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October 16th, 2013
Encountering the faith and art of Fr. Bill McNichols

“I believe that everyone has a landscape in his or her soul that corresponds to an actual landscape on this earth. In other words, the place one feels most at home. I found it in New Mexico…” — Father Bill McNichols
John Muir said, “We are now in the mountains and they are in us.” Though he was referring to the Sierras, Muir’s realization hit home for me in Taos, New Mexico, as a writer-in-residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. I remember Super Bowl Sunday 2012 not for the Giants beating the Patriots, but because it was that day I drove with my dog through the desert, from California to New Mexico, grateful to be given three months to write at the fellowship, unaware…

October 15th, 2013

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.…

October 10th, 2013

The headlines at the top of the NYTimes.com website today were all about Washington. I noticed one story buried on the page about Syria, and caught myself comparing the government shutdown here to the civil war there. Things are no better off for the Syrian people than they were two weeks ago, but our attention has shifted. Syria’s just so far away.
I remember an evening six or seven years ago when one of my college classes met at our professor’s house for dinner. Somehow the discussion turned into a debate on the war in Iraq. After a few points and counterpoints had been shared, a classmate stopped the argument in its tracks. She said that it was impossible for us to imagine what it meant to live in a war-torn land.…

October 9th, 2013
Different opinions on the controversial new burger topped with a communion wafer

Who doesn’t like a good burger? Well — that depends on who you ask and in this case, what the toppings are. A Chicago restaurant called Kuma’s Corner is serving up a new menu item this month called a “Ghost Burger.” It’s a 10-ounce patty topped with an unconsecrated communion wafer and red wine reduction sauce. Sounds a little bit like…Hey wait a minute! The burger was created to honor the Swedish band Ghost and has stirred up some controversy. Louis Sullivan, Busted Halo Intern and Contributor, and Fr. Steven Bell, CSP, Busted Halo Associate Director, weigh in on the question: Is Kuma’s Corner Ghost Burger offensive?
Louis Sullivan:… Personally, I don’t have a problem with the Ghost

October 1st, 2013

The scariest month of the year is upon us, but before we get to Halloween there are many sacred and saintly celebrations to remember, including the feasts of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Luke and Our Lady of the Rosary. Additionally, did you realize that today is World Vegetarian Day? Use our latest desktop image to remember all these and more important dates this October.
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 …

September 27th, 2013

When we first met Walter White back in 2008 — and if you’re not already familiar with the AMC drama Breaking Bad, which commenced its final half-season August 11, consider this your official SPOILER ALERT… — he was a just-turned-50 high school chemistry teacher recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Wanting to provide for his pregnant wife and disabled son, Walt (Bryan Cranston) turned his scientific training to the production of the best, purest crystal meth on the drug market.
That’s a cute, quirky premise, one that sounds like a setup for a crime comedy in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven, Pulp Fiction or Weeds. True, Breaking Bad has its darkly comic moments, and, true, Walter does start out as sympathetic

September 26th, 2013

Question: My fiancé and I, both practicing and serious Catholics, are having major problems with chastity. Both of us had saved sex for marriage until we met each other so this is not something we have taken lightly.
I am so concerned about what this bodes for our future marriage. Does this mean we will have problems remaining faithful to each other? At this point, I just don’t know what to do. Are we bad for each other? Do we just give up and find other people? Is our relationship doomed? What are we supposed to do from here?
Aghh! I strive for excellence in all aspects of my life, but in this one area where I have no willpower or strength. I don’t know what to make of this.
Answer: I can hear your anguish and concern.…

September 25th, 2013

I don’t usually share memes. I have nothing against memes. I just don’t want to be that person: the one who shares nearly every meme; the person who gets sucked in by a misattributed quote and serene landscape pairing. If I do share a meme, I’ve probably deliberated about doing so for at least five minutes, completed a hasty calculation of my meme-per-week rate, and actually thought it was pretty good, or quite funny.
One meme I did share was NBC’s tweeted photo showing the election of Pope Benedict versus that of Pope Francis. This photo, which was later debunked as misleading, was trying to make a point that technology has rapidly made its permanent home at every historic moment, even the election of a pope.…

September 24th, 2013
How a view from above helps me look within

I sit on the balcony with my sandals off, the chill of a beer bottle cooling my hand. A slight breeze ripples the hemline of my skirt and I settle into the creaking plastic chair beneath me. I’m not at the beach, a hotel, or a cutesy B&B overlooking a hillside somewhere. I’m on my friend Karen’s balcony, which we’ve nicknamed “the veranda” to sound more aristocratic than we actually are, exactly 12 blocks from my apartment in New York City.
I’ve found myself here quite frequently. Before landing my current job, I was in a pretty dark place. I had been without consistent work for a few months, struggling with the unpredictable nature of my field (television), feeling the pressures of dwindling funds,…

September 18th, 2013

This has been a big week for video game fans. Crowds flocked to retailers Monday night, eagerly awaiting the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto V, the latest in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series. The game, which cost a record-breaking $265 million to develop, has already more than made up its budget in pre-order sales alone. But while for some the promise of this new game has been like the thrilling countdown as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, for me it feels more like a time bomb waiting to burst. That’s because, as a video game junkie myself, I dread the storm that is inevitably coming in the wake of GTA V — the onslaught of the question, “Do violent video games inspire real-life violence?”…
Before

September 12th, 2013

The Bible is joining the ranks of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Why? Because “there’s an app for that.”
The arrival of God’s word to your smartphone is thanks to YouVersion, an app that allows users to read and bookmark the Bible on their mobile device. The app is available in different languages and versions, which you can compare to see which one you like best. YouVersion is the brainchild of LifeChurch.tv, and is one of the most successful apps on the market, with more than 100 million downloads.
Think the writing style of the original biblical writers is a little archaic? Then try “The Message,” a translation available on YouVersion that makes the Bible read…

September 11th, 2013
The importance of nurturing spiritual friendships in order to strengthen our faith

I was in college — graduate school — when I met my friend Amy. We were in a creative workshop, and when we both confessed to writing about faith, we shared a moment of recognition that C.S. Lewis describes as the beginning of any true friendship: What, you too? I thought I was the only one!…
When our class took an end-of-the-year trip to New York City, Amy and I stayed on an extra day, crashing in the empty apartment of an acquaintance. We walked and talked for hours, covering miles and pouring out our stories. Late that afternoon, we walked into a bookstore just long enough for Amy to pull a small pocket edition of the Old Testament Book of Ruth off the shelf. Later, on the rooftop of our friend’s apartment, the

September 9th, 2013
Tips for finding and getting involved in a new church home

Fall is often a time of new beginnings. You might be headed back to school or starting your freshman adventure. If you’ve recently graduated, you’re living on your own and settling in to a new work routine (or searching-for-work routine).
Our brains are in “back-to-school mode.” And generally, churches and campus ministries are following suit. They are rolling out the welcome mat and putting extra effort into inviting you back to church.
If you are new on campus or maybe looking for a church home after a move, take heart, you are not the only one on a spiritual quest. Here are a few suggestions to make your church search a little easier:

Look around your campus or neighborhood and see if there is a Catholic church…

September 6th, 2013
Tips for Fasting for Peace

Pope Francis is calling everyone to a day of prayer and fasting for peace Saturday, September 7. Here’s what you need to know. Click here or on the image below for a downloadable PDF.…

September 3rd, 2013
6 tips for getting back in the swing of things after summer vacation

So, you’ve been on summer vacation. You’ve had a few weeks or months off to sleep in and relax. Maybe you’ve gone away to visit family or soak up the sun’s rays.
But now it’s time to go back to a school or work schedule (or both). This can be difficult after the summer lull.
Luckily, Busted Halo® has these handy tips to help you get back in the swing of things.

Good Night, Sleep Tight
You’ve probably spent your vacation staying up late, whether watching movies, having late night dinner with friends, or roasting marshmallows by a campfire. Now that you’re back to work or school, this will probably change. Remember that you need a full night’s sleep to function well,…

September 1st, 2013

Wow, summer is over (that went fast) and now we look forward to getting back to work and the beginning of fall as our September desktop keeps you informed of some of the big holy days and saintly feast days in the next few weeks.
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]…

August 29th, 2013
Help for figuring out what to do with the rest of your life

Labor Day is upon us, and recent college grads are entering the workforce for the first time. However, far too many young adults are unemployed, unable to find a suitable job, much less a career. For many more, their current jobs don’t exactly match up with their idea of a “dream job,” and scores of others are underemployed (overqualified for their position) but need to work to pay the bills.
In my work as a spiritual director, I often specialize in helping people find meaningful work. I spend time helping young adults find where they believe God may be calling them and then help them take some proactive steps to put those desires into a practical career path. At the very least, I work with young adults to articulate…

August 28th, 2013
Fixing the broken immigration system for America's most vulnerable workers

Earlier this summer, immigration agents raided the weekly Bible study that Omar, a New Orleans day laborer, and his family regularly attended. Along with four other men, Omar was handcuffed and arrested in front of his 4-year-old and 5-month-old daughters, both U.S. citizens.
No one should be threatened for seeking work in order to provide a good life for their family, or for being active and contributing members of their community. Those aspirations are human.
Deepening and exploring our faith is a fundamental part of the Christian journey. Omar deserves the right to grow in his faith. Can you imagine being at a Bible study and having the police break it up?
A number of immigrant rights organizations and people…

August 27th, 2013

One day in my all-girls high school religion class, the conversation turned, as it often did, to abortion. Someone ventured that to carry an unwanted baby to term was a difficult thing, and another student retorted, “Well, if she didn’t want a baby, she should have kept her legs closed.”
Yikes, I thought, but before I or anyone else could say anything, another girl slammed one palm on her desk and shot the other one into the air.
“Why didn’t the woman close her legs,” the girl said when called upon. “Why don’t you ask why didn’t the man strap it down?”
The class erupted into laughter, but the moment stuck with me. I think of that memory now, nearly (oh…

August 23rd, 2013

We live in a microwave generation. You want dinner? All you have to do is stick your frozen entrée in the microwave for three minutes and then voila! Dinner is served. You want a new red shirt? Drive to the store and buy one. They don’t have it in your size? No worries. They can ship it to your house for free by the end of the week. No preparation, no anticipation. You just get what you want almost instantly.
However, this isn’t how spirituality works. And it’s definitely not how God works in our lives. The psalmist in the Bible says, “Wait for the Lord: be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) This verse can seem so impossible to obey. Yes, it’s easy…

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