Busted Halo
googling god
The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
February 18th, 2011

Indeed. It might be best to start off with looking at what kind of stories you enjoy reading. If you like good humor, you may want to read Jonah or Tobit to get you engaged in reading other books. Love poetry? Try the Song of Songs, the Psalms or the Proverbs.
It’s also not always wise to read an entire book of the Bible in one sitting. Better to read sections over…

February 16th, 2011

Since you are writing a Catholic website, I’m assuming that either you or your fiancé is Catholic, so I’m going to answer the question with that in mind. You also don’t mention whether the proposed marriage is between two Christians or between a Catholic and someone from another religion, so I’ll answer both.
It’s important to remember that strictly…

February 15th, 2011

Read Bustedhalo.com daily! =)
And read some of the classic reflections on faith and service like Thomas Merton’s letter to a young activist or the “Oscar Romero” prayer (which actually was penned by Bishop Ken Utener.
Read about the great ones: Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Read good contemporary spiritual writers: John Dear, S.J., Annie…

February 14th, 2011

Think of it this way: if you needed help with something, you’d probably ask for the support of someone who has had personal experience with the issue in question. This is the idea behind patron saints – why John the Evangelist is a patron saint of writers, say, or why Joan of Arc is one of the patron saints of soldiers.
When it comes to sexual purity (I’m assuming…

February 11th, 2011

The word “ministry” can be equated to mean the work that the church does in the world. Therefore anyone who does “ministry” is a minister. This includes priests, deacons, women religious, brothers and lay professionals (like youth ministers and campus ministers).
Usually all of these people hold a master’s degree in theology,…

February 10th, 2011

The word “cult”, in its original sense, refers to a collection of practices and rituals associated with a religion or with a particular aspect of a religion. This is how the word is primarily used in academic discourse. Thus we can speak of the cult of a particular saint in reference to the devotions associated with honoring that saint in Catholic Christianity,…

February 9th, 2011

Words are very important here. Because of very real differences in faith, it is not possible for Christians to pray with those of another religious tradition. However, we may, and in fact are encouraged to respectfully be in the presence of people of other religious traditions when they are at prayer, just as we would encourage them to observe us when we pray.…

February 8th, 2011

The answer to this question is a bit above my pay grade. As a Jesuit, I’m not in the loop of the diocesan priests’ world. They better know who is moving up the ladder of ecclesiastical offices. The priests who study in Rome seem to get to know one another and they would have a better sense of who from other countries has a chance of becoming Pope. If you really want…

February 7th, 2011

Actually, we owe the first half of it to the angel Gabriel and to Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,” are the words of the angel when he greets Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28). During the visitation, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth welcomes her with the words, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your…

February 4th, 2011

Ownership of land was very important in biblical times. Heck, it still is! Who doesn’t think that they’ve “made it” when they finally purchase their first home? To own property is to reach a degree of prosperity that makes you a “someone.” Recall that, in the Old Testament, the Jewish people find themselves in slavery in the land of Egypt. They have…

February 3rd, 2011

Q:  Do Hindus believe in Jesus? A friend told me that they believe in all gods.
Hinduism is an umbrella term for the indigenous religious traditions of South Asia, a vast subcontinent which is home to a wide diversity of belief and practice. However, certain principles are common among Hindus. Among these is the belief that there are many gods and goddesses,…

February 2nd, 2011

It depends on what your wife’s religious tradition is. If she is Christian, then there are many things which you already hold in common which you should celebrate such as your common baptism, common scriptures, belief in Jesus as Lord, etc. In short, what you can do together in conscience, you should do together, refraining only from those things which cannot…

February 1st, 2011

The simple answer is that statues of saints remind us of the saint and their heroic efforts on behalf of the people of God and the spreading of the Gospel Good News so needed in every age. We gaze upon and ponder statues and pray to become like the great witnesses to God’s love and mercy and justice. We don’t worship the statue or the saint. We let our imagination…

January 31st, 2011

Many depictions of Mary show her wearing a long veil that covers her head and stretches to the ground. This is also referred to as a mantle. Many Catholics find comfort in the image of Mary holding open her mantle and wrapping it around us, protecting us as a mother would protect her children. (This symbolism is found in Eastern Orthodox Christianity as well; the…

January 27th, 2011

Catholics believe that death is not the end of the human soul. The dead face a particular judgment which leads to damnation or salvation; those led to salvation may enter eternal life immediately or after a period of purification in purgatory. We don’t actually know what purgatory entails, although we do believe that we can have contact with the dead who have…

January 26th, 2011

No, not true. Even better than true. What your friend is referring to is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification which was signed by the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation on October 31, 1999. See: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html…

January 20th, 2011

What is the best Catholic response to any problem? Pray, then act.
Pray for those who suffer from religious violence and persecution, that they will find safety and be able to live free from fear and coercion. And pray for the conversion of those who enable or perpetrate violence, that they will come to respect the human dignity and freedoms of all people.
Then…

January 19th, 2011

This is a very insightful question. Sometimes the differences in interpretation of Scripture and Tradition seem overwhelming. However, unity is possible because Christ prayed for it at the Last Supper “that they all be one…so that the world may believe.” Thus, as John Paul II said in Paragraph 20 of Ut Unum Sint, “the movement promoting Christian…

January 18th, 2011

Symbols matter and communicate. What we wear “says” something. One would not show up at a Philadelphia Eagles game in a NY Giants jersey and expect to go unnoticed. A man who takes off his wedding ring before going on a business trip to Las Vegas would be questioned closely by his wife.
Funerals are times of sober reflection, prayer and celebration of a deceased…

January 18th, 2011

Most likely.
The most remarkable thing about the Celebration of the Eucharist is that throughout 2,000 or so years- we have always come together to listen to the words of scripture and then share a meal together. Throughout the years, many people have prayed the Eucharist in many different ways. The 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal is just one more way to pray the…

powered by the Paulists