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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.

April 24th, 2014
Animated .gifs for the first 8 days of Easter

Easter is more than one day — it’s an entire season of the Church year that begins with the Easter Octave. The gospel readings during the Octave include some of the most beautiful passages of scripture from the time after Jesus’ resurrection and his first encounters with his friends and disciples. These readings remind us of the importance of Jesus’ resurrection and the power of his ministry here on earth. Jesus appeared to his friends & disciples that they might continue to share the Good News in word and deed with everyone they would meet.
To view a single day’s animation just click on that day’s image.

April 22nd, 2014
A personal retreat for Earth Day in appreciation of creation

Looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day this year? Try Busted Halo’s® Virtual Earth Day Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of creation 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 an even deeper appreciation for all God’s creation. Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2014
Are we focusing on financial freedom at the expense of the poor?

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every [kind of] garden herb, and [yet] disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” (Luke 11:42)
When some Christians talk about biblical principles in government, they tend to mean something very specific: small government, pro-life, anti-gay marriage, low taxes, government that respects the Christian heritage of the United States and a national law based upon the Bible are the main tenets. Freedom and liberty are considered by many in the American Christian community to be the backbone of the United States. Indeed, these are vital to any free society, but are they…

April 21st, 2014
The woman with a role in stories of Jesus' life, death and resurrection can be a model for our lives today

She was not the prostitute that you read about in Luke 7:36-50. Her story begins in Luke 8:1-3, which says, “Soon afterwards Jesus went through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Jesus, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary, called Magdalene from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna … and Susanna, and many others … who provided for them out of their resources.”
She also is not to be confused with the unknown woman who washed and anointed Jesus’ feet, nor was she Jesus’ wife, although some modern novels would have us believe this. There is simply no evidence for this…

April 18th, 2014
Presenting the traditional devotion in a virtual way to help you reflect on the mystery of Jesus’ death and what it still means to us today

Busted Halo has created a series of virtual stations designed for personal devotion. These stations relate to Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God and the reason his vision of this Kingdom led to his death. Find a quiet place to watch these stations, and as you do the devotions be open to how God is speaking to you through the Stations of the Cross.

April 17th, 2014
Connecting an ancient practice of remembrance with the suffering in today's world

On Good Friday, Jesus not only reveals that he is our Savior, but also, more subtly, that he is our Teacher. During his Passion, was he quietly teaching us not to mourn his death specifically, but rather asking us to mourn human suffering in general? Is there even a way to contextualize Christ’s Passion in the 21st century?
Many Catholic Worker communities try to do just that. By designing their own living Stations of the Cross, they attempt to tie Jesus’ Passion intimately to those who suffer in their own neighborhoods, towns and cities, as well as in far-off places in the world.
I’ve participated in the Los Angeles Catholic Worker “Good Friday Stations of the Nonviolent Cross” (which Martin Sheen dutifully…

April 16th, 2014

A long winter is fading into the calendar. Sunlight seems more content to lounge around past dinner and may even reach through the early spring chill and kiss our skin with bits of red if we lean its way.
The world draws us closer together as it warms. The cold and darkness that made us slowly withdraw from one another begins to disappear as birds sing, trees sprout colors, and neighbors who’ve ducked into cars to escape the cold linger once again to catch up and chat across driveways and busy sidewalks.
Winter can make us strangers.
I entered this season of Lent feeling the weight of a winter season in my spiritual life. I have felt a bit like God was my neighbor waving quickly and ducking into his front door across the street…

April 16th, 2014

Every night, before I go to sleep, I open up my Q&A a Day Book and answer the daily question. Q&A a Day is a trendy five-year journal that prompts the writer to record one line each day, and has 365 questions that you answer annually. They range from “What did you have for breakfast today?” to “Are you the original or the remix?” I like musing over the memories of where I was a year ago, and cultivating curiosity over the empty space of next year. After writing my answer for March 27, I peeked to the next page for March 28. The question of the day was, “What did you remember most about today?” It just so happens that March 28 last year was Holy Thursday. I knew this because my scribble revealed my answer, “The…

April 15th, 2014

Our writers invite you along on their journeys through Lent. Follow the play-by-play of their personal spiritual practices and share your own.…

April 15th, 2014

It is easy to share the personal highlight reel of my life, but I will stutter if you ask me the last time I truly felt vulnerable. I enjoy being independent and do not ask for help from others unless I am put in a tough spot. The first time I purchased a car on my own my parents offered financial assistance, but instead of accepting their offer, I picked up extra jobs to save up. When I was in college, I paid for my own tuition with scholarships and by working part-time. Like many young adults, I take pride in my independence and find it jarring to be put in a position where I have to ask for help.
That all changed when I was in a car accident this winter. The wheels that carried me to work and social outings and on road trips were no more.…

April 14th, 2014
A practical guide for the days between Palm Sunday and the Resurrection

When I returned to the Church in my late twenties, one of the things that became very important to me was fully investing in the liturgical year. As a child, any day at church was just the same as another, and though Christmas and Easter had extra trappings, my adolescent apathy didn’t allow for much conviction or interior renewal. So, when I came back I wanted to learn, appreciate and enjoy all the unique aspects of living life according to the liturgical calendar. And there was no time where that commitment to commitment became as significant as during Holy Week.
Holy Week is the apex of our liturgical year. The entire week is one of continued heightening, building and expanding of our faith in and love for Christ,…

April 14th, 2014
Reflecting on the Boston Marathon Bombings one year later

Whenever I move to a city, something big seems to happen. When I moved to St. Louis in 2006, the Cardinals won the World Series. When I moved to Chicago, President Obama was elected in 2008 and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. And when I moved to Boston last year, the Red Sox won the World Series. Each of these events united the city I lived in, and I spent much time partying in the streets, as they say.
However, in April 2013, I experienced something that united a city, yet was a tragedy. Not only a tragedy for Boston, but for the entire nation.
The day of the Boston Marathon bombings began as a beautiful day. The sun was shining, and you couldn’t imagine better weather for a marathon. The entire city shut down, and…

April 11th, 2014

When I heard that Fred Phelps was gravely ill, my immediate visceral reaction was sinful in the extreme. My immediate visceral reaction was: good.
I am not proud of this.
If you don’t know, Fred Phelps was the founder of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, known for its protests of military funerals and its virulent homophobia. Church members, mostly Phelps’ own relatives, celebrated the deaths of American soldiers as acts of divine retribution. They touted signs proclaiming “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for 9/11.” The WBC has made hateful statements about not only homosexuals, but Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and various Protestant denominations.
So it isn’t surprising that Phelps’…

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