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December 25th, 2008
December 25, Christmas Day 2008

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And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.…

December 24th, 2008
A mother, a son and grieving at Christmas

I didn’t want my children to know. They were waiting for a baby to be placed in a manger. The doll, the placeholder for our Lord, symbolized all that they had learned about love during Advent.
My toddler daughter was being coddled by a little Polish girl, only a year or so older who told her, “Jesus was once a little baby just like you.”
My son was hanging out around the life-size crèche with the older boys. All of the children were staring with huge lemur-like eyes in that way unique to children on Christmas Eve.
My thoughts were more morose. While we were attending Christmas Eve children’s services, several time zones and an ocean away, my siblings were beside our grandmother’s bed…

December 24th, 2008
Misa del Gallo

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Advent Fast Fact…
In Spanish, Midnight Mass is often referred to as Misa del Gallo (“Rooster’s Mass”).
Filipino custom is to go to mass at the crack of dawn — 4 or 5 a.m. — for nine straight days, December 16 through December 24.

Today’s Prize is: Sirius Men’s T-shirt + Sirius-XM Hat
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. EST tonight.
(We will, in turn, send them one email asking them to register for our Busted Halo® weekly email updates. We do not SPAM people nor do we share our email lists with any third

December 23rd, 2008
Making it comfy

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Advent Fast Fact…
In France, children would add one piece of straw each day to the manger, to create a comfy sleeping place for Jesus.
When they did this, they also would be expected to offer a prayer or good deed for the day.

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. EST tonight.
(We will, in turn, send them one email asking them to register for our Busted Halo® weekly

December 22nd, 2008
What will you give away?

How should we celebrate Christmas in tough times? Maybe the way we should have been celebrating the birth of Christ all along. All religious traditions call us to be generous and care for the poor and needy.
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.”
To see that saying framed and embroidered you have to watch It’s a Wonderful Life … very often and closely. Capra’s camera focuses in on the saying, which appears under the picture of Peter Bailey, as George and Uncle Billy discuss how to confront the run on the bank. George and Mary put up their honeymoon money to keep the “old, broken down” Bailey Building and Loan afloat, and out of the hands of miserly Mr. Potter,

December 22nd, 2008
Where Do Candy Canes Come From?

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Advent Fast Fact…

Q. True or False: Candy canes were originally made by a candy maker in the shape of a “J” with red stripes to represent the “stripes” of Jesus’ scourging?
A. False. Candy canes have very little religious origins other than the following: Straight white candy sticks and cookies were often used throughout the Christmas season, and placed on Christmas trees when Europeans started using Christmas trees.
Around 1670, at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, restless youngsters were attending ceremonies near the Christmas living creche scene. The choirmaster persuaded craftsmen to make sticks of candy bent at the end to represent shepherds’

December 21st, 2008
Benjamin Franklin

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OUR GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits as well as a free six-month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio is:
Kelsey D!!!
Keep coming back every day until Advent is over for daily prizes of books, t-shirts and Sirius swag, as well as opportunities for reflection, for action, for learning and for Charitable giving.

Advent Quotable…
A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
— Benjamin Franklin

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

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
Latkes

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.

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