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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
 
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September 8th, 2014

Overcoming anger is no easy task, especially when one has been hurt. It is possible however. Our first task to understand is that anger is an emotion. Emotions are normal and not at all sinful. However, we cannot allow our emotions to rule our decisions. The evil one would like nothing more than for us to fall into what St. Ignatius of Loyola calls desolation–thinking…

September 5th, 2014

No. Holy Water is a sacramental, a material object that is blessed and used to increase devotion and should not be thrown out into sewage systems. Holy Water can remain in receptacles for long periods of time if need be or if there is a need to clear out fonts or holy water receptacles, one should take the water and use it to water the earth outside a church or it can be…

September 4th, 2014

There is a distinction here between believing in the Bible and believing in the God that is revealed in the Bible through Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we affirm that the Bible contains sacred scripture which was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but that “in sacred scripture, God speaks through human beings in human fashion.” (Dei Verbum,…

September 3rd, 2014

Question: I was raised Catholic but there are things I don’t believe any more, like praying for the dead and praying to Mary. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Can I attend Mass?

Yes. Actually, anyone can attend mass. Non-Catholics and even non Christians can attend Mass. All are always welcome and encouraged to come even out of mere curiosity.
I believe however,…

September 2nd, 2014

The easy answer to start off with is that the water that is used is not holy water. It is ordinary flat water from a bottle or a faucet.
During the offertory part of the mass (Which begins the Liturgy of the Eucharist) the priest pours just a few drops of water into the chalice and then says: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity…

August 20th, 2014

The assumption that everything in the Bible has been “rewritten” by modern men is incorrect. The Bible has been translated innumerable times since the last book of it was penned 1,900 years ago, but it has not been “rewritten.” The common English translations we use now — for example, the New American Bible – have been translated directly…

August 15th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
What is the best way for a young adult to get involved in ministry without becoming one of the “little old church ladies”? I work for the Church and find that I still have trouble!…
My first thought is to simply be yourself. You need not become anyone other than who you are. So if you’re

August 14th, 2014

Q: How do you reconcile the commandment to “love thy neighbor” when he/she is not living in the image of God without become too judgmental so as act like the elitist high priests that Jesus spoke out against?
Saint Augustine’s well-known axiom “hate the sin, but love the sinner,” may be helpful here. All people are deserving of love, precisely…

August 12th, 2014

Question: I know its a touchy subject but I was always taught that people who committed suicide would go to hell. I read a article that said the churches got together and literally started saying this to keep people from killing themselves because their lives were poor, ect and thought they could just kill themselves and go to heaven to be in a better place. Does …

August 8th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
Q: My question is about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As a convert, I have always wondered about the sins I committed before I became Catholic. Because I was Protestant, I did not go to confession, but instead asked for forgiveness directly from God, without a priest in prayer. Are…

July 31st, 2014

Purgatory is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, and in fact the word did not come into common parlance until the twelfth century. However, the concept of a process whereby souls are purified before they enter heaven was evident in very early Christianity. Going back even further, there is a Jewish tradition that praying for the dead furthers the purification…

July 30th, 2014

The Pope just said what the Gospels have been saying since Matthew 25 was written and what Catholic Social Teaching has been saying for centuries. I strongly urge everyone to read the Pope’s exhortation The Joy of the Gospel. Here are some excerpts from the section entitled “The economy and the distribution of income.”
“The need to resolve the structural…

July 25th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School contest.
How do I invite coworkers to think about fair trade, recycling and other everyday social justice issues?

There are a bunch of possibilities here. The first is to take advantage of times when these issues naturally come up. So, you might organize a special event for Earth Day or bake and

July 24th, 2014

The Bible, like any written document, betrays the cultural context of the authors. In the case of the Bible, we are dealing with not one book, but with many books and thus many authors, all of whom wrote about 1,900 to 3,000 years ago. These authors were members of patriarchal cultures that had different views about gender roles, rights, and responsibilities…

July 23rd, 2014

Q: The Movie Son of God has details that do not appear in the Gospels, e.g. Peter returning from the empty tomb and immediately celebrating the Eucharist. Is this allowed?
Sure. St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises suggests the person making the retreat imagine Jesus appearing to his mother Mary. The Gospels don’t tell of this, but our imaginations can…

July 17th, 2014

Q: I would like to know where and what type of Bible that is written in Layman’s terms that I can fully understand and remember. I have to reread my bible and still cannot understand some of the scriptures.
Perhaps the best way to go about finding a Bible with a translation that you like and feel comfortable with is to go to a bookstore and peruse their shelf of…

July 16th, 2014

It seems to me that God is much more concerned with what happens in our board rooms than in our bedrooms. Billions on this planet live in poverty. Most Americans have no awareness of how money is really distributed in our country.
Our faith clearly states concern for the poor and economic justice is central to our faith.
Here are three quotes from the Catechism:…

July 15th, 2014

Q: I am so glad the “nuns on the bus” are going through the country. Why can’t the majority of people see what awful things the Republicans are doing to the poor, women, and wage earners?
The “Nuns on the Bus” are a project of NETWORK, which describes itself as a “National Catholic Social Justice Lobby” and was founded by Roman Catholic religious…

July 11th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
Q: In some denominations, the primary function of missionaries is to attempt conversion of the unchurched or non-practicing members of another religion to Christianity. Is this type of direct evangelization a common practice in Catholicism? Parishes are often asked to support …

July 10th, 2014

How does the person doing the reading know to say ‘letter from Paul’ when in the prayer book it just says Corinthians etc.? I’d like to do the readings but I don’t know these details.
Lectors who are doing the readings from the Bible at mass read them from a book called the lectionary. The lectionary is formatted to show the lectors which Bible passages…

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