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November 14th, 2012

A few weeks ago I had the chance to walk through two cemeteries within a week’s time. As I strolled through the beautifully landscaped grounds and in between the headstones I looked at the names and family relationships that were etched onto the stones: mother, father, husband, wife, baby. I began to wonder what kind of lives these people led, what they did for work, how their families were. Some dates reached back into the early 1800s. “Two hundred years from now, will I be remembered?” I wondered. To me they were fading shadows of lives long ago, but back then they were important to someone. Someone grieved their deaths.
We all know that losing someone is hard. Loss comes with feelings we may never have experienced…

November 13th, 2012

Question: So, why is the Catholic Church so hung up on (or down on) sex? If two people love each other and are in a committed, monogamous relationship, what’s the big deal?
Answer:… It certainly can seem like the Church is “hung up on” sex. That’s only if you only listen to the sound bites. “Don’t do this. Can’t do that.” But the truth about the Church’s teaching on sex is intimately tied to the truth about love, the foundation of the Gospel message. The Catholic Church believes sex is designed by our Creator to strengthen our marriages and bring new life into the world. So what’s with the bad rap?
In general, people don’t like rules that feel like restrictions. But God’s “rules” are simply

November 12th, 2012

The Ten Commandments have been drilled into me since I was young. Whether it was Vacation Bible School, religious education or other church-related activity, these 10 “ways of being a good follower of God” have always been part of my life. Unfortunately the fifth commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” seems to have been forgotten.
“NOLA For Life”
I live in New Orleans where violence has been out of control for some time. And the lack of respect for life can be seen on all levels of society — all the way from violent criminals to elected officials who take an oath to serve the community. In my own personal life, I have lost too many family, friends, church members and even youth to violence. I…

November 8th, 2012

The liturgical season can often seem out of sync with the rest of popular society. With insane hurricanes and contentious political theater unraveling across the world, it is hard to believe time right now is merely just “ordinary.” Current events aside, pretty much any time after Columbus Day, as the hours grow darker and the air has a certain nip in it — becomes “extended Advent.”  This preparation for the “the coming” or “arrival” of Christmas is heralded by radio stations, marketers and commerce across the country with pomp, fanfare, coupons, propaganda, jingles, jangles, and seasonally appropriate beer and ice cream — Christmas is near, and we just have to leap the hurdles…

November 7th, 2012
November -- A month for remembering those who have gone before us

Since becoming Catholic, I must confess that I look forward to November — the month when we commemorate the dead. It’s a time to remember those who have gone before us and upon whose shoulders we now stand. It is a month when we give thanks for the legacies of our departed wisdom figures and reconcile ourselves to our fallen adversaries. We lament perished innocents, lost victims, and slain heroes who remind us of life’s challenges that we still must face.

November 6th, 2012

Thanks to everyone for your entries into #Haloween2012 — the Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!
Here are the contest winners:
You can see more entries on our Twitter page: www.twitter.com/bustedhalo.…

October 31st, 2012

Hello, Northeast. How are you?
It’s okay, you don’t have to answer that question. Can we buy you a drink? Let us buy you a drink.
We know. This sucks. And we wish we could tell you the nightmare will be over soon, but the fact is this is going to suck for a long time yet. Even after the waters recede, there’s still the matter of piecing your lives back together. There’s paperwork, lots and lots of paperwork. You’ll have to dig through all of your waterlogged belongings and make wrenching decisions about what’s salvageable, and you’ll have to make those decisions faster than you’d like. Some of you will lose what’s irreplaceable: your children’s baby pictures, your grandmother’s wedding dress.…

October 31st, 2012
Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!

Are you dressing up as one of the Avengers this year? Do you make the scariest Dracula or spooky saint on the block? Are your kids the cutest pumpkins at school? Break out your best costume for the first ever Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!
The tradition of wearing costumes on All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) has its earliest origins in 19th century Scotland. Children went door to door in guises on that day offering entertainment in exchange for various gifts (similar to our custom of trick-or-treating today). Show us how you celebrate this tradition by sending us photos of your best Halloween costumes!
Here’s what you do:
#1 Tweet us @BustedHalo… with a photo of you, friends, or family members (this includes pets!)

October 30th, 2012

What do Adele, January Jones and Snooki have in common? If you answered “Absolutely nothing,” I wouldn’t blame you. But these three celebrities, along with countless others, are part of a growing trend of women having children out of wedlock.
Everyone knows that a child is a gift from God (and arguable the cutest… gift we can receive) but why does it seem like Christmas is coming early for so many single women? The statistics surrounding out-of-wedlock birthrates are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2010 40.8 percent of all birth mothers were unmarried, a rise from 38 percent in 2002 and 11 percent in 1970.
What’s with this steady increase

October 23rd, 2012
Rituals to mark transitions that enrich your everyday life

I have always had a hard time with change. My family moved a lot throughout my childhood, and since then, change has me frightened more than excited. While I love to watch the changing seasons, especially from summer to fall, I am always a little wary of the transition. Whether I’ve had a full-time job, or been a student, as I am now, I’m always excited and nervous. Excited to apple pick, leaf peep, and to curl up with a blanket, a book, and tea. I’m especially nervous because I’m graduating this coming spring and thus am anticipating the pressure of a job search in addition to the usual stress that schoolwork brings. I know that I will find peace as fall settles upon me. In the meantime, I’m…

October 17th, 2012

It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and I had spent the last seven hours with three older ladies: Marilyn, Kathy and Irene, who descended from the Irish, Slovak and Polish people respectively. I was learning to make pierogi, which, for the uninitiated, is a Slavic sort of ravioli. At the soup kitchen where I have worked for almost a year, my supervisor Monsignor Joseph Kelly had sent me to his older sister Marilyn that I might learn to cook from her Polish friend, Irene. “Be sure,” he added, “to ask Irene about the trip she took to Ireland.”
“They were all Irish like Marilyn,” Irene said, laughing, “I was the only Polish girl on that whole trip, and I was the only one…

October 16th, 2012

Fall has long been my favorite season, but this year I enter it with a different set of experiences and thoughts that have changed my perspective. I come to this season with the recent loss of my mother weighing on my heart.
There’s new meaning in the leaves falling and the trees mourning their coverings. Do they know they will be full of life and leaves once again? Do they know the God who created them has plans for their fullness of life and will return them to the splendor of green they are for the spring and summer?
I find myself asking these same questions. Will I feel full of life again after this season of mourning? Will God bring me through the darkness and help me transition into a spring way of life? I look to others…

October 11th, 2012
Sorting out what faith means to your relationship

Question: My boyfriend is a “lapsed” Catholic and not that connected to organized religion. I have a more active and practicing faith. Should I be worried about our religious compatibility?
Answer: There are lots of details to consider, so let’s look at some questions that can help you discern if you need to be worried about your religious compatibility…

October 10th, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about anger lately — righteous anger; spilling-over-the-top you are such total crud anger; you don’t deserve to be called a member of the human race anger; and what do you have in your ears, elephant turds, anger.
The level of rage in our national discourse seems to have hit a new low, or high, depending on how you use your statistics. Name-calling seems to be the preferred method of campaigning and “discussion” — although we can’t really use that term, can we, because to “discuss” means to listen to, and I simply don’t see a lot of listening going on.
The thing that I find most dismaying about this pathetic level of discourse…

October 9th, 2012

When I first arrived in Egypt as a working journalist it was June 2011 and everyone I encountered was still ecstatic about the revolution. Tahrir Square was still a symbol of the uprising and many Egyptians still held their military de facto rulers in high regard. Even on my way to Tahrir, my cab driver asked me proudly, “So, what do you think of our revolution? Isn’t it amazing?” His smile lit up his eyes. I nodded, saying it was impressive indeed.
This was in stark contrast to my next visit, when I came back for the one-year anniversary of the revolution on January 25, 2012. The growing unemployment and subsequent poverty had finally taken their toll on the people who now cared little about non-tangibles…

October 5th, 2012
Reflections on the Rosary

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the rosary.
It stems from long road trips with my very Catholic family, where the CD I had been playing through the car speakers was suddenly turned off, my parents’ rosaries pulled out from the glove compartment and for the next 15-20 minutes I was forced to endure an incessant babble of words repeated over and over. I understood the importance of prayer, I just didn’t see why we had to make an already long and tedious drive all the more so by becoming quiet and serious, with the same two or three prayers recited in a nearly mindless chant. I was at a loss so I sat quietly while my parents prayed, waiting until I could turn the…

October 2nd, 2012

In the past two weeks of hitting the radio and TV waves almost on a daily basis promoting a new book, I have been transformed. In the physical sense, yes — I’ve gained a good seven pounds and am unsuccessfully masking it with baggier shirts and new husky style dress pants. But this transformation transcends trans fats — in a more figurative sense, I have become something anew — according to a colleague at work, I think I may now be a religious pundit.
Some quick research on this word brings to light a definition that explains a pundit to be, “a learned person in media, or someone who at least appears to be learned.” It is the second part of this definition that I take solace in and will…

October 1st, 2012
Clearly hearing and figuring out God's call in your life

From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be a pediatrician. I had a righteous inclination that God wanted me to be the person to heal others through medicine. This vision persisted until my sophomore year of college, at which point I had to admit to myself I really was not destined to be a pediatrician after a year of struggling through chemistry courses.
During that first year of college, I kept thinking to myself that it didn’t make sense. I was putting so much effort into chemistry — studying for all my quizzes and tests, doing countless practice exercises, attending office hours when I didn’t understand a concept, never missing a lab. My grades weren’t a reflection of the hard work.…

September 26th, 2012
Navigating today's dating world and the question of dating more than one person at a time

Question: Is it OK to date more than one person at a time?
Answer:… The straightforward answer is you are free to date more than one person until you commit to being exclusive with one person. The whole point of dating is to figure out what you eventually want in a spouse. Dating allows you to discover what you can’t live with, or without, and to learn more about your own values. Dating around can be a fun stage of being single!
If you are starting to get the sense that one or more of your dates would be hurt to find out you are dating other people, then that may be a sign that dating more than one person may no longer be appropriate. Let’s start by defining what you mean by “dating.” If dating means a couple

September 25th, 2012
Acknowledging and responding to the violence and suffering in today's world

Last week, an interview on “The Daily Show with John Stewart” with former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, began with this exchange:
Jon Stewart: “How’s the world.”
Kofi Annan: “Messy.”
Indeed, the world is in a chaotic and cruel place. In the Syrian civil war alone up to 11,000 people have been killed. Yet the day-to-day events of the conflict seem to be just a blip in the news. Recent developments say that the government has threatened chemical weapons against Syrian rebels who seized a border crossing at Turkey. Innocents are daily wounded and killed with stray bullets. Last month more than 200 Syrians were massacred. What drives a government to…

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