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April 25th, 2007
Reflections on Virginia Tech and the importance of campus ministry

Ever since the Columbine high school massacre in 1999 and the Washington, DC Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, “lockdown” is a word that’s been lifted out of the penitentiary lexicon and dropped into student handbooks across the nation. When shots are heard, go immediately into a protective lockdown mode and await further instructions from authorities.
But how do you lock down a sprawling campus? How do you make hundreds of campus buildings, replete with entrances and exits, safe from armed attackers or hidden bombs? Is there any defense against malice and, if there is, how can you tell if and when it’s coming?
Wondering Why?
It is malice, by the way, that was operative in the Beltway snipings,…

April 24th, 2007
Helping people doesn't make me feel better

Despite my apparently wholesome life, I have a deep, dark secret, one so shameful that I must shroud my name in the mists of a pseudonym. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but volunteering, and otherwise helping my fellow man, doesn’t make me feel all that good.
At any given time and across the country, pastors, advice columnists and moms are repeating an old chestnut: if you think you have problems, lend a hand to someone else. Volunteering will take you outside yourself, focus your energies, and cause a warm fuzzy glow to pierce the dark clouds of your bleak, crabby mood.
Natural High
Indeed, volunteering is recommended for victims of much more than a sour mood. A cancer support website encourages sufferers…

April 23rd, 2007
A Catholic engaged encounter weekend

If I could offer one piece of advice to a Catholic couple preparing for marriage it would be this: Sign up for a Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend right now.
Engaged Encounter is an intense weekend where you and your fiancé have the opportunity to question, examine and deepen your relationship with each other and with God. If a successful marriage is built on communication, the experience of Engaged Encounter weekend will be the cornerstone.
You think you know everything about the one you love? This weekend will take you to a whole new level. The workshop is divided into sections— Openness in Communication, Signs of a Closed Relationship, Decisions in Marriage, Married Sexual Intimacy and Forgiveness…

April 20th, 2007
The Sopranos, it's All in the "Family"

Earlier this week, the Paulist Fathers —you know, the people who run this fine website—were the beneficiaries one of the more unusual product placements in recent memory when the Paulist-founded Humanitas Prize, was showcased on The Sopranos…right before it was used to bash someone’s head in.
To quote its network’s old slogan, “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” As the legendary series makes its way through its final season, its impact on pop culture is secure.
Two hours into the last call for “Bada-Bing” and Baccalas, there haven’t been any major on-screen “whackings.” At least not yet. But it still feels like we’re…

April 18th, 2007
our readers and listeners respond

When faced with a horrible tragedy like the one that occured at Virginia Tech, we are immediately tempted to want to analyze and search for answers in an attempt to make sense out of utterly senseless acts.
While the search for understanding must continue, we believe that the best use of our space at this time is to offer our thoughts and prayers to the entire Virginia Tech community, especially the victims and their families who need it most.
We ask our readers at BustedHalo.com and our listeners from the BustedHalo show on Sirius satellite radio to send their prayers and expressions of sympathy to prayer@bustedhalo.com.
We will forward your emails to the Campus Ministers at Virginia Tech and publish them here.…

April 17th, 2007
The country music legend opines on God, politics and Bob Dylan

He’s a born again Christian who made his name in the 1970s with a song about the devil. He’s also a “Long Haired Country Boy” who is fiercely patriotic. Charlie Daniels’ 40-plus year career has never been short on contradictions so it came as no surprise that the Grammy-winning perfomer also wasn’t short on opinions either.
Daniels recently sat down for an interview with Fr. Dave Dwyer during Fr. Dave’s daily “BustedHalo Show” on Sirius Satellite radio.
BustedHalo: Now I know the tradition you were raised in was not Catholic, but you’ve got an experience of Catholicism.
Charlie Daniels: Yes, I do and it was a very special experience, and it was…

April 16th, 2007
A short course in Grey’s Anatomy

What is it about Grey’s Anatomy that transformed it from a sleeper, mid-season replacement show into a primetime phenomenon? Of course some will point to the well-written scripts or the diverse age and ethnicity of the cast that draw in large audiences. Or maybe it’s as simple as McDreamy’s hair. While all of the above certainly apply, the show’s characters are what young people across the country can relate to because, like them, they too have problems—big ones.
When, writer Shonda Rhimes created the series she claims her goal was to craft characters that an audience would want to hang-out with week after week. With approximately 23.5 million viewers stopping by every Thursday…

April 12th, 2007
Some highlights from the first 99 episodes

Fr. Dave Dwyer and Mike Hayes’ entrance into the world of podcasting in December 2005 marked a new chapter in the Paulist Fathers’ great tradition of preaching “old truths in new forms.” Their initial inspiration to create a program that would discuss questions of faith and spiritual seeking for people in their 20s and 30s has grown and changed in ways no one could have predicted. Barely a year into the experiment the success of the podcast has been spun off into the BustedHalo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer a daily program on Sirius satellite radio. The podcast has also spawned additional programs including one devoted to Fr. Dave’s homilies and another that collects the best bits from…

April 11th, 2007
A former staff member wonders if the joke's on us

The door to WFAN’s studio opened wide catching my eye and as I looked up I was greeted with the words “What the f*** are you looking at?” from none other than the legendary shock jock, Don Imus.
I had no idea how to react. Was Imus serious or joking around? There was no time to react but I stalled with a stuttering, “Excuse me?”
Again the words bellowed at least 20 times louder, “What the f*** are you looking at?”
I decided that I needed to play ball and go toe to toe with the acid tongued, leathery skinned morning man and replied sternly, “You, ya ugly bastard!”
Imus smiled and said, “Well stop looking at me, there’s no need to be looking at me unless…

April 10th, 2007
Kiss and Run: An interview with the author of a new book on commitment-phobic women

We’ve all heard about men who are “afraid of commitment.” Self-help books warn women away from these men, saying that these guys will break a girl’s heart. But women are often terrified of commitment, too.
Do you find fault in everyone you date? Do you always think you can do better? Do you avoid relationships altogether because you’ve been hurt in the past? In her new book, Kiss and Run: The Single, Picky, and Indecisive Girl’s Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment, Elina Furman tackles this issue head-on.
Ladies, are you afraid of commitment? Guys, are you dating a commitment-phobe?

In this column, I write a lot about the challenges and benefits of relationships,…

April 9th, 2007
Why Mary Magdalene was ready to see

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.
On the first day of the week, in that space that stretches dewy and glistening between night and morning, dark and light, like sunrise on a spider’s web, she came through the dwindling night. She came laden with spices and oils, to offer one final act of care for him. She came laden with her grief, bruised with mourning for the man who had been first her healer, then her teacher, then her friend. Her friend. She was on her way to prepare his dead body for proper burial, as was the custom. But it was not to be.
Why Are You Weeping?
It has always fascinated me that in every Gospel account when Jesus…

April 5th, 2007
St. Peter denied Him three times, how often have I?

Usually when St. Peter’s denial of Jesus is recounted every Holy Week I find myself feeling somewhat superior. After all, Peter refuses to admit that he even knows Jesus—and here I am standing proud in my pew as a faithful follower of Christ. But this year I’ve begun to see that scene from the Gospel in a different light. Though Peter denies Jesus I wonder if on that tortuous night he also displayed a form of conflicted courage as well.
All the other apostles ran away in fear that night, but Peter followed Jesus all the way into the high priest’s courtyard (in Luke’s Gospel he even enlists another disciple who is known to the high priest to help get him into the courtyard). Certainly this…

April 5th, 2007
The Prayer of the Good Thief

It is a small scene in Luke’s Gospel— all of four verses—but it speaks volumes.
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
This brief encounter in which Jesus is defended by the repentant thief—or…

April 4th, 2007
Holy Week in Haiti

So look, if the divine made flesh really did roll into town to adulating crowds only to be betrayed, tortured, killed and then, holy god, rise from the dead, shouldn’t we be dancing in the streets?
Easter. The birthday of the church. The most holy Catholic festival. A day for really dressing up.
But if we’re taking it seriously, if we’re really taking to heart this utterly insane story of a savior executed and miraculously raised from the dead, doesn’t it call for something more than a dry-cleaned spring dress and a rack of lamb?
Shake It
Last Palm Sunday I was in Haiti, part of a group of Americans visiting the Caribbean nation to learn about grassroots efforts at environmental preservation…

April 3rd, 2007
What does the life, death and resurrection of Jesus have to do with me? Young adult experiences of the Paschal Mystery

Beth didn’t get the job. She’d known it was competitive but she’d nailed the interview and was almost sure she’d get hired. It would mean rather than her own apartment and a life of her own after graduation, she’d be returning to her dysfunctional parents’ house in the small town where she was raised. She’d gone to school in a big city on purpose and she’d had every intention of getting away from her past for good. She felt like after four years of working like hell, if she was going to land right back where she started, where she didn’t want to be, it had all been for nothing.
Jason had known for a long time that his girlfriend was looking for something different.…

April 2nd, 2007
Was Jesus blindsided?

I envy those people who say that Jesus is their best friend.
I’ve never been able to understand how people are able to think of Him as My Buddy Jesus, confiding in Him like they would a best friend. I have no problem telling Him my innermost thoughts, but when it comes to receiving the satisfaction that one receives from sharing with a real best friend, I’m like the little girl who’s afraid of the dark. It’s not enough to know that God is watching over me; I need “God with skin on.”
Part of what was missing, I thought as I walked to the subway, was the feeling that Jesus could truly empathize with all my sufferings.
I knew He suffered more than anyone else ever has or will. Yet, it seemed…

March 30th, 2007
Beyond words and Into Great Silence

At the beginning of March, Philip Groning’s film Into Great Silence—a two-hour and forty-minute meditation on life in the Grande Chartreuse Carthusian monastery in southeastern France—opened at a theatre in New York City for a two-week run. But when each of the three daily showings continued to sell out, the theatre owners put a “Held Over” sign on the marquee after the film’s title. Now, at month’s end, it’s still playing to a full house. Patrons are buying their tickets on-line the day before in order to ensure they get a seat.
All this for a film in which, for the first two hours, the loudest sounds are of rain falling, birds chirping, an axe splitting wood,…

March 28th, 2007

Who is one person that you find most inspiring in your life and why?
Compiled by Marc Adams reporting from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.…

March 27th, 2007
A young Atlanta priest uses a popular morning show as his hip-hop pulpit

by Is God using Naomi Campbell to teach us a lesson? The man Atlantans know as “Father Crunk” seems to think so. Here’s what he had to say about the supermodel, whose cell phone assault of her former maid resulted in “mop duty” at New York’s Sanitation Department this month—”We need to teach bullies a lesson. Bullies need to have the fear of God in them when they start trippin’. You can deal with bullies and still be loved by God.”
For those who may be hip-hop impaired, “crunk” is a type of hip-hop music that originated from the South. A fusion of the words ‘crazy’ and ‘drunk,’ “crunk” music is meant…

March 26th, 2007
It's not just another four letter word

Five weeks ago I slipped and fell on the ice on my way home from the gym, fracturing my arm bone straight across the top, right at the shoulder. Your shoulder is connected to your chest, back and neck—a central point that controls the whole upper body—so for weeks, I couldn’t open the cereal box or a bottle of water or the very-necessary Tylenol. My fiancé, Peter, had to do just about everything for me: He was getting some of the “in sickness” parts of our wedding vows a bit sooner than he’d expected.
In the mornings, he’d come over to help me get my day started. At night, he’d cut my dinner up into bite-sized pieces. Mostly, he forced me to slow down by renting…

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