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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
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
November 20th, 2015

Who gave Jesus his halo — how did he have it in the first place? Do we just presume God?…
The halo is an artist’s rendering of holiness and nothing more. Halos often symbolize “sainthood” in Catholic circles, but in Ancient Greece they were drawn behind heroes as having more than natural light around them.
The first halo in Christian art

November 17th, 2015

Question: 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.

Answer: …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

November 13th, 2015

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…

November 10th, 2015

Question: What aspects of the seven sacraments are in the Bible? Are there any that are not?

Answer: The seven sacraments celebrated by Catholics all have their roots in scripture, although some are featured more prominently than others. There are many references to baptism, of course, beginning with Jesus’ baptism by John. The eucharist… was instituted

November 6th, 2015

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

November 3rd, 2015

Question: If the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Father and is rated among the 10 commandments as equally important, how is it that Sunday has been chosen for worship and the Seventh Day forgotten?

Answer: …The Hebrew Scriptures make many, many references to honoring the Sabbath, beginning with the injunction to honor it because that is when God rested from creating

October 28th, 2015

You won’t find a listing of the Holy Days of Obligation in the Bible because they aren’t there. They aren’t there because they weren’t instituted when the Bible was written and compiled. Like so many things in our Catholic tradition, the practice of celebrating Holy Days developed over a period of centuries as church leaders reflected…

October 23rd, 2015

Q: I was recently asked, what do I believe, does the Soul/Spirit actual dies when the body expires? I said no the Soul does not die. Am I right or wrong?
Soul signifies the “spiritual principle in humanity.” Because the Greeks often emphasized that the soul needed to escape the body, we often have a tendency to “prefer” the soul to the…

October 20th, 2015

Question: Thinking of movies that focus on the “rapture,” how does the Catholic Church view this topic? Movie trailers make it look scary and violent. I have read the scriptures on this but often wondered about the Church’s view on how it would happen or how it is interpreted.

Answer: …The reference to a Christian “rapture” (meaning “the

October 16th, 2015

No one made God. God always is, always has been, and always will be. Time itself is part of God’s creation, so there cannot be anything or anyone before God. Though posed innocently by children, this question challenges the most sophisticated philosophers and theologians. Humans are finite creatures, so bound by time that we cannot grasp the idea of something…

October 13th, 2015

People ascribed many different titles to Jesus in his lifetime with “Son of God” being chief among them. He never protested or corrected people when they called him this (see Matthew 14:33 and 26:63).
On the other hand, although Jesus didn’t openly walk around Palestine with a megaphone claiming, “I am God — come follow me!” there were…

October 9th, 2015

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…

October 6th, 2015

At the end of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus sends the disciples out to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). This is the origin of the Church’s “trinitarian formula.”
The understanding of the relationship between the three persons of the Trinity itself developed…

October 2nd, 2015

Question: What kind of father leaves his innocent children (Adam and Eve) in a place (Garden of Eden) with incredible dangers to them (tree of knowledge of good and evil, serpent, etc.) and only a warning to “protect” them? After the mistake (eating of the tree, disobeying God), they are cast out of the garden. A real father with real children knows…

September 9th, 2015

Question: I know the New Testament was written in Greek. However I have been told that there were a few verses from Jesus in Aramaic. Are you able to share with me exactly what verses in the New Testament are Aramaic?
Answer: …You are correct. The New Testament was written in Greek with only a few Aramaic words or phrases scattered here and there. They are generally

August 21st, 2015

Question: My dorm does not allow candles but I like to pray with a candle in front of my statue of Mary. Should I claim religious exemption?
Candles have a time-honored place as a symbol of prayer, especially in the Catholic tradition. In fact, at least two candles must be placed on the altar for the celebration of the Mass (General Instruction of the Roman Missal,

August 7th, 2015

What is a sign (from God)? What “signs” might appear to us today, and how is God still speaking?…
There are many events, supernatural or otherwise, that happen in the Bible, which can loosely be termed “signs from God.” Some appear in dreams, like the image of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:11-22). Others happen during waking hours,

July 31st, 2015

Imagine a timeline stretching back millions of years. Scientists believe that dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago, tens of millions of years before humans evolved from our primate predecessors. Fast forward to the centuries when the books in the Bible were written, a mere two to three thousand years ago. At that time, dinosaurs had been extinct…

July 17th, 2015

I commit the same sins over and over, and I feel bad going to confession when it is most likely I will commit the same sin. How do I say I will not sin again when I feel inside I will sin again? Am I using confession as a excuse to sin knowing I can confess and be forgiven?…
All of us have weaknesses and our sins are consequences of that. No one is perfect, and usually many of

July 10th, 2015

While the Church doesn’t have an official teaching on this topic, it is the policy of Catholic Charities to place adoptive children with single adults. Criteria taken into account include a person’s physical and mental health, ability to provide a stable and loving home environment, personal references, and extensive background checks. Although a…

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