Busted Halo

Monica Rozenfeld moves to Brooklyn with two roommates — a Catholic and an observant Jew — and they each seek understanding of what it means to be religious.

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December 9th, 2010

While everyone has been going crazy over Yeshiva University’s Maccabeats Chanukah video, let me share this with you by my friend and spoken word artist Danny Raphael.…

December 9th, 2010
The author of Full of Grace reflects on the many ways Mary is relevant in our lives today

A Chicano prisoner, tattooed with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as she appeared on Juan Diego's cloak in Mexico in 1531, kneels in a detention center. Artist Delilah Montoya draws connections between the deities of the Náhuatl Indians and Guadalupe, who is beloved by prisoners, gang members and others wounded by life. Photo: © Delilah Montoya, 1999

Our Lady of Guadalupe is beloved by prisoners, gang members and others wounded by life. La Guadalupana © Delilah Montoya, 1999

A while ago, just as summer was ending, I went to an art opening at Yale University. I met a student, a young girl about 18 years old, who possessed the kind of guileless beauty that needs no embellishment. As we talked in the heat of the crowded galleries, she took off her jacket, revealing to my surprise that she was covered, neck to wrist, with tattoos. Inscribed into her body were beautiful, artful images of flowers and storybook characters — several of Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things crept along her upper arm, Ariel from the Little Mermaid swam cunningly on her forearm, the rag woman Sally in Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas peeked from behind her elbow. These characters were the ones she loved best from childhood, she said, inflecting her words as though her youth were decades past.

We continued to make small talk, and eventually drifted off into conversations with others, but the memory of her painted skin and quiet beauty stayed with me. I was overwhelmed by the feeling I had been looking at the Virgin …

December 8th, 2010

How do you listen to God? Please give to our Double Your Dollars Holiday Fund Drive @ www.bustedhalo.com. Church Search for the Immaculate Conception. 12-8-10.…

December 8th, 2010
A fan shares why he's supporting Busted Halo this holiday season

Mike from Connecticut

Mike from Connecticut

At Busted Halo® we love getting feedback about how we’re doing — what we’re doing right, how we can better serve you, and why you care about our ministry. So this holiday season we asked some fans to share why they care about Busted Halo.

Mike, from Connecticut:

“This year I have decided to add someone new to my Christmas gift list: Busted Halo. The reason is simple, more often than not I find myself nodding in agreement with something that is said on the radio show, written on the website, or covered in a podcast. Addressing everyday issues with a modern Catholic voice is refreshing to all of us who consider ourselves spiritual seekers, but compelling content cannot create itself nor can it distribute itself through various points of contact. That is why I am supporting Busted Halo’s Holiday Fund Drive and hope you will consider doing the same.”

This holiday season share why YOU care and (from now to January 9th) make TWICE THE IMPACT during our Double Your Dollars Holiday Fund Drive.

If you value the discussion going on at Busted Halo please let us know by:

becoming a monthly supporter
making a …

December 6th, 2010
Is there such thing as a vocation to be single in the Church?

Catholic-Single-flash

Recently, Jill, 29, a long-time Busted Halo reader finishing up her medical school residency, emailed me to ask if there is such a thing as a vocation to be single in the Catholic Church. She’s open to a relationship — indeed, she longs to meet the right man and marry — but because she is busy with work, and struggles with her weight, she’s resigned to being single for a while. As she mused over her situation, she wondered whether God might actually be calling her to be single. She writes:

I sorta-sincerely considered being a nun earlier in my life and felt that wasn’t right for me. I’ve never even remotely considered being single (I’ve considered the possibility I may find myself single in later life, but not out of an active choice or perceived calling). I’m curious if other people pray about that option as much as they would about marriage or the religious life. I can’t recall a priest ever recommending that. And there’s no sacrament for single people!

So do people really say, “I’m meant to be single” for whatever reason, and then go about creating a life for themselves as singles? Does the Catholic Church …

December 1st, 2010
Getting your spin on for Chanukah

nogeltnoglory-flash

Welcome to Extreme Sports: Jewish Style. Leave the suicidal snowboarding to the kids; as a rabbi, I’m more of a dreidel blackbelt. While it isn’t as transformative as the Kabbalah or as lucrative as a lottery win, I’m uniquely qualified to reveal to you another very powerful secret of the universe: the Upside Down Dreidel Spin.

This is the bubbie of all spins, but in the spirit of Chanukah, remember: just as the oil in the temple burned for eight days, a great dreidel player must cultivate patience and perseverance in order to master this move.

Despite what the song says, most dreidels aren’t “made out of clay.” That’s the good news, because when it comes to dreidels, materials matter.

Start with a good quality dreidel, not one of those cheap plastic ones — ideally made of wood and measuring about 1 inch square. Here’s the key: make sure the very top of the handle is smooth, without any nicks or cracks.
You also need a hard, smooth surface to spin on. Based on my extensive experience, I highly recommend the underside of a challah (bread) board.

Now, grip the dreidel’s handle between your index finger and thumb, with your …

November 29th, 2010
A daily review can help you stay on the path

ww39-dailyexamen-large

It’s remarkable (though not really) how easily we can forget the emotionally charged things that happen in a day. The problem is that if we aren’t resolving them we aren’t really forgetting them. Take this example: a few weeks ago, I was having a delightful weekend day in the country. After brunch with a friend and an invigorating hike in the multi-hued autumn woods, followed by a relaxing evening preparing a home-cooked meal and curling up with a fun movie, I prepared to do the examen thinking it would be awfully quick, since it had been such an uneventful and pleasant day. Five minutes later, I found myself immersed in the recollection of a phone call I had gotten but not picked up during brunch, which had set off a torrent of resentment-fueled anxiety-based planning and worrying. Nothing had actually happened — I had taken no actions — but it had been a roller coaster for sure. Hours later, I had completely forgotten the storm that had run through my mind for 15 minutes or so. Thanks to the examen, I was able to see it for what it was and resolve to sort it out. If you’re like I …

November 28th, 2010
Annual holiday video from the Busted Halo staff

Do you value an open and lively discussion about faith?

Do you care about a Catholic media outreach that welcomes those seeking answers?

Do you think Busted Halo is a “Wonderful Website?”

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I hope you’ll support us this holiday season in our annual Double Your Dollars Holiday Fund Drive.

All year long, Busted Halo® is your daily source for inspiration, thought-provoking articles, blogs, columns, podcasts, videos, answers to your spiritual questions, and challenges to grow your faith. And every day, this accessible and relevant discussion about the intersection between faith and everyday life is available to you — all for free.

As part of our community, you know what a unique and valuable resource Busted Halo® is. However, even though everything we offer here is free to you, it is not costless to produce. So today we are asking you, as a member of our Busted Halo® family, to show how much you value Busted Halo®.

Busted Halo® depends on the support of readers and listeners like you for a large portion of our annual operating budget. This holiday season (between today and January 9th) you have the opportunity to make

November 27th, 2010

[This is the 2010 calendar; check back soon for our new 2011 Advent calendar. -- The editors]

Sunday
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Advent is a precious time in the Christian calendar. The four weeks leading up to December 25 are meant to be a period of expectant waiting, as we prepare ourselves for the miraculous arrival of our Savior, in the form of a vulnerable infant born to humble parents.

The reality for most of us, though, is that these are anxious weeks of shopping and holiday planning leading up to a hectic Christmas Day. In the bustle of the holiday season, it’s hard to remember what we’re waiting for.

Completely avoiding the Christmas onslaught may be impossible, but we can make an effort to maintain some connection to the spiritual foundation of this season. Busted Halo’s 2010 Advent Surprise Calendar is here to help a little with that.

In traditional Advent calendars, children open different windows throughout the season to reveal special surprises. Busted Halo’s Advent calendar brings …

November 24th, 2010
What would St. Francis do?

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Recently, on a pilgrimage in Italy, I heard a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal relay in a homily one of the many stories of St. Francis of Assisi that raised medieval eyebrows. A gang of robbers, known to not only rob but also kill their victims, was terrorizing the local towns. Francis gathered his friars and encouraged them to visit the remote homes of those alleged to be responsible for the attacks. He instructed his friars bring bread on their first visit. On the second trip, they were to bring bread and wine. The third visit, they were to bring bread and wine, and then ask of their hosts a special favor: if they were going to rob people, at least spare them their lives and commit no physical violence against them.

The intention of Francis was not to condone robbery. Rather, it was one of many examples of his understanding and acceptance of human nature. A “cease and desist” order would likely be ignored. Asking the robbers to take a first step, curtailing death and injury, was more likely to be considered. It was, at its core, an opportunity to embark on a different journey.

I was reminded of …

November 24th, 2010
The Saint John's Bible — sacred art and contemplative tool

© Creation, Donald Jackson with contributions from Chris Tomlin, 2003. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.  Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

© Creation, Donald Jackson with contributions from Chris Tomlin, 2003. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

As I sit before the illustration accompanying the story of creation in The Saint John’s Bible, I see representations that are obvious — the seven days; Adam, Eve and the serpent; land and sea. And I see many that are less so — little gold boxes, a bird. My mind plays at filling in the gaps. The person next to me is doing the same. After a few minutes, we turn to each other and share what we saw. Within moments, this sharing has turned into an excited discussion of the creation stories and the symbolism involved, referencing back to the illustration again and again. In the final phase of the exercise, our facilitator calls on people and we hear all the things they saw and how they interpreted them — some quite surprising. Now, this is fun bible study.

And that’s page …

November 17th, 2010

Should I be afraid of the upcoming changes to the Mass?  On location: Horseshoe Bay, TX.  Special guest: Fr. Steven Bell, CSP.  Church Search (live theme song): Austin, TX.  11-17-10.  Happy Thanksgiving!…

November 10th, 2010
Now it's easy to check the latest on bustedhalo.com from your mobile device

The mobile version of bustedhalo.com has arrived! Get a quick overview of our most recent content — the last few posts; the latest columns, blog posts and comments; what’s new in Googling God; and today’s Daily Jolt. Now, when you go to bustedhalo.com it should automatically detect whether you’re on a regular computer or a mobile device, and send you to the right version. Below are instructions to bookmark the site — and if you are on an iPhone you can create an app-(button)-for-that which looks like any other app button and takes you straight to Busted Halo.

Looking at Busted Halo articles on a phone always kinda worked. The big change is our home page. The regular Busted Halo home page is so rich with multimedia content that it doesn’t really work on mobile devices. Now, you’ll be taken to our lightweight mobile home page. Most video and audio clips will work (though their behavior will vary depending on the device). Articles and posts on a mobile device are cleaner and easier to read, and you can see and add comments.

(If, for some reason, you want to look at the regular version on your mobile device, you can …

November 9th, 2010

md3-wk1-drummerdrugrep-flash

Few of us are ever faced with making the sort of life-or-death decisions we routinely hear about in the news. Fortunately, most of us are spared from navigating the complex ethical terrain that headline-making cases sometime raise. And yet there are decisions we face everyday that — whether we realize it or not — have very real moral implications.

In Busted Halo’s Moral Dilemmas feature, we hope not only to raise some of these issues for our readers, but also to engage you in helping to resolve them. After going through the story that follows, please tell us through a one-question quiz, linked to at the bottom of the page, what you think is the “right thing to do.”

Already taken the quiz for part 1? Move on to the next step: “The Wrinkle” to our Moral Dilemma.

The Dilemma

After struggling to put herself through college, Kara landed a good job as a drug representative for a large pharmaceutical company. The job required her to travel to doctor’s offices throughout her “territory” in the northeastern part of Washington State and remind physicians about the various medications her company makes and how they benefit patients. Because most of the doctors …

November 8th, 2010
How the American dream of marriage and family is increasingly out of reach for the less educated

pspl120-happily-never-after-large

There’s a widening gap between the haves and have-nots in America — and this time the fault line is marriage. Educated young adults are marrying and thriving in their unions, while those with less education are more likely to cohabit, less likely to ever marry, and more likely to divorce if they do wed. The latest data to support this argument comes from the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends project analysis of sixty years of Census data, which finds that college-educated young adults are slightly more likely to marry by age 30 and significantly more likely to marry by age 40.

In my last column, I wrote about how the good news for educated Americans abounds: While men and women of all educational backgrounds are delaying marriage, among 35-to-39 -year-olds, four-fifths of college-educated adults have married versus only three-quarters of less educated adults. Perhaps most importantly, college graduates are more likely to be financially stable within those unions and less likely to divorce.

But education is often used as a proxy for social class, so a more concerning take on these findings is that American marriage patterns are diverging by socio economics. Marriage has clear economic benefits, …

November 5th, 2010
Reflections on fear and faith at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
Click image to see signs from the rally

Click image to see signs from the rally

For Melina Hudson

Sitting on a packed Greyhound bus on Friday night, somewhere between Port Authority and Union Station, I panicked. I couldn’t breathe; my cell phone was about to die. I was even thankful that the guy next to me was asleep and drooling; that was better than him witnessing the unmedicated panic attack of the person sitting beside him — a bipartisan, underemployed thirtysomething who had never been to a rally before. I’m claustrophobic and anxious about crowds, germs and public transportation. I’m as leery of the concept of Port-O-Potties as I am about attending events that require them. Why attend the “Rally to Restore Sanity” if it meant forsaking my own?

The thing is, I had waited such a long time for Saturday.

Those of us with panic disorder generally like to know what we’re in for beforehand. On the way to D.C., no one knew. Was this undefined and/or unprecedented rally going to be political or sarcastic?

Every possible scenario came to mind. I envisioned being screamed at by officers on horseback or trampled upon by angry hipsters wearing ironic Halloween costumes (the guy stapling Lipton Tea bags …

November 5th, 2010
The results are in for our Freshman Survival Guide video contest

Picking one winner in our Freshman Survival Guide 16 Second Survival video contest was so difficult that staffers and interns almost came to blows at Busted Halo HQ. Thank you to everyone who us sent a video with their best advice for incoming college freshman in 16 seconds or less. There were a lot of great nuggets offered by students and recent graduates from all over the United States and Canada. In the end we decided that the contest was so close that we would need to award prizes to three runners-up in addition to the grand prize. Congratulations to Josef from Concordia University, our grand prize winner, who will receive a $100 gift certificate to Bed Bath and Beyond. Our runners-up (in no particular order) are Ian from Monmouth Community College, Aarti from University of Buffalo and Mark from Seton Hall University, each of whom will receive a $25 gift certificate.

Many thanks again to everyone who sent in a video. Stay tuned for more videos and contests as the Freshman Survival Guide publication date — April 7, 2011 — gets closer. …

November 3rd, 2010

Where exactly did the Bible come from? Fr. Larry Rice and Fr. Dave Dwyer discuss ancient xeroxing.…

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