill-organizer iPhone app. Which required reading up on the best bill-organizer iPhone apps.
Actually, that sounds more like procrastination than break-taking.
But that’s how I operate.…

May 25th, 2012

Sarah had hit rock bottom. She was 31 years old and had been charged with her second DUI. A mother of two and engaged to be married, she was separated from her family and spent 20 days in jail before entering treatment.
“I went into treatment May 31, 2011,” Sarah said. “I was thinking of that last night as my last hoorah. Hoorah it wasn’t. I was given the breathalyzer when I got there and went straight to detox for two days before even starting the program.”
Sarah, who has alcoholism on both sides of her family received treatment from Campus for Hope, a program of Catholic Charities of Omaha. The program provided her with a sense of support for all that she was going through.
“I didn’t ask for this addiction,…

May 18th, 2012

Let’s face it. We live in a loud world. Not the kind of loud that breaks the stillness of a bucolic spring day. This loudness emits upward through our iPhones and electronic tablets. It is the glowing screen showing off a friend’s party or Nicholas Kristoff’s Twitter feed announcing his latest column in The New York Times on Anheuser-Busch and Indian Reservations. Or how about the split second it will take to check in to that trendy lounge wine bar where your friends are headed.
We are easily tempted by the social networks that purport to connect us to friends near and far. Not only has it become a need to connect with people via Facebook, Foursquare, or Twitter but it comes seconds after we greet our friends with…

May 15th, 2012

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. — 1 Corinthians 12:12…
Farmers have a hard life. All that work, and a dry summer or a plague of locusts or a freak hailstorm destroys the entire crop. What’s brilliant about CSAs is that the community takes the hit along with the farmer. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, but to anyone under the age of 12, you’d think the word was a synonym for “farm.” Farms offer a number of shares every year, and members of the community buy these shares, then show up once a week to gather their part of the produce.
I first encountered CSAs through my great aunt Sally,

May 14th, 2012

I’ve been stressed out. A full-blown, out-of-my-mind, can’t-think-straight stressed out.
I’m 22 and one year out of college. People keep telling me that this is the best time of my life. I have no kids, no husband, and no real geographical constraints besides the fact that I have an unhealthy addiction to the sunny beaches of Southern California.
The road of my life stretches endlessly in front of me in so many directions. I find myself terrified to start moving.
‘Let go and let God’
I took off to Germany right after I graduated last June, telling myself that I would figure it all out when I was there. I would blow off some steam in legendary Berlin night life, get some distance from Stanford, and hopefully…

May 8th, 2012
Young adult volunteers at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Wisconsin connect with God through nature and community

Connection. It is something everyone desires and in today’s world it seems to happen 24/7 through the Internet and social media.
But there are people who yearn for a different, deeper connection — with God, with nature, and with each other. Sara Jo Emmerich, a 30-year-old who lives in Washington, D.C., found that connection at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin.
It was there, as part of the Volunteer in Community program, that Emmerich discovered a solution for the breakdown between her spirituality and the rest of her life that she was experiencing.
“I was in seminary at the time and feeling a real disconnect between the academic study and the actual living out of my faith,”…

April 25th, 2012
A doula's view of new life and the Paschal Mystery

I love to talk about birth. A lot.
I assume everyone wants to hear about birth, so at social gatherings, with people I’ve hardly met, I find myself telling birth stories, bodily fluids included. Half of the crowd listens politely before dismissing themselves to “get a refill” on a drink, often finding a more normal person to talk to on their way to the kitchen. The other half presses in, wide-eyed with fascination. What can I say? I’m a doula.
Doulas are an ever-growing presence in navigating the healthcare choices in today’s world. The word doula comes from the Greek word for female servant. Doulas provide physical and emotional support for laboring women. Many people will seek…

April 16th, 2012

Few of us think or live like Don Draper from “Mad Men.” You won’t find me hiding behind my office door drinking whiskey, concealing secret affairs or unseemly behavior. My office doesn’t even have a door. Seeing the way Don treats certain people you might call him heartless. But there’s something about Don Draper that shows he’s truly in touch with the human heart.
In the third episode of season five, Don and his colleague Harry are backstage at a Rolling Stones concert waiting to meet the band’s manager about an advertising deal. While waiting, Don begins speaking to a young female fan:
Don: So what do you like so much about the Rolling Stones?
Girl: Why don’t you get me backstage and you’ll see.…

April 2nd, 2012

It’s game time. Tonight is the NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Game. Over the weekend Kentucky was victorious over Louisville in the bluegrass battle and Kansas edged out Ohio State. Unfortunately, not a single religiously affiliated school made it through to the Final Four in the men’s tourney. The NCAA Women’s Tournament was a different story. Baylor (Baptist) and Notre Dame (Catholic) overpowered their opposition — Stanford and UConn, respectively — to land in the women’s championship game.
Men’s Recap
The weekend started with Kentucky handling Louisville fairly easily. The game was close for a quick spurt during the second half and was briefly tied, but for the most part…

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