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Busted Halo
Features : Religion & Spirituality
November 27th, 2015

Black Friday: The big shopping day that follows the big eating and giving thanks day (although those lines are blurred more each year). There is something admirable about avoiding the frenzy altogether, but let’s be realistic. If you are going to venture out on Friday (or any other day of the Christmas shopping season), how do you avoid losing yourself in the consumer-driven, line-cutting, short-tempered mayhem? Here are a few tips for making it through the mall with your spirit intact:…

November 25th, 2015

Prayer is always a tricky thing, and it becomes that much trickier when you have to do it in front of a roomful of people, especially when that roomful happens to be a collection of your nearest and dearest. Thanksgiving Dinner can be a veritable minefield of tension and anxiety. Unmet expectations, differing political views, ancient feuds, and first-time appearances are just some of the variables that can make for a fraught-filled holiday. Throw religion into the mix and you have all the ingredients for holiday drama of Kardashian-like proportions.
If you happen to be the designated “prayer” before the meal this Thanksgiving, here are a couple of options that won’t fuel the flames. In other words, here…

November 9th, 2015
Exercises to Express Appreciation

It’s easy to take things for granted, especially some things like a job (that you HAVE TO GO TO each day), or a family (that you ARE CONSTANTLY surrounded by), or even friends (that you HAVE KNOWN FOREVER), or anything similar. It’s easy to forget why we are lucky for just about anything in our lives. That’s why it’s good to count our blessings, be thankful and show gratitude. This short retreat is intended to allow your group a little bit of time to reflect and think about gratitude in various aspects of your lives. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.)
This retreat is intended for a small group (4-9) of coworkers, family, or friends, or any small collection of people

November 4th, 2015

Find a comfortable space where you can relax.
Sit comfortably.
Let go of any thoughts, images, or feelings that arise.
And get ready to feel gratitude…

November 2nd, 2015

With All Soul’s Day, November 2, Catholic parishes and other faith communities mark a month-long remembrance for all who have died. In the same spirit, we provide you this way to remember the people in your life who have died. This virtual retreat offers a chance for you to reflect more deeply on what they have taught you, as well as giving you an opportunity to offer thanks and determine how their legacy will guide your life.
Click here or on the image below to open/download a PDF of the retreat.

Click here or on the image above to open/download a PDF of the retreat.…

October 29th, 2015

The celebration of Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve) comes just before All Saints Day and the Feast of All Souls (or Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed).
Generally, we associate this time of year with costumes, ghouls and trick-or-treating.
This year, though, as we approach the day of spooks and the day of saints, let’s get to know a little more about some of the Catholic saints. The five which follow can add an element of faith … and fright … to your Halloween:

& 2. St. Lucian and St. Marcian: Eye of newt and toe of frog
Saints Lucian and Marcian spent their early years conjuring up magical spells. Their charmed lives came to an end when they discovered their potions had no power when used against…

October 15th, 2015
How my prayer life changed my view on expressing emotion

I used to curse my emotions. The chill of fear, the pang of disappointment, or being momentarily happy only to eventually fall from cloud nine — these emotions become exhausting after a while.
Characters on TV who show no emotion, who happen to be really smart, and who have demeaning emotionless humor (Dr. Gregory House, Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper) are hailed as the cool kids. Characters who are overly emotional (Jess Day from New Girl, Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother) are made into ridiculous caricatures. Nobody wants to be called the fool. So, emotions must be the problem.
I often catch myself suppressing emotion to make it seem like I have my wits about me. Now, let me clarify what I mean by “emotion.”…

October 7th, 2015
Learning to trust God when you realize that you are not in control

When you become ill, seriously ill, you might feel hopeless or angry or full of despair. One of life’s most terrifying realizations is that we are not in control — God is. This virtual retreat provides guidance for prayer and reflection during the times when we need to trust God and to feel God’s presence, even when the future seems unclear. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.)

Find a quiet, comfortable place to experience this retreat – at home, outside, or at a local place of worship. If you are confined to bed, consider having someone open the blinds or curtains to brighten your room. Imagine the love of God as bright, warm light. Picture that light coursing through your

September 25th, 2015

Pope Francis arrived in New York City yesterday afternoon, and Busted Halo was on hand to welcome the pontiff to the city we call home! We continued our pope week experience with a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where Pope Francis led Vespers, otherwise known as evening prayer. Enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes photos of this beautiful event.
The newly-restored Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, set to welcome Pope Francis, against the clear blue sky. This marks the fifth time a pope has visited the cathedral.

The empty cathedral before guests arrive.

The Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Choir and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Orchestra filled the halls with song.

The cathedral begins to fill up as ticketed…

September 14th, 2015

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.…

September 11th, 2015
Three young adults share how Pope Francis has inspired them to deepen their faith

In honor of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, we’re revisiting this piece from March 2014, which features the stories of three young adults who cite Pope Francis as their reason for coming back to the Catholic Church.…

Marcee Treadway Hinds
Mobile, Alabama

I actually met with my parish priest about entering RCIA classes and having my daughter baptized just weeks after Pope Francis was elected. As someone who longed to fully enter the Church, in a way I feel like I was called back at an amazing time.
Pope Francis has, for me, been a guiding light in this journey. Every morning on my way to work I listen to the Catholic Channel’s broadcast of daily Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New

August 12th, 2015
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…

July 22nd, 2015
How to add a dose of spirituality to your daily life

Holiness … kind of an intimidating word, right? Did you know the Church teaches that we are all called to holiness? What does holiness mean, anyway? According to my oldest child (a very opinionated and precocious first grader who likes to give his expert opinion on everything), holiness is being best friends with God. How do we befriend God?
Use these five unintimidating spiritual practices to get started:

The Heart Diet
No, it has nothing to do with cutting down on your cholesterol (she types as she devours her morning bagel smothered in cream cheese). This is thinking about how what we consume with our eyes and ears affects our spiritual well-being. Does the music blasting from your headphones on your morning…

June 26th, 2015

Question: After the recent storm, I haven’t been the same. I feel like everything is crashing down on me, and I am feeling a lack of faith. Any suggestions?
It sounds like you’ve been jolted or shaken by a recent event. Whether it’s a storm driven by the weather or other life events, I totally understand your feelings of losing faith. Stress, anxiety, and the emotions that accompany crisis are often described as feeling like giant waves crashing around you. Here are five steps for praying when you feel overwhelmed by life’s storms.

Click image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click image to open or download the 2-page PDF.…

June 25th, 2015

This summer, take advantage of the longs days and warm temperatures to refresh both your body and spirit with the practice of active prayer. Step away from your desk, escape into nature, and go on a spiritual adventure to reconnect with your Creator. Even if you can’t leave the city, you can still find pockets of natural beauty where you can get outside, get active, and get praying.

Rejoice: Sunrise, Sunset
“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name…” — Psalm 68:3-4…
Few things are more glorious than a sunrise or sunset at the top of a mountain after a breath-catching hike to chase the pink and orange rays of light.

June 18th, 2015
A retreat for fathers and children to celebrate relationships that continue to influence us as young adults

Father’s Day is this weekend and it’s time to honor dear old Dad. Fathers share helpful advice and wisdom throughout our lives (or at least they try to.) Even if we’re too busy or stubborn to listen, dads are giving us tips on how to make our lives the best they can be. This virtual retreat helps young adults and their fathers connect with those wisdom moments and one another. You can do this retreat on your own or with your dad! Live far away? Email Dad the link and get on the phone, Facetime, or Skype. So, in addition to a card or gift (don’t forget!) celebrate Father’s Day with your father in a unique way.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click image to open or download…

June 16th, 2015

My son is only a few months old, and he’s already teaching me how I can find quiet moments in my day.
“Quiet” is not a word that many people associate with infants, and that’s true to a certain extent. There are toy tigers that light up and sing, the click and clack of snap-together furniture and, of course, our son’s enthusiasm for telling us how he feels at 3 a.m.
But while life with our son can be noisy, it’s not like my life was a quiet cave of solitude and reflection before parenthood. For years, I’ve structured my day so that the moments between audiovisual stimulation are scarce, starting with earbuds in during my commute and moving onto the screens that dominate my work and evening time.
This doesn’t…

June 10th, 2015
A guide for building a culture of encounter

Have you spent time volunteering or on a service trip? Did the experience excite, affirm or even challenge you? Use our virtual retreat to help you reflect on your experience and take some next steps toward building a better world. Whether you volunteered on your own or with a group, this retreat is for you. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of additional resources to get you motivated to volunteer again.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.…

Getting Motivated
Listen to real stories that contribute to a “culture of encounter”:

StoryCorps: “If you need me to hold your hand, I’m there”
StoryCorps: “I guess it’s my turn

May 21st, 2015
Remembering those we have lost in the service of country and community

This weekend we dust off the grill, break out lawn chairs, and head to the first parades of the year. But Memorial Day isn’t just the unofficial start of summer. It’s a day to remember those who’ve made an extraordinary sacrifice.

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