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June 9th, 2014
How walking across Spain for two weeks changed my life

There is a saying amongst pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, Spain’s ancient pilgrimage path: “The real Camino doesn’t begin until you arrive back home.”
The place where we grew up is typically “home.” It’s an anchor, and we can always return to that physical location. But the thought of returning also brings up a sense of apprehension because home is usually, in some way, dysfunctional. It can be difficult to leave home and return when older, as a different person.
Starting at a young age, I emotionally ran away from the arguing and fighting dysfunction in my family. When college rolled around, I physically ran away from my hometown of Portland, Oregon, to Spokane, Washington, hoping to escape…

May 30th, 2014

GOOAALL!!!

It’s time once again for that big event we look forward to every four years…No, not Pentecost in June (though that coincides as well), it’s obviously time to get ready for soccer as the World Cup begins this month on June 12, hosted by Brazil…

May 29th, 2014
Class is in session! We’re answering questions about faith in the workplace, saints,
sacraments, and much more!

Over the next four weeks Busted Halo is headed into the classroom for a session of summer school. In the tradition of the Busted Halo Question Box, we’ll answer questions about the Sacraments, Catholic beliefs, Church teaching as it relates to modern living, and much more. You’ll be learning, doing a little homework (don’t worry — it won’t be too difficult), and digging deeper into your faith. This will probably lead to more questions!

Each day, that day’s link in the Summer School calendar will start working, leading to a question of faith and its answer. There’s also a form to submit your own question of faith, and each week during Summer School we will give away an Amazon Kindle to the person who submits the best question of faith, as determined by the Busted Halo staff.

May 28th, 2014

I don’t remember the first time I made someone laugh, but I must have liked it. As a boy growing up in suburban Chicago, I watched David Letterman nightly with a devotion bordering on obsession. Sleep, school and grades were all sacrificed at the altar of Stupid Pet Tricks and Top Ten lists. The world of late night television seemed to be so contrary to the grim, hyper-organized world of school, which dominated my life with its obligations, tasks and duties. Late night was a world of irreverent pranks, loud music and fun conversation. This was a world I wanted to be a part of. Little did I know.
Before becoming a Jesuit, I spent the better part of my 20s as a struggling comedian, and I can tell you right now that a life…

May 27th, 2014

Recently someone came up to me and asked, “Andy, do you remember me?” Then it happened again a couple weeks later. My memory had to be jogged briefly on both occasions, but each person had remembered me from my time spent at two Jesuit universities in the last few years. I hadn’t seen these people in a while so it was nice to have the chance to chat and catch up. The joy, though, in each encounter was in being remembered.
The act of being remembered makes you feel appreciated and worthy. It’s the same as when someone tells you they were thinking about you the other day or that you came up in conversation. Consider the feeling you get when some past relationship or brief encounter that was sitting…

May 22nd, 2014

If you’ve never trekked to the Holy Land, here’s the next best thing: Treat yourself to a copy of Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ, which recently debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Jesuit priest — best known as Stephen Colbert’s chaplain on The Colbert Report — was initially reluctant to leave his office at America magazine to visit where the events of the Bible took place. “I didn’t want my pristine mental images of holy sites to be supplanted by touristy locales,” Fr. Martin admits, “but going there was really transformative. It helped me understand the Gospels in a way that I never could have.”
Jesus is helping readers encounter its lofty subject in a refreshingly…

May 21st, 2014
Remembering those we have lost in the service of country and community

Memorial Day weekend we dust off the grill, break out the lawn chairs, and head downtown to the first parades of the year. But wait! Memorial Day isn’t just the unofficial start of summer. It’s a day to remember those who have made an extraordinary sacrifice in the service of their country and local community. Busted Halo’s® Virtual Memorial Day Retreat guides you through moments of reflection and thanksgiving for the soldiers, police officer and firefighters who have given their own lives in the service of others.

May 21st, 2014

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:24
America’s first two Anglo settlements were Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts. The first was a business founded by the Virginia Company of London that mentioned God in its charter as an afterthought. Plymouth, in contrast, was a group of pilgrims hoping to find spiritual refuge. Since the 1600s, the United States has wrestled between its love of God and money. Unfortunately, today it seems the pursuit of wealth is winning America’s heart while God is becoming more of an afterthought.
Take…

May 15th, 2014
Cardinal Walter Kasper (AKA Pope Francis’ theologian) shows us how to give -- and receive -- mercy.

“This book has done me such good,” Pope Francis remarked in his first Sunday afternoon address in March 2013.
I immediately thought, “What book is he talking about and how can I get one?”
“Mercy by Walter Cardinal Kasper” and “nowhere yet” were the answers.
I had heard of this remarkable German theologian before, about 10 years ago in my first systematic theology class, but I really didn’t try to read anything of his until this endorsement by Pope Francis. And now I would have to wait more than a year until the book was available in English.
Finally, earlier this month, the English translation of Mercy… (Paulist Press) was published. To celebrate the book’s release, Cardinal Kasper came to New

May 13th, 2014

Imagine walking into Sunday Mass and finding an extra 500 people crowded in the pews and spilling into the aisles. No, it’s not Easter. It’s a Mass mob.
The concept is taken from the popular flash mobs that invite strangers via social media (sometimes hundreds, thousands, even millions!) to participate in a group action. Flash mobs range from choreographed dances in public places to marriage proposals.
Mass mobs were created to intentionally invite strangers to attend Mass at a designated church. Beginning in Buffalo last November, Mass mobs have spread across the country to churches in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and most recently Detroit. The Mass mobs in these cities happened in older churches with the…

May 9th, 2014
A retreat for young adults and their mothers to celebrate the relationship that continues to nurture us

This Sunday is Mother’s Day — a day dedicated to honoring our mothers. As we become “adults” our relationships with our mothers evolve and our perspectives shift. We might feel distanced from our mothers or even at odds with them. This virtual retreat focuses on our changing relationships with our mothers. You can do this retreat on your own or with your mom! Live far away? Email her the link then get on the phone, Facetime or Skype. So, in addition to a card or gift (don’t forget!), celebrate Mother’s Day with your mother in a unique way.

May 9th, 2014

Dear Graduates,
Congratulations! You have much to celebrate as you mark the end of your time in college. We here at Busted Halo hope this prayer gives you the opportunity for a few moments of spiritual reflection as you take part in graduation festivities.
This is a time of great joy, transition, and maybe even some nervousness about the future. God goes with you — and God celebrates with you. We do too.…

  

God of joy and hope,
we thank you for this time of graduation.
Your spirit of wisdom has empowered our hard work and discipline in such a way that our hunger for learning has been nourished with knowledge, discovery, creativity, and determination.
As we prepare to walk across the stage to receive our

May 8th, 2014

Question: My boyfriend and I are beginning to have serious conversations about marriage. He is a shamanist, and I am a Catholic. He has attended Mass with me on multiple occasions, has prayed with me, and is open to conversations about marrying in the Church and raising our kids Catholic.
It’s not that he’s thinking of converting, and that’s not what I expect of him either. I just know that interfaith marriages can be very challenging. What would be your advice for conversations we should have before deciding on marriage and also advice for our lives together as partners and potentially parents?
Answer: I want to commend you for considering this question now. When couples get engaged first and…

May 7th, 2014

It is the time of the church year when we consider that a dead man came back to life and walked among us for 40 days. In the lingering energy of Easter’s festivities, I sat down to catch up on ABC’s new drama, Resurrection, which is set in a small town in Missouri where people begin to return from the grave.
The show began as a couple wrestled with the reappearance of their precious 6-year-old boy who had drowned decades earlier. In recent episodes, the town’s pastor must face the sudden return of his love who had committed suicide years earlier. The uniqueness of the series is grounded in human emotion. We witness the resurfacing of feelings that death had exacted in the lives of these characters, and the unravelling…

May 6th, 2014

Busted Halo’s introduction to the Sacraments 101 video series continues as Fr. Steven Bell, CSP, answers more questions about getting married in the Catholic Church: Can we have a destination wedding? What kind of music can we use? What if we’re already living together? What if we’re divorced?
These questions and more are answered in this edition of “Sacraments 201,” a web video series geared toward those who’d like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.
To download this video go here and click the download arrow or choose save or download.…

May 1st, 2014

High school students are entering a critical time of year — college acceptance/rejection letter season — when seniors find out where they got in and decide where they will attend in the fall. For most students, it marks the beginning of the biggest transition they’ve ever experienced in their life. But while you may be at the top of your class, the bottom or somewhere in-between, everyone is challenged by some bad habit or another when it comes to school. If you’re a high school junior or senior you may already be painfully aware of the bad habits that get you into trouble and make your life more difficult than it needs to be. The real danger with high school bad habits, though, is that they often…

April 30th, 2014

Happy May and May Day! Summer is fast approaching and with it (hopefully) warmer weather for all. This month we remember especially Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Our Lady of Fatima, Memorial Day, the Ascension and the Visitation.

April 30th, 2014
How my prayer life changed my view on expressing emotion

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 what I mean by “emotion.”…

April 29th, 2014

Busted Halo’s introduction to the Sacraments 101 video series continues as Fr. Steven Bell, CSP, answers more questions about what Catholics believe about the Eucharist and receiving Communion: How does the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ? Is Communion a reenactment of the last supper? Should you not receive Communion if you have sinned? Why can’t non-Catholics receive Communion in the Church?


These questions and more are answered in this edition of “Sacraments 201,” a web video series geared toward those who’d like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.
To download this video go here and …

April 26th, 2014

You might have heard — Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be declared saints this weekend. Have you ever wondered about the steps to canonization — that is, being named a saint by the Catholic Church? Who is eligible? What happens on the way to being named a saint? Aren’t there miracles involved?

We answer all those questions and more in this saint-filled video.

One of the interesting things about the saints is that many of them were imperfect people. They sinned. They experienced doubt. For many saints, the turnaround in their lives was gradual — it did not necessarily come in one big moment of clarity.

That might sound a lot like your own spiritual journey. When you really think about it, we’re all “saints in the making” and examples of canonized Saints of the Church can help us along our way.

How can you follow the example of the saints in your own life? Watch this video, learn more about Catholic Saints here at Busted Halo, and be open to what the saints can teach you about your spiritual journey today.

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