Busted Halo
Features : Religion & Spirituality
January 11th, 2016
Rebecca walking the Camino.I first heard about the Camino de Santiago in 1999. A walk across the Spanish countryside, on a pilgrimage trail carved by millions of footsteps over the last thousand years intrigued me, but it wasn’t the right time. So I filed the idea away until 2012, when I was at a crossroads in my spiritual life. I embarked on my first camino, and have since walked it twice more. Perhaps you, too, have been dreaming of walking this ancient path. If 2016 is the year to make your dream a reality, here are a few things to solidify before booking your flight. Which route? If you want to converse with people from around the world every day and have an experience like those in the movies “The Way” and “Six…
December 24th, 2015
God takes on human form at Christmas -- and gives us an example for how to live our lives
A wooden creche is seen on display at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Gift Shop in Rochester, N.Y. (CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)When it comes to acronyms and short-form expressions, it can be difficult to keep up with our culture’s rate of production. How many of our parents out there (bless them) are still using “LOL” incorrectly? There is, however, one acronym that has enjoyed a consistent appeal, even before the days of tweeting and messaging: “WWJD?” “What would Jesus do?” It is a reasonable question to ask in moments of our lives when we are in need of an example of the right thing to do. However,  when it comes to living our lives lovingly and joyfully,…
December 21st, 2015
Our digital twist on the traditional Advent calendar brings a sense of surprise and helps you connect to the true meaning of the season.
December 15th, 2015
My personal longing for faith like a child
We pray with our sons about waiting for Christ at Christmas and listening for His voice or feeling His presence. “What does He sound like? How will I know He’s talking to me?” they ask. It’s difficult to answer. I haven’t felt God’s presence in a long time. I think back and remember times I did feel close to God and try and depend on those moments. The same way I look back at old photos and try and remember happy moments from my childhood or a friendship now gone sour. I sing Christmas carols hoping that they spark something; that they conjure up God’s presence, just as my boys sit in Advent expecting Christ to show up. A couple years ago, with no memory of Christmas past, my oldest listened intently to an Advent…
December 7th, 2015
Our preparations for Christmas often overwhelm us with occasions for waiting. We wait in line at stores. We wait for Christmas bonuses, traveling relatives, the mail carrier, the cookies in the oven to finish baking, and Santa. Waiting is not, however, a passive action. It’s dynamic and transformative! This virtual retreat will help you reflect on ways to grow in faith, hope, and love while we wait for the coming of Christ this Advent. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.) GETTING STARTED­ Find a quiet, comfortable place to experience this retreat — at home, outside, or at a local place of worship. Sit in stillness for a few moments. Try to gently quiet your mind. Listen to the sound of your breath.…
November 27th, 2015
Black Friday: The big shopping day that follows the big eating and giving thanks day (although those lines are blurred more each year). There is something admirable about avoiding the frenzy altogether, but let’s be realistic. If you are going to venture out on Friday (or any other day of the Christmas shopping season), how do you avoid losing yourself in the consumer-driven, line-cutting, short-tempered mayhem? Here are a few tips for making it through the mall with your spirit intact: 00-7TipsForBlackFriday-title 01-7TipsForBlackFriday-1 02-7TipsForBlackFriday-2 03-7TipsForBlackFriday-3 04-7TipsForBlackFriday-4 05-7TipsForBlackFriday-5 06-7TipsForBlackFriday-6 07-7TipsForBlackFriday-7…
November 25th, 2015
Prayer is always a tricky thing, and it becomes that much trickier when you have to do it in front of a roomful of people, especially when that roomful happens to be a collection of your nearest and dearest. Thanksgiving Dinner can be a veritable minefield of tension and anxiety. Unmet expectations, differing political views, ancient feuds, and first-time appearances are just some of the variables that can make for a fraught-filled holiday. Throw religion into the mix and you have all the ingredients for holiday drama of Kardashian-like proportions. If you happen to be the designated “prayer” before the meal this Thanksgiving, here are a couple of options that won’t fuel the flames. In other words, here…
November 9th, 2015
Exercises to Express Appreciation
INTRODUCTION­ It’s easy to take things for granted, especially some things like a job (that you HAVE TO GO TO each day), or a family (that you ARE CONSTANTLY surrounded by), or even friends (that you HAVE KNOWN FOREVER), or anything similar. It’s easy to forget why we are lucky for just about anything in our lives. That’s why it’s good to count our blessings, be thankful and show gratitude. This short retreat is intended to allow your group a little bit of time to reflect and think about gratitude in various aspects of your lives. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.) Click to download Exercise 1.APPRECIATION EXERCISE (PREPARATION: Print out a blank “Appreciation List” (Exercise 1 to the
November 4th, 2015
Find a comfortable space where you can relax. Sit comfortably. Let go of any thoughts, images, or feelings that arise. And get ready to feel gratitude...
November 2nd, 2015
With All Soul’s Day, November 2, Catholic parishes and other faith communities mark a month-long remembrance for all who have died. In the same spirit, we provide you this way to remember the people in your life who have died. This virtual retreat offers a chance for you to reflect more deeply on what they have taught you, as well as giving you an opportunity to offer thanks and determine how their legacy will guide your life. Click here or on the image below to open/download a PDF of the retreat. Click here or on the image above to open/download a PDF of the retreat.…
October 29th, 2015
The celebration of Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve) comes just before All Saints Day and the Feast of All Souls (or Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed). Generally, we associate this time of year with costumes, ghouls and trick-or-treating. This year, though, as we approach the day of spooks and the day of saints, let’s get to know a little more about some of the Catholic saints. The five which follow can add an element of faith … and fright … to your Halloween: & 2. St. Lucian and St. Marcian: Eye of newt and toe of frog Saints Lucian and Marcian spent their early years conjuring up magical spells. Their charmed lives came to an end when they discovered their potions had no power when used against…
October 15th, 2015
How my prayer life changed my view on expressing emotion
(CNS photo/Paul Haring)I used to curse my emotions. The chill of fear, the pang of disappointment, or being momentarily happy only to eventually fall from cloud nine — these emotions become exhausting after a while. Characters on TV who show no emotion, who happen to be really smart, and who have demeaning emotionless humor (Dr. Gregory House, Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper) are hailed as the cool kids. Characters who are overly emotional (Jess Day from New Girl, Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother) are made into ridiculous caricatures. Nobody wants to be called the fool. So, emotions must be the problem. I often catch myself suppressing emotion to make it seem like I have my wits about me. Now, let me clarify…
October 7th, 2015
Learning to trust God when you realize that you are not in control
When you become ill, seriously ill, you might feel hopeless or angry or full of despair. One of life’s most terrifying realizations is that we are not in control — God is. This virtual retreat provides guidance for prayer and reflection during the times when we need to trust God and to feel God’s presence, even when the future seems unclear. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.) GETTING STARTED­ Find a quiet, comfortable place to experience this retreat – at home, outside, or at a local place of worship. If you are confined to bed, consider having someone open the blinds or curtains to brighten your room. Imagine the love of God as bright, warm light. Picture that light coursing through your…
September 25th, 2015
Pope Francis arrived in New York City yesterday afternoon, and Busted Halo was on hand to welcome the pontiff to the city we call home! We continued our pope week experience with a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where Pope Francis led Vespers, otherwise known as evening prayer. Enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes photos of this beautiful event. Photos by Jennifer Sawyer The newly-restored Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, set to welcome Pope Francis, against the clear blue sky. This marks the fifth time a pope has visited the cathedral. The empty cathedral before guests arrive. The Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Choir and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Orchestra filled the halls with song. The cathedral…
September 14th, 2015
Try Busted Halo’s® Virtual Transitions Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of transitions in our lives. Download the retreat (if you print it — print on both sides of the paper!) by clicking the image below. Take a few minutes out of your day — at your desk, on your lunch break, between classes — and grow a deeper appreciation that God is with us in the midst of change. Click image below to open or download the 3-page PDF. Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF. Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.
September 11th, 2015
Three young adults share how Pope Francis has inspired them to deepen their faith
In honor of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, we’re revisiting this piece from March 2014, which features the stories of three young adults who cite Pope Francis as their reason for coming back to the Catholic Church. Marcee Treadway Hinds Mobile, Alabama I actually met with my parish priest about entering RCIA classes and having my daughter baptized just weeks after Pope Francis was elected. As someone who longed to fully enter the Church, in a way I feel like I was called back at an amazing time. Pope Francis has, for me, been a guiding light in this journey. Every morning on my way to work I listen to the Catholic Channel’s broadcast of daily Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New…
August 12th, 2015
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…
July 22nd, 2015
How to add a dose of spirituality to your daily life
Holiness … kind of an intimidating word, right? Did you know the Church teaches that we are all called to holiness? What does holiness mean, anyway? According to my oldest child (a very opinionated and precocious first grader who likes to give his expert opinion on everything), holiness is being best friends with God. How do we befriend God? Use these five unintimidating spiritual practices to get started: The Heart Diet No, it has nothing to do with cutting down on your cholesterol (she types as she devours her morning bagel smothered in cream cheese). This is thinking about how what we consume with our eyes and ears affects our spiritual well-being. Does the music blasting from your headphones on your morning…
June 26th, 2015
Question: After the recent storm, I haven’t been the same. I feel like everything is crashing down on me, and I am feeling a lack of faith. Any suggestions? It sounds like you’ve been jolted or shaken by a recent event. Whether it’s a storm driven by the weather or other life events, I totally understand your feelings of losing faith. Stress, anxiety, and the emotions that accompany crisis are often described as feeling like giant waves crashing around you. Here are five steps for praying when you feel overwhelmed by life’s storms. Click image to open or download the 2-page PDF. Click image to open or download the 2-page PDF.
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