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Features : Religion & Spirituality
October 10th, 2014

I wonder if you are like me in the morning. Do you gulp coffee, eat toast standing up, and hurl dishes into the dishwasher while watching Good Morning America?
On this particular morning, the news came through that one of my favorite actors, Robin Williams, had committed suicide. My coffee cup hit the tiles and liquid cascaded across my kitchen floor.
“How could this happen?” I wailed to my husband, who was going through his own frantic dance of trying to leave for work.
“What happened, Annie?”
“Robin Williams committed suicide.”
He left his backpack on the floor and came skidding into the kitchen. From his face, he was as shocked as I was.
“How could someone who was loved by so many not know that he was…

October 7th, 2014

For Catholics, the Rosary is among the most popular forms of prayer. Many also believe that saying the Rosary has the power to affect great good in our world. It is prayed aloud each day in Catholic churches, on Catholic TV channels, and also online. There are even Rosary apps available. With 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, it is not a far reach to say that millions pray the Rosary each day.
October is the month of the Rosary, and October 7, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. The term “rosary” comes from the Latin word “rosarium,” meaning rose garden, and refers to the religious practice of reciting prayers, as well as to the string of beads used for this purpose. In…

October 6th, 2014

Let’s be honest: Christianity is built on seemingly irreconcilable paradoxes. God becomes human. Jesus is both God and man. Death brings life. And we’re all called to be last so that we might be first.
It’s a lot to take in — and that’s why we should all be particularly interested in this week’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. There’s a lot of paradox — a lot of seemingly irreconcilable difference –and we get a front-row seat to watch the Holy Spirit work.
Any cursory glance through Catholic news reports and blogs over the last few months will show you what I mean. We’ve seen journalists at each other’s throats trying to interpret…

October 1st, 2014

Climate change is in the air, so instead of going with a scary Halloween photo for this month, we decided on an even more terrifying image: “Glacier Affected by Climate Change Seen in Antarctica”.

September 30th, 2014
How St. Thérèse of Lisieux answered my prayers

In a time where instant gratification is the rule of the day, do we allow ourselves the opportunity to wait for an answer to a prayer? Most of the time, getting the answer takes a while. On other occasions, prayer affords quicker, clarion moments that provide understanding, enlightenment, and very cool opportunities for growth. This feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux serves as a reminder to me of how modern this wonderful saint is. And, what a blessing it was for her to show me that prayer works.
That blessing began to unfold as I was going about my chores on a particular Sunday, tackling the “excitement” of laundry and more in my apartment. I was listening to a Catholic podcast, and the host happened to be discussing…

September 11th, 2014

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 10th, 2014

Ok, I give in. Everybody I know under the age of 40 seems to have invested in these tiny, expensive Fitbits, which you snap on your wrist or clip on your shorts. They measure your steps, the flights of stairs you’ve climbed, general exercise, and calories expended. They talk to you. In cheery, shrill little voices very early in the morning.
“Hi, Annie!”
“Good luck!” (Did it say “sweetie” or did I just imagine that?)
“UcandoitAnn”
My take on this whole “I-am-going-to-monitor-every-activity-of-my-day stuff” is that, sure, it can make sense. It may help you get more control over your eating and exercise. But, really? I need to know all of this?
I have a proposal. A fine one, I think. Let’s invent…

September 9th, 2014
Why young women are "lacing up" at Mass

The topic of women covering their heads (or not covering their heads) at Mass has made a big splash among twentysomething and thirtysomething Catholic bloggers across continents and cultures.
I have to admit that this practice has a certain appeal to me as well. Why are Catholic women bringing back this practice?
Here are some good reasons:

It’s countercultural.
Let’s face it, we live in a culture with profoundly warped ideas of female empowerment. Modern American culture would have us believe that a powerful woman is one who uses her sexuality in an exhibitionistic, amoral fashion. Her power is in her ability to incite lust — to exploit her own sexuality and the sexuality of others. The Catholic tradition…

September 1st, 2014

It’s September, summer is coming to a close, school is beginning and fall is right around the corner. Don’t forget to check out our Dorm Room Care Package for yourself or anyone you know that is heading to college this year. If you missed our article about honoring the sacredness of Labor Day, check it out here. And don’t forget, September is the celebration of Saint Gennaro.
Also, beginning on September 15, we’re running a new Catholic Mascotology bracket contest featuring some of the most interesting college mascots from various Catholic schools going head-to-head. So check back here on the 15th to vote for you favorites.
Oh, and our own Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, has a big birthday coming…

August 11th, 2014
Busted Halo® says goodbye to Fr. Steve and sends him off with a list of our favorite Fr. Steve moments!

For the past two years, the readers of BustedHalo.com and the listeners of The Busted Halo Cast podcast and “The Busted Halo® Show” on Sirius XM Radio have been blessed by the ministry of Fr. Steven Bell, CSP. Later this month, Fr. Steve will be leaving the Busted Halo® team and begin sharing his many gifts with the more than 50,000 students at Ohio State University, where the Paulist Fathers have a vibrant campus ministry outreach.
We here at Busted Halo® have been so very thankful for the pastoral care that Fr. Steve brought to readers and listeners through his many articles, videos, virtual retreats, podcasts, and many segments on The Busted Halo® Show. He shared a passion for helping others deepen their…

August 1st, 2014

Although some schools and universities still begin their school year in September, most students and teachers out there find themselves a little bit melancholy when August rolls around, signally imminent “Back to School” days and their waning freedom. So this month we provide you a tranquil image (St. Peter’s Church bell tower in Perugia, Italy) to keep you calm during your last few weeks of summer vacation. The Transfiguration and the Assumption are the big holy days of this month, of course.
Download the August 2014 Wallpaper:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · Mobile · Facebook
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen…

July 17th, 2014
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

July 1st, 2014

July 4 is headed our way, but instead of taking the typical route of fireworks or American flags, we decided to put St. Kateri Tekakwitha front and center on our wallpaper this month. Not only is it her feast day on the 14th, but she is the first Native American saint to be canonized (back in 2012 by Pope Benedict).
Download the July 2014 Wallpaper:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · Mobile · Facebook
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen monitors, mobile devices and a Facebook cover photo. Download the files directly above and enjoy this easy way to stay aware of important feasts and holy days heading your way.…

June 30th, 2014

A few weeks ago, I attended Lectio Divina led by an elderly Jesuit and scripture scholar. One of his remarks really impressed me. He said that the thing that the Jewish professors with whom he works in Israel cannot understand is that Christians still consider a man who died 2,000 years ago to be useful to them. I think that we Christians can ask ourselves, Is Jesus useful to us? If so, how is he useful? Do we really believe in Jesus? Or do we believe in Jesus like we believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?
John wrote his Gospel for all of us who grapple with this reality: “But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in…

May 30th, 2014

GOOAALL!!!

It’s time once again for that big event we look forward to every four years…No, not Pentecost in June (though that coincides as well), it’s obviously time to get ready for soccer as the World Cup begins this month on June 12, hosted by Brazil…

May 22nd, 2014

If you’ve never trekked to the Holy Land, here’s the next best thing: Treat yourself to a copy of Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ, which recently debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Jesuit priest — best known as Stephen Colbert’s chaplain on The Colbert Report — was initially reluctant to leave his office at America magazine to visit where the events of the Bible took place. “I didn’t want my pristine mental images of holy sites to be supplanted by touristy locales,” Fr. Martin admits, “but going there was really transformative. It helped me understand the Gospels in a way that I never could have.”
Jesus is helping readers encounter its lofty subject in a refreshingly…

May 21st, 2014
Remembering those we have lost in the service of country and community

Memorial Day weekend we dust off the grill, break out the lawn chairs, and head downtown to the first parades of the year. But wait! Memorial Day isn’t just the unofficial start of summer. It’s a day to remember those who have made an extraordinary sacrifice in the service of their country and local community. Busted Halo’s® Virtual Memorial Day Retreat guides you through moments of reflection and thanksgiving for the soldiers, police officer and firefighters who have given their own lives in the service of others.

May 15th, 2014
Cardinal Walter Kasper (AKA Pope Francis’ theologian) shows us how to give -- and receive -- mercy.

“This book has done me such good,” Pope Francis remarked in his first Sunday afternoon address in March 2013.
I immediately thought, “What book is he talking about and how can I get one?”
“Mercy by Walter Cardinal Kasper” and “nowhere yet” were the answers.
I had heard of this remarkable German theologian before, about 10 years ago in my first systematic theology class, but I really didn’t try to read anything of his until this endorsement by Pope Francis. And now I would have to wait more than a year until the book was available in English.
Finally, earlier this month, the English translation of Mercy… (Paulist Press) was published. To celebrate the book’s release, Cardinal Kasper came to New

May 9th, 2014
A retreat for young adults and their mothers to celebrate the relationship that continues to nurture us

This Sunday is Mother’s Day — a day dedicated to honoring our mothers. As we become “adults” our relationships with our mothers evolve and our perspectives shift. We might feel distanced from our mothers or even at odds with them. This virtual retreat focuses on our changing relationships with our mothers. You can do this retreat on your own or with your mom! Live far away? Email her the link then get on the phone, Facetime or Skype. So, in addition to a card or gift (don’t forget!), celebrate Mother’s Day with your mother in a unique way.

May 9th, 2014

Dear Graduates,
Congratulations! You have much to celebrate as you mark the end of your time in college. We here at Busted Halo hope this prayer gives you the opportunity for a few moments of spiritual reflection as you take part in graduation festivities.
This is a time of great joy, transition, and maybe even some nervousness about the future. God goes with you — and God celebrates with you. We do too.…

  

God of joy and hope,
we thank you for this time of graduation.
Your spirit of wisdom has empowered our hard work and discipline in such a way that our hunger for learning has been nourished with knowledge, discovery, creativity, and determination.
As we prepare to walk across the stage to receive our

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