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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…

August 21st, 2013

When I made the decision to go to graduate school, I only had two examples to help me anticipate the experience: friends who had gone back to school and Adam Sandler in Billy Madison.
While Billy Madison is certainly entertaining, I dwelled more on the experiences of my friends. One thing was clear: graduate school seemed like undergrad on steroids. I recall undergrad being difficult, but it seemed like this idyllic time in life with perfectly manicured landscapes, late-night dining options, bike racks, and your friends all living just a block away. Sure, there were homework and papers. However, it seemed like a big playground for young, or “emerging,” adults. It was real life, but it wasn’t.…

August 20th, 2013
And how to deal with the panic that'll ensue

For many, going back to school is done with sighs and groans and dreams of summers to come. For people like me, rising college juniors, it is done with all the emotional stability that Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes show on Twitter.
Collectively, we college juniors and seniors are a mess. But to be clear, not the kind of mess that needs to be swept under the rug. We are a mess because we are intelligent and resourceful people who understand that the world outside our hallowed college halls is quite different from that within. We want to go and stay all at the same time. We are ready for responsibility but terrified of disappointment. Personally, I am petrified that I’m going to have to join the traveling circus after…

August 16th, 2013
How to build a relationship based on trust -- and to know when it's time to walk away

Dear Michele,
I’m not sure if I can trust my boyfriend. Every now and then, I just feel like he may not be telling me the truth. Sometimes I catch him looking at other girls or flirting, although he says I’m being oversensitive. I don’t want to seem paranoid. I don’t think he would cheat, but how can I know if I can trust him?
Dear Can I Trust Him,
Let me state my bias up front: I tend to counsel people to listen to their gut. You know your relationship better than anyone. If you feel as if there is deception, then I would encourage you to continue to explore the possibilities and to be very open with your boyfriend about the process. At the same time, sometimes our own histories get in the way and make us suspicious when our…

August 15th, 2013

Ever wonder what the big deal is with Catholics and the Virgin Mary? Do they worship her or just pray to her? What’s the Annunciation? What’s the Immaculate Conception? What’s the Assumption? All these questions and more answered in this short two (okay, three) minute video.
To download this video go here and click the download arrow or choose save or download.…

August 14th, 2013

This summer, I’ve been watching the hummingbirds whirring up to our feeder and resting on the convenient little perches while they drink. I can almost feel their hunger and need for copious amounts of sugar water to fuel their darting flights through the air.
But what struck me most the other day was the ants. The red sugar water had sunk to unnoticeable levels, so I unhooked the feeder and took it inside to wash in the kitchen sink. As I unscrewed the bottom and blasted it with water, a cluster of small black corpses floated into the sink trap: Ants, maybe 20 or 30 of them, hard to count as they were such infinitesimal slivers of DNA.
To clarify their journey, envisage our house on a hill. Our deck rises a good 15 feet…

August 13th, 2013

Earlier this year, when the End It Movement urged hundreds of thousands of people to wear a red “X” on their hands to promote awareness of the 27 million people in slavery around the globe, Amor Sierra decided to make hers permanent.
That’s because she’s brimming with gratitude for the ability to choose her own mark and passionate about helping others do the same. Once counted among the 200,000 slaves in the United States, Amor escaped in 1988 and went on to become a successful commercial real estate senior manager. After 22 years of corporate work, she sensed God calling her back to Miami. She obeyed, not knowing exactly what that would look like. Soon after rejoining Calvary Kendall Church and starting…

August 9th, 2013
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…

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