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August 20th, 2013
And how to deal with the panic that'll ensue

For many, going back to school is done with sighs and groans and dreams of summers to come. For people like me, rising college juniors, it is done with all the emotional stability that Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes show on Twitter.
Collectively, we college juniors and seniors are a mess. But to be clear, not the kind of mess that needs to be swept under the rug. We are a mess because we are intelligent and resourceful people who understand that the world outside our hallowed college halls is quite different from that within. We want to go and stay all at the same time. We are ready for responsibility but terrified of disappointment. Personally, I am petrified that I’m going to have to join the traveling circus after…

August 16th, 2013
How to build a relationship based on trust -- and to know when it's time to walk away

Dear Michele,
I’m not sure if I can trust my boyfriend. Every now and then, I just feel like he may not be telling me the truth. Sometimes I catch him looking at other girls or flirting, although he says I’m being oversensitive. I don’t want to seem paranoid. I don’t think he would cheat, but how can I know if I can trust him?
Dear Can I Trust Him,
Let me state my bias up front: I tend to counsel people to listen to their gut. You know your relationship better than anyone. If you feel as if there is deception, then I would encourage you to continue to explore the possibilities and to be very open with your boyfriend about the process. At the same time, sometimes our own histories get in the way and make us suspicious when our…

August 14th, 2013

This summer, I’ve been watching the hummingbirds whirring up to our feeder and resting on the convenient little perches while they drink. I can almost feel their hunger and need for copious amounts of sugar water to fuel their darting flights through the air.
But what struck me most the other day was the ants. The red sugar water had sunk to unnoticeable levels, so I unhooked the feeder and took it inside to wash in the kitchen sink. As I unscrewed the bottom and blasted it with water, a cluster of small black corpses floated into the sink trap: Ants, maybe 20 or 30 of them, hard to count as they were such infinitesimal slivers of DNA.
To clarify their journey, envisage our house on a hill. Our deck rises a good 15 feet…

August 13th, 2013

Earlier this year, when the End It Movement urged hundreds of thousands of people to wear a red “X” on their hands to promote awareness of the 27 million people in slavery around the globe, Amor Sierra decided to make hers permanent.
That’s because she’s brimming with gratitude for the ability to choose her own mark and passionate about helping others do the same. Once counted among the 200,000 slaves in the United States, Amor escaped in 1988 and went on to become a successful commercial real estate senior manager. After 22 years of corporate work, she sensed God calling her back to Miami. She obeyed, not knowing exactly what that would look like. Soon after rejoining Calvary Kendall Church and starting…

August 9th, 2013
A closer look at how nature helps us understand our relationship with God

Whose summer to-do list doesn’t include a hike or trip to the beach or a walk in the park? (And if yours doesn’t — you should add one NOW!) Take this Busted Halo® Virtual Outdoor Retreat with you on your next great nature adventure. Examine how nature is a way for us to understand our relationship with God and also understand God’s call to care for all creation. We’ve divided the retreat into three parts — you can break up your hike, activities at the beach, or other outing to fit the timing of the retreat. No Internet connection in the great outdoors? Click on the image below to download and print the PDF. Take a copy of the retreat (and sunscreen and bug spray) with you and your friends on your next hike…

August 1st, 2013

A lot of people think that the Feast of the Assumption (August 15) is the only big Catholic feast in August, but did you know the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration on August 6 and the martyrdom of John the Baptist on August 29? Here’s a quick and easy way to remember all three…
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen monitors, as well as mobile devices. Download the files directly below, mark your calendar, and enjoy this easy way to stay aware of important feasts and holy days heading your way.
Download:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · mobile [640 x 1136]…

July 23rd, 2013
Why fueling the obsession with Kate and William’s baby might be just what we need.

There’s just not that much good news in the world today. It seems that every time you turn on the TV or listen to the radio (people still listen to the radio, right?), the airwaves are flooded with tales of sadness and suffering. There is political turmoil in Egypt, the city of Detroit has declared bankruptcy, and another earthquake has ravaged China.
Naturally, then, when a spark of good manages to make its way through all the muck, people are bound to get excited. Such is the case with the buzz around the “royal baby.” A media frenzy has erupted around the birth of Kate and William’s first child, complete with round-the-clock baby watches and memorabilia galore. From special donuts and hotel rooms to iPod…

July 22nd, 2013
Why food pantries and other organizations dedicated to stopping hunger should be on your radar this summer

When are you most aware of people in need? Is it during Thanksgiving, when you are giving thanks for what you have, and being reminded that others might not be so lucky? Is it around Christmas, when the spirit of giving is almost tangible? Not coincidentally, the holidays are when food pantries get the majority of their donations. But can you guess when food pantries need the most help? Now. That’s right. Summer is actually the busiest time for food pantries and soup kitchens alike because children are no longer receiving meals from their schools. But when is the thought of volunteering least likely to cross our minds? Now as well. We are busy barbecuing, going to the beach, and enjoying the summer sun. There is no…

July 17th, 2013

I have just made a remarkable discovery, aided and abetted by Susan Cain’s marvelous book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World Which Cannot Stop Talking.
Here’s my surprise: I always thought I was an extrovert. I am basically at ease in social situations, don’t have trouble initiating conversations (since I got a small tattoo, I have found that a great way to begin talking to others), have been elected to leadership positions numerous times, ad nauseum. But — I really do not like working in groups. It is not my strength. I am far better and more productive working on my own (I am a writer, after all), taking long walks with the dog and thinking about things like Original Sin and the Big…

July 11th, 2013
Be the star of your own summer blockbuster and save the world!

Hot weather, cold drinks, maybe a trip to the beach? It’s summertime, people! And while you might be tempted over vacation to lounge poolside and work on that tan, remember that there are also plenty of opportunities to give back to your community and beyond. So, be the star of your own summer superhero movie and get out there and save the world!

Help the Poor
People live in poverty worldwide and, in ever increasing numbers, in the United States. We can all do something to help the poor — from volunteering our time to donating to a local charity. This summer, do your part to support your neighbors in need.

Volunteer — Use some of your free time this summer to volunteer and work with the poor. Find out what…

July 8th, 2013
Channelling God through good design for prayer and worship spaces

I recently moved from Boston to Providence into a one-bedroom apartment. It gave me the chance to renew and use my new space more intentionally than when I shared with housemates. The use of space can have a great effect on one’s spiritual life. The Georgetown University Center for Liturgy had a project called EnVisionChurch, which helped churches discern liturgical architecture, the use of art and space, and put them in touch with professionals who could help in design and renovation. It’s kind of like feng shui for churches.
My goal was to create a personal prayer space in my living room that I would use regularly. It had to be attractive and comfortable enough, and help facilitate my prayer and…

July 5th, 2013

Travels and tans, sandals and sunscreen, boats and beaches — summertime is upon us! Busted Halo® has compiled some tunes for your summer listening pleasure. Surf through our playlist, which includes classics and newly released hits alike plus a variety of genres and artists. Along with the music, these songs speak to some important spiritual themes through their lyrics.
Whether you are taking a road trip to your local beach or throwing a barbecue for your closest friends, add these songs to your soundtrack for the summer.
And share your own favorite songs of the summer in the comments section!

#1 “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips…
Something about the combination of guitar strums

July 3rd, 2013
We celebrate independence with great fervor, but as Christians we’re called to a life of dependence on God

Last Fourth of July, after burning my 16th straight hot dog, I finally asked for help. This was not easy. I’m a thirtysomething male. I should know how to barbecue by now. But desperation — and my mother’s howls that “the potato salad is going to turn if you don’t hurry up with those hot dogs” — forced my plea. Ugh. I hate asking for help. I prefer to take care of things on my own. And after all, isn’t that what Independence Day is all about? Independence?
The thing is, grilling hot dogs isn’t the only thing I need help with. And if I think about it, there are a lot of ways in which I’m not independent. In fact, if I really, really think about it and am honest with myself, there are a lot of things…

July 2nd, 2013

Question: I know the Church’s views on cohabitation and premarital sex, and I agree with those. But how does the Church feel about spending the night together without having sex? My boyfriend and I are going on a trip in a couple weeks and are planning on staying in the same room. I am comfortable with him, and although I know we won’t be having sex, I am still feeling guilty about sleeping in the same bed as him for a few nights. Is this considered sinning? Should I feel guilty?
Answer: I’m thrilled to hear that you are living the Gospel message in a way that is very counter-cultural. Reserving sex for marriage is a powerful way to celebrate the beauty of our sexuality. You are embracing the belief that to love…

July 1st, 2013

We’re deep into summer AND ordinary time, which means there aren’t THAT many big Catholic feasts and holy days during the month of July. That being said, we’ve decided to highlight some of the saints that you might not realize are celebrated during this summer month. Oh, and see you at World Youth Day!
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen monitors, as well as mobile devices. Download the files directly below, mark your calendar, and enjoy this easy way to stay aware of important feasts and holy days heading your way.
Download:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · mobile [640 x 1136]…

June 25th, 2013
Getting married is the right time to check back in with your faith -- and make sure you and your spouse will be on the same page

We thought we were just checking the box of official requirements for a Catholic wedding ceremony. And looking around the room at the 52 other couples, it was obvious many of them did too.
We were all undergoing what priests call “Pre-Cana,” some kind of mandatory workshop on preparing for marriage. My fiancé and I didn’t know exactly what that entailed; but we knew this one took a single Saturday, while others spanned multiple weeks or at least a weekend. So with three months to go before our wedding, here we were.
From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., we dug into the nitty-gritty of married life: managing our expectations for finances, children, chores and the inevitable disagreements. We were given organizational…

June 15th, 2013
A retreat for fathers and children to celebrate relationships that continue to influence us as young adults

Father’s Day is this weekend and it’s time to honor dear old Dad. Fathers share helpful advice and wisdom throughout our lives (or at least they try to.) Even if we’re too busy or stubborn to listen, dads are giving us tips on how to make our lives the best they can be. This virtual retreat helps young adults and their fathers connect with those wisdom moments and one another. You can do this retreat on your own or with your dad! Live far away? Email Dad the link and get on the phone, Facetime, or Skype. So, in addition to a card or gift (don’t forget!) celebrate Father’s Day with your father in a unique way.

June 13th, 2013

It’s that time of year! Wedding bells are ringing, champagne is flowing, and toasters are abundant as couples celebrate their nuptials.
In a flurry of tulle and taffeta, it can be easy for the happy couple-to-be to forget what a wedding is truly about. Suddenly, conflicts arise over table arrangements and what really constitutes the color “eggshell.” You find yourselves arguing over whether the one-man-band that he wants, which specializes in kazoo covers of this year’s hit songs, or her entryway made entirely of fresh roses and mother-of-pearls is really what the wedding needs. Without warning, you have both become the reality TV figures you used to giggle at together. But it’s not only the bridezillas…

June 1st, 2013

We thought we’d pay special recognition to fathers this month through our wallpaper with a depiction of St. Joseph holding his foster son, Jesus. Arguably one of the most important dates to look out for in June is Father‘s Day on the 16th. If you’re having trouble finding something you’ve lost, make sure to say special prayers to St. Anthony on his feast day, the 13th. Here’s a nice little piece of trivia: On June 24 the Church celebrates the birth of St. John the Baptist, who is one of three figures whose birth is celebrated by the Catholic Church. Can you guess the other two? Jesus (December 25), of course, and Mary (September 8).
Oh, and don’t forget about Flag Day on June 14.…

May 30th, 2013

Vacation Church Search
Rather than taking a vacation from church, make church an exciting part of your vacation by celebrating mass somewhere new. While on vacation, make it a point to find an old, popular or interesting place of worship nearby. If you’re in the tropics, search for an open-air church. If you’re vacationing on the East Coast, check out a historical church. If you’re opting for a stay-cation this summer and sticking close to home, visit a new parish in your community. You never know where you will find inspiration!

Rekindle Your Spark
Plan a backyard or beach bonfire with family, close friends, or by yourself! Relax. Roast some marshmallows and make s’mores. When you are…

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