Busted Halo
December 19th, 2008
The Vatican's "Dignitas Personae" has powerful things to say about complex medical issues... but is anyone listening?

“Spare us from the Pharisees and Scribes pretending to be concerned with life!”
“It’s ridiculous that we’re still pitting science against religion in the 21st century.”
“The Catholic Church, once again, remains in the middle ages with its teachings.”
“Dear Vatican & co.: please go away.”

To say that the reactions to media stories on the unveiling of Dignitas Personae were resistant and hostile—those listed above appeared in comments to articles in the National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times—is probably an understatement. For many, this latest document is simply more evidence of a Church that is anti-science and anti-technology,

December 19th, 2008
How to handle those pesky relationship questions this season

‘Tis the season for Christmas parties, family gatherings … and pesky (but well-meaning) friends and relatives asking you when you’re going to get married. Yep. While we enjoy the anticipation of Advent and look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ, for many young adults this is also a season of waiting — with more than a bit of dread — for the family inquisition into your love life.
Maybe it’s just an innocent comment from your great-aunt: “So, dear, any special someones in your life?” Or perhaps your family is more direct, with relatives tsk-tsking about how “you’re not getting any younger” when you say that “the one” hasn’t…

December 19th, 2008

Advent Eating…

We unite with our Jewish brothers and sisters in anticipation of this weekend’s start of Hanukkah.
A great Jewish tradition is to make latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) to commemorate that a small jar of oil, discovered at the cleansing of the Temple, miraculously kept the Temple light burning for eight days until additional oil was found.
From Arthur Schwartz, The Food Maven, foodmaven.com:

Traditional Potato Latkes…
There are two basic schools of thought on potato pancakes. Either the potatoes are grated very fine on a box grater (or chopped fine with the metal blade of the food processor) and result in pancakes that are thin and crisp-edged. Or, the potatoes are grated on the

December 18th, 2008
Calabrian pifferari

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Advent Fast Fact…
During Advent in Italy, Calabrian pifferari — bagpipers — play before shrines of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
This is based on a traditional Italian belief that when the shepherds came to the manger in Bethlehem they played music to pay homage to the infant Jesus.

Today’s Prize is: Dr. Christine B. Whelan’s new book, “Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love” + a Sirius Women’s T-shirt
This Friday, December 19, we will choose the winner of our grand prize: a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits as well as a free six-month (6) subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio (a value of

December 17th, 2008

Father Dave and Team Busted Halo discuss the significance and common misconceptions about the Feast of Immaculate Conception. (Originally aired: 12/09/08) The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 159, and XM 117, Monday through Friday, 7:00pm to 10:00pm EST. Give us a call with your questions and comments: 1-888-3-CATHOLIC, or at bustedhalo@thecatholicchannel.org. Go to www.sirius.com to get subscription information.…

December 17th, 2008
Children with torches

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Advent Fast Fact
In Normandy, during Advent children would run through the fields and orchards with torches and set fire to bundles of straw, to drive out vermin that would damage the crops.

Today’s Prize is: My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ
This Friday, December 19, we will choose the winner of our grand prize: a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits as well as a free six-month (6) subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio (a value of over $200). Remember, all entries received for a daily prize through 3 a.m. EST December 20th will be eligible to win our random drawing for our grand prize. There is no limit to the number of times you can enter

December 16th, 2008
A Sign of Relief

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Surprising others this Christmas……

Like coffee?  Know someone else who does?  Buy a pound of fair-trade, organic, shade-grown coffee to support Contemplatives in Action, a New Orleans-based urban ministry and retreat experience.
“A Sign of Relief Blend” coffee benefits people in New Orleans still recovering from recent storms, as well as roasters from Americus, GA (Café Campesino) and coffee farmers in Mexico, Sumatra, Indonesia and Nicaragua. 
To purchase pounds of coffee for New Orleans churches and communities and for purchases of 5lbs. or more, call 504-376-5856 or email info@contemplativesinaction.org.
For other orders, go to cafecampesino.com.

December 15th, 2008
One chocolate maker believes the curative powers of lovingly prepared food can be scientifically measured

Many of us grew up being nursed to health with grandma’s chicken noodle soup. But ever wonder why it’s not quite the same when we get it from a can—or even from a gourmet counter? Jim Walsh, founder and CEO of Intentional Chocolate, says it’s all about intention. That’s why grandma’s soup made us feel better. It’s why a friend’s made-from-scratch brownies cheer us up. Walsh believes that by applying the same concept to his chocolates, he can help heal the world in his own little way.   Walsh says it goes deeper than simple goodwill; it incorporates the cacao bean, quantum mechanics, shamans from the Amazon jungle, mind-over-matter technology, Buddhist monks…

December 15th, 2008
Harry Reasoner

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Advent Quotable…
So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some quiet morning, the touch will take.

— Harry Reasoner

Today’s Prize is: Sirius Women’s T-shirt + Sirius Swag — Combination of various items (subject to availability) — Sirius pens, paperweights, key chains and mouse pads.
This Friday, December 19, we will choose the winner of our grand prize: a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits as well as a free six-month (6) subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio (a value of over $200). Remember, all entries received for a daily prize through

December 14th, 2008
Gaudate Sunday

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Advent Fast Fact…
On the third Sunday of Advent — also known as “Gaudete Sunday” or “Rejoice Sunday” — the rose-pink candle is lit and the priest’s vestments are the same rose hue.
This Sunday begins a more joyous phase, as our waiting for the newborn Savior is nearly over.

Today’s Prize is: Sirius-XM Hat + Sirius Swag — Combination of various items (subject to availability) — Sirius pens, paperweights, key chains and mouse pads.
To win today’s prize: Give us your name and email address along with the email address of one friend you’d like to introduce to BustedHalo.com® using the form below by 3 a.m.

December 13th, 2008
The Advent Images

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Advent Fast Fact
In England, an old Advent custom called for poor women to carry around the “Advent images” — two dolls dressed to represent Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. A halfpenny was expected from anyone who encountered them. For those who refused, bad luck was to menace their household. And if you were not visited by the doll-bearers before Christmas Eve, a similar streak of bad luck was to befall you.

Today’s Prize is: Halo Store Grab Bag — Choose any book, DVD, or CD from our Halo Store (May include: Googling God, Mary and Me, Beautiful Mess (Bill McGarvey CD), Yoga Prayer DVD, or Isaac Hecker: An American Saint or Magnificat… Christmas Season prayer

December 12th, 2008
Before "Doubt" the Oscar winner found the spirit on stage in an "unwieldy" Jesus

With the much-anticipated release of Doubt, Philip Seymour Hoffman is once again receiving the kind of critical kudos reserved for actors who are generally tagged as the ‘best of their generation.’ His portrayal of Fr. Flynn, in John Patrick Shanley’s film version of his Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play, has already garnered Hoffman a Golden Globe nomination. This is not the first time the Oscar-winning actor has dealt with difficult religious topics in his work however. In his new book, A Jesuit Off-Broadway, James Martin, S.J.—who served as a theological consultant to Doubt…—recounts his experiences as a consultant to the debut production in 2005 of the off-Broadway play “The

December 12th, 2008
A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold...

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Surprising others this Christmas…

“A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold”…(from the Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear?”)
Our Savior faced a cold night in a barn on that first Christmas; he was wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep warm and placed in a feeding trough for animals. There are children today who face similarly harsh winters and BustedHalo® prayerfully asks that you keep in mind the innocent victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — children who are in refugee camps and poor neighborhoods. Operation Iraqi Children is one organization helping kids and they have an urgent need for blankets, backpacks, shoes and tarps.

December 11th, 2008
18 and looking for more than just sex

I want to have sex.
There I said it; it is out in the open, loud and clear, true and honest.
My girlfriend wants to have sex.
We have been in a relationship for a month now, quite happy together. We click, she and I. She has been giving me hints for a while now, and lately she’s been coming close to flat out saying it.
So if I want to have sex and my girlfriend wants to have sex… then what’s the problem?
The problem is that I’m a Good Catholic Boy.
On the outside, my religion is what holds me back. It is what makes her so angry. She can’t understand why I’m behaving this way, why I don’t just give in to our passion. I can’t understand why this is such a problem for her.
Being a Catholic…

December 11th, 2008
Feast of the Seven Fishes

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Advent Eating……

A tradition of Sicilians and Italians is Cena Della Vigilia di Natale, a seven-fish dinner on Christmas Eve—one fish representing each of the seven sacraments of the church (or some say each day of the week.) The tradition comes from the observance of Vigilia di Natale, the wait in vigil for the birth of Jesus. Italians fasted until after receiving communion at Midnight Mass. In later years it became a day of fasting and abstinence, meaning a day with only one full meal, and with no meat and dairy allowed.
Some Italians moderate the feast, serving only three fish dishes representing the three Wise Men or the Holy Trinity. Alternately, the feast can have as

December 10th, 2008
Busted Halo speaks with the director of "Soul Searching," a new documentary about monk, writer and peace activist, Thomas Merton

Introduction and interview by Bill McGarvey
It is no surprise that a young seeker—as Morgan Atkinson was back in the mid-1970s—would be interested in the life of Thomas Merton. Merton’s journey from poet, artist and bohemian to poet, writer, artist, activist, mystic monk has all the required elements of adventure, risk and creativity that easily sets fire to the imagination of a young man looking to find his way in the world.
But, unlike so many fascinations that grip young minds for a brief time before being replaced by newer interests, Atkinson’s attraction to Merton’s life remained strong more than three decades after he first discovered the Trappist from Kentucky. After

December 10th, 2008
Forty years after his death, Thomas Merton still causes controversy

Forty years ago today, Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and perhaps the most popular American Catholic writer in history, stepped out of a bathroom shower during a visit to Bangkok. Slipping on the wet floor, he grabbed a poorly wired fan for support and was electrocuted. For many years, Merton had unsuccessfully sought permission from his superiors to travel outside his monastery in Bardstown, Kentucky. A few months after a new abbot was elected in early 1968, he assented to Merton’s request to attend an interfaith conference that December in Thailand. En route he met the Dalai Lama, who called him a “Catholic geshe…,” or spiritual master.
Merton enjoyed paradoxes, and spoke of himself, like

December 10th, 2008
Anne Rice on Christmas commercialism

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Advent Quotable…
It seems to me in retrospect that the department stores and the dime stores did an excellent job of extending the “sacred space” of Christmas in those days. And I sometimes wonder whether for people of no religion, this might have been the only sacred space they knew. When people rail now against the “commercial nature of Christmas,” I’m always conflicted and unable to respond. Because I think those who would banish commercialism from the holiday fail to understand how precious and comforting the shop displays and music can be.
— from Anne Rice’s “Called Out of Darkness: a spiritual confession


December 9th, 2008
St. Martin's Advent Fast

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Advent Fast Fact…
Advent has been around since the 4th century, when it was a time of great fasting, similar to what Catholics do throughout Lent. In addition to fasting, dancing and similar festivities were forbidden.
In some countries Advent would start on November 11th, which is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. Thus the great fast was known as “St. Martin’s Fast,” “St. Martin’s Lent” or “the forty days of St. Martin” — and on the day before there was a lot of frolicking and heavy eating, as with Mardi Gras today.

Today’s Prize is: Sirius T-shirt + Sirius Swag — Combination of various items (subject to availability)

December 8th, 2008
Readers share their experiences with and reactions to NFP

So a few weeks ago I began a series on Natural Family Planning (NFP) to start an open and honest discussion about the what, why and how of NFP. The response has been tremendous: Nearly 150 of you replied to the online survey and many submitted in-depth, heartfelt comments about your personal experiences.
According to our BustedHalo survey, 76 percent of readers said they plan to practice—or already do practice—natural family planning. Wait… hold up, I said to myself as I looked at the data: These results caught my eye instantly.
Since numbers from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops tell us that fewer than 4 percent of married Catholics report using NFP methods to plan and space…

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