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July 1st, 2009
How motherhood made me rethink the Fourth of July

At 2 years old, my son is already a patriot.
This began around his first birthday, when he developed a massive love for flags. Every time we passed one on our walks, he’d point straight at it, his face lit up. This past Fourth of July, when a local realtor stuck business-card-bearing flags into every lawn on our street, Matthew was in ecstasy. My husband and I joke that in sixteen years he’ll shun any political candidate who doesn’t wear the stars and stripes on a lapel pin.
It’s not that he knows what the flag stands for, of course. I’d guess that his passion is a mix of things: the movement of cloth in the breeze; the bright colors; the fact that he sees something he recognizes. But his unabashed…

June 29th, 2009
Talking with a modern day Irish mystic

What if your closest friends were angels from Heaven? For one Irish mystic, that has been the truth since birth. Lorna Byrne describes a life filled with heavenly beings in the book Angels in My Hair…, which has spent many weeks atop the bestseller lists of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In her memoir — recently released in America — Byrne lays bare her experiences of modest beginnings in rural Ireland and living in a marriage that she knew would be cut brief by illness. All the while, she believes angels are guiding her and others in her life to live to their full potential. Interestingly, though parts of Byrne’s story are sad, the main message is hope — rather than “Believe me I am telling the truth!”

June 28th, 2009
Reality show rubbernecking

Recently, I’ve been tuning in to Jon & Kate Plus Eight at the gym. I watch on the sly like I’d rubberneck on the highway: The crash is too gory to view directly, but I can’t take my eyes off the drama. Some research suggests viewers watch reality TV because deep down they believe, someday, they too might be a star. I’d argue it’s even more basic than that: Reality television plays on our ugly, but very human, need to take someone else — especially the rich, attractive or famous — down a peg.
Call it the “Can you imagine?” factor: When Playboy… Playmate Kendra hands her soon-to-be parents-in-law a signed copy of her nude centerfold, the at-home viewers can screech

June 26th, 2009

Father Dave talks with Phil Fox Rose, the author of the “What Works” column here at Busted Halo about finding guidance on your spiritual journey, how to incorporate God into recovery programs, and even what it’s like to be a punk roadie and a sheepherder! (Originally aired: 6/11/09)…

June 24th, 2009
A conversation on faith and his career -- from the Brat Pack movies to The Dead Zone

Anthony Michael Hall got his big break as an actor when he was cast as Rusty in the family road trip movie Vacation, followed closely by three seminal films from the 80s: 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. He was then the youngest cast member ever on Saturday Night Live. He also bullied Johnny Depp around in Edward Scissorhands and he was part of the Emmy-nominated made-for-TV movie where he played Bill Gates in The Pirates of Silicon Valley. More recently he starred in the sci-fi thriller TV show, The Dead Zone, which he also helped co-produce, and played TV reporter Mike Engel in last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight…. The actor stopped by the Busted Halo show on Sirius XM Radio to talk about

June 24th, 2009
Year One and the dawning of a new age in Jewish comedy

Sunday school just got a lot more interesting. The new movie Year One is an Old Testament version of the classic Monty Python comedy The Life of Brian.
Now, for some people, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Not everybody approved of the Pythons’ outrageous spoof of Biblical epics, which featured something to offend everyone. Yet, thus far Year One hasn’t generated anything like the controversy the latter did decades ago. Why not?
The answer may lie in the fact that Year One…‘s irreverence fits in well with the Jewish intellectual tradition of wrestling with higher authorities, and questioning moral and religious issues. This sensibility has been at the core of the Jewish identity

June 23rd, 2009
A skeptical Jesuit finds a holistic connection

When Dr. Hill removed his future son-in-law’s ruptured appendix two weeks before the wedding, it gave me a great line for the homily: “Salim is the only guy in history who is happy to see his father-in-law coming toward him with a knife.” It also gave me confidence in surgery. As I watched Salim and Bridget dance at the reception, I thought, “If Dr. Hill can make somebody that well, that quickly, maybe I should give him a call.”
Had to happen sometime. After passing fifty without ever having gone under the knife… it was time. The hernia on my bellybutton that used to be golf ball-size, was now a baseball. My waiting for it to fix itself didn’t seem to be working.
Dr. Hill looked…

June 21st, 2009
Get outdoors this summer and experience God's wondrous creation

Summer is upon us, and the other day when I read Therese Borchard’s post on Beliefnet about how lack of sun exposure has led to a Vitamin D deficiency crisis across this country, it struck me: Our bodies are designed to need sun. Is that a hint or what? We are built to be outside.

As I write this just before Father’s Day, I am reminded that my atheist dad gave me my first spiritual experiences by sharing his love of natural wonders. Despite growing up in New York City, I saw Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, Banff and the Redwoods, the Smoky Mountains and the Rockies; flash floods in the Western deserts, a hurricane on Cape Hatteras.

I didn’t know it at the time, and my father wouldn’t have thought about it in these terms, but I was being introduced to the wonder of God. While it’s more important to see that of God in the everyday, it helps to be hit over the head every once in a while with the awesomeness of Creation. [...]

June 20th, 2009
A conversation on fatherhood with anthropology professor Don Conway-Long

Fathers: They’re revered, adored and at times feared — even despised. No matter how you see your dad, you can’t argue with the fact that the way he fathered impacts your idea of family.
Anthropologist Don Conway-Long is fascinated with the shifting role of fathers in an ever-changing world. He teaches courses on gender and critical masculinity studies at Webster University in St. Louis. Conway-Long shares his thoughts on baby boomer and Generation X parenting on this Father’s Day.

Busted Halo: What’s your personal experience with fatherhood?
Don Conway-Long:… I’m a stepfather, grandfather and uncle. I have three, thirtysomething daughters whom I inherited in their early

June 18th, 2009
Busted Halo speaks with the movie's star, director and producer

In the few days since we published our interview with Jim Caviezel, events surrounding the election in Iran have added special resonance to his new film, The Stoning of Soraya M. (opens June 26).  In the movie, based on an actual event that occurred in Iran in 1986, an Iranian woman is the lone voice protesting the stoning of her niece under Sha’ria law.
In the following interviews, the film’s star, Shohreh Aghdashloo, director Cyrus Nowrasteh and producer Stephen McEveety (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) discuss what compelled them to make this powerful and disturbing film. As Iranian-Americans, Aghdashloo—who is familiar to American audiences for her Oscar nominated performance in …House

June 16th, 2009
Chemical reactions and Eucharistic reconciliation

A friend once told me, with a girlish smile, that when she receives Communion, she is so moved by the thought that our Lord gave his life for her, “Sometimes, I kiss him.”
I’ll admit: the idea of kissing the Eucharist struck me as a little… weird. Still, I envied my friend her intimacy with the Real Presence of Christ. My own feeling at taking Communion is closer to my feeling toward wave-particle duality theory. I don’t disbelieve; I don’t understand enough to disbelieve. I don’t get it at all.
It’s not as if the Church has ever had any doubts on where she stood. Writing around 150 AD, sainted convert Justin Martyr declared: “For not as common bread nor as common…

June 15th, 2009
The star of The Passion of the Christ discusses faith, Hollywood and his new film The Stoning of Soraya M.

Being at the center of one of the highest grossing movies of all time can be both a blessing and a curse for an actor. The world now recognizes their name and face, but a role can be so iconic that they’ll have trouble breaking free of it in audiences’ minds (Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, for example.) If the role in question happens to be Jesus of Nazareth, that effect can be magnified many times over. It is a predicament that Jim Caviezel knows all too well. When Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ… was released in 2004, Caviezel, a devout Catholic, went from being a Hollywood actor who worked steadily to being the star of one of the most controversial — and profitable — films in movie history.

June 14th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 9

Episode #9 — The Velveteen Rabbit

Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding”.
Send us your questions!
We encourage you to email us questions, or record a short video with your question and send it to us. If we use your video in a future episode, we will give you a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Send in your questions to weddings@bustedhalo.com and hear Dr. Christine Whelan, author of the Pure Sex, Pure Love… column go head to head with Father Eric Andrews, a Paulist priest with more than 15 years of wedding experience as they debate your questions: Why can’t you get married on the beach? Why is the priest being such a jerk? Why do we have

June 13th, 2009
What is it & how to do it (even if it's been a long time)

Busted Halo® looks at the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the perspective of the seeker who has been thinking about confession. In part one of Confession 101, we looked at the initial steps you take before the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
In part two, Father Dave Dwyer, CSP, walks us through the four essential elements of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and assuages the fears you might have about not having confessed in a long period of time.
 
Download this PDF, How To Go To Confession, and take it with you… it’s okay, really.
 
Another helpful PDF, Some Common Catholic Prayers.
[Originally published February 12, 2009.]…

June 12th, 2009
BustedHalo’s Mike Hayes on the NET

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s newly revamped cable channel, NET (New Evangelization Television) recently started the first daily Catholic news television program entitled Currents. Deacon Greg Kandra — a 26-year veteran writer and producer for CBS News and a contributor to Busted Halo — now serves as the channel’s news director. He invited senior editor Mike Hayes to join the nightly conversation to discuss current trends in church-going as well as other issues surrounding the church’s engagement with younger people.
Watch the entire show here.…

June 11th, 2009
God Bless the Tech Angels

My life is quite busy. By day, I am an educator for young people and adults caught up in the criminal justice system. By night, I am a freelance writer. By vocation, I am an ordained minister seeking to reach the world in nontraditional ways. And by age, I am a thirtysomething New Yorker trying to live in and enjoy the city. My load is so full that I think it’s becoming harder to spend time with friends, and also, sadly, God. I am not one to say that I am too busy for God.  But I must admit that I’ve become too busy to connect with Him in the traditional way I’ve been taught. I’m talking about the “waking up at 5 a.m. to pray, meditate, read my bible and worship” kind of way. But instead of getting down on myself with the…

June 8th, 2009
Becoming free from alcoholism and addiction requires spiritual help, not self-help

If you are an alcoholic or addict, being spiritually unfit can be fatal. If not literally fatal then, as in my case, a living death — one definition of Hell is being alive and active in this world, feeling separated from God. And I spent years there. But today I live — and have for some time now — free, awake, fully alive, vital.
My earlier What Works column on alcoholism and addiction focused on self-diagnosis, and I could easily explain my own alcoholism by pointing to genetics and circumstances; but the root cause is spiritual — that God-shaped hole, that feeling of brokenness and alienation I was trying to assuage. I’ve met other alcoholics who had no obvious “causes”…

June 7th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest--The Rabbi--and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 8

Episode #8 — Interfaith Marriage… What about the kids?

NEXT WEEK: The Princess, The Priest and… The Velveteen Rabbit?!
Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.
Special thanks to Rabbi Jill Hausman of The Actors Temple, NYC. Contact her at cantorweddings.com
Send us your questions!
We encourage you to email us questions, or record a short video with your question and send it to us. If we use your video in a future episode, we will give you a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Send in your questions to weddings@bustedhalo.com and hear Dr. Christine Whelan, author of the Pure Sex, Pure Love… column go head to head with Father

June 1st, 2009
Nurturing our relationships when we're 'too busy'

For the last six months, I’ve been busier than usual with work. In January and February, I was promoting my new book Marry Smart… and some new findings in mate-preferences research just in time for Valentine’s Day. All the while, I was teaching more than 200 students in two classes at the University of Iowa, grading papers, writing lectures and trying to get started on the book manuscript that’s due on July 1.
So I’ll admit it: I’ve been tired and grumpy and not a whole lot of fun for my husband, Peter, to be around. All of the best of me goes into my workday, and Peter gets the exhausted scraps. As we discussed our second wedding anniversary, which is coming up in a few weeks, Peter said he

May 31st, 2009
The Princess, The Priest--The Rabbi--and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 7

Episode #7 — Can we have an interfaith wedding?

NEXT WEEK: Interfaith marriage — What about the kids?
Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.
Special thanks to Rabbi Jill Hausman of The Actors Temple, NYC. Contact her at www.cantorweddings.com/

Send us your questions!
We encourage you to email us questions, or record a short video with your question and send it to us. If we use your video in a future episode, we will give you a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Send in your questions to weddings@bustedhalo.com and hear Dr. Christine Whelan, author of the Pure Sex, Pure Love… column go head to head with Father Eric Andrews, a Paulist

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