Busted Halo
Features : Religion & Spirituality
June 25th, 2015
“free_flight” image by Bob Mical CC 2.0 license https://www.flickr.com/photos/small_realm/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…
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
“Trust” by Christian Scheja licensed under CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/schmollmolch/3388570838/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…
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.
May 13th, 2015
Was a labyrinth a medieval path or a New Agey maze? With labyrinths mysterious but surprisingly common, I had to find out.
“Rock Labyrinth” image by Cassandra Rae licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 2.0” https://www.flickr.com/photos/cassandrarae/The sign was so coy; I’d walked past dozens of times without once registering it. “Labyrinth,” it whispered next to a small arrow along a busy sidewalk between a church and a bank. This was on my own neighborhood’s commercial street of stores and restaurants. I walked this strip at least three times a week. Not only did I never notice the labyrinth sign, I also didn’t know quite what the word meant. It sounded mysterious and somehow both medieval and New Agey at once. Then my husband pointed out that there was something as exotic as a labyrinth just a few blocks…
May 7th, 2015
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. This virtual retreat focuses on our changing relationships with our mothers. Do this retreat on your own or with your mom!
April 22nd, 2015
A personal retreat for Earth Day in appreciation of creation
Looking for a way to celebrate >Earth Day this year? Try Busted Halo’s Virtual Earth Day Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of creation 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 an even deeper appreciation for all God’s creation. Happy Earth Day!
April 10th, 2015
Animated .gifs for the first 8 days of Easter
Easter is more than one day — it’s an entire season of the Church year that begins with the Easter Octave. The gospel readings during the Octave include some of the most beautiful passages of scripture from the time after Jesus’ resurrection and his first encounters with his friends and disciples. These readings remind us of the importance of Jesus’ resurrection and the power of his ministry here on earth. Jesus appeared to his friends & disciples that they might continue to share the Good News in word and deed with everyone they would meet. Easter SundayJohn 20:1-9 Easter MondayMatthew 28:8-15 Easter TuesdayJohn 20:11-18 Easter WednesdayLuke 24:13-35 Easter ThursdayLuke…
April 3rd, 2015
Presenting the traditional devotion in a virtual way to help you reflect on the mystery of Jesus’ death and what it still means to us today
Busted Halo has created a series of virtual stations designed for personal devotion. They relate to Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God and the reason it led to his death. Find a quiet place to watch, and be open to how God is speaking to you through the Stations of the Cross.
April 1st, 2015
Taking you step-by-step through the three-day celebration of the Church
Teens perform a “shadow” Stations of the Cross at Church of the Resurrection in Fairport, N.Y. ( CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier) (March 31, 2014)The Triduum (TRIH-du-um) is the time of the Church year when we celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This three-day celebration begins with the Holy Thursday Mass and continues on Good Friday with the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. At the end of this liturgy, we leave the church in silence, waiting to celebrate the glory of our Lord’s resurrection. Then, on Saturday at sun down, the Church re-gathers to celebrate the final, and most grand, moment of the Triduum: the Resurrection of our Lord. The Triduum is somewhat…
March 16th, 2015
How does it feel to play tourist at a grand old church in your own city?
With four minutes to Mass time, St. Casimir’s was jammed. The grand Byzantine church was so large, it would pass for a cathedral in most cities. A barrel-vaulted ceiling led to a huge dome over the altar. Earthy brick offset paintings of angels rejoicing in blue-lit skies. We looked up in wonder, but back on the ground, we needed to jostle for a pew. A gray-haired couple smiled, giving us the okay to squeeze into theirs. And then the choir sang out in Polish. “Bóg sie rodzi,” the pink song sheet said: “God is born.” This was our first Mass mob. We’d heard about this trend, named for the quick dance-and-disperse flash mobs that started in 2003. In the Catholic version, organizers put out the word through social…
March 5th, 2015
All kinds of Christians "church shop," but there's more to finding a church than going to a service and deciding whether you like the sermon that day
Americans shop for everything — so why not churches? I’ll admit I’ve never liked the phrase. It reduces believers to consumers, and it implies that there’s this perfect-for-me church everyone can find, just like the right outfit. Ideally, our connection to a community of faith goes deeper, especially because there can be big differences in the teachings between even Christian denominations. As a practical matter, though, most of us move at least once in our lives. My hubby and I recently made the jump to upstate New York. Being Catholic, we had the denomination nailed down, but we still had to choose a new parish. Where to start? Based on our experience, I’ll share these tips: Gather recommendations…
February 23rd, 2015
And now, based on your voting, the awards for the Lenten Academy Awards...
February 16th, 2015
Here’s the 2015 Lenten wallpaper keeping you up-to-date with all the big holidays and holy days between February 18 (Ash Wednesday) through April 4 (Easter Eve). Download the December 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.
February 16th, 2015
Reflections on fasting for your journey through Lent
It was an unsettling moment in second grade when we discovered Ash Wednesday to Easter was actually 46 days. Sundays didn’t count. And the Lent day tally came to a grinding halt on Holy Thursday rather than Easter. Obvious questions followed: Was I a better Catholic if I also avoided chocolate on Sundays? Did God love me more if I went above and beyond, or less for not following the rules? And was Jesus eating snacks at the Last Supper, seeing as it wasn’t technically part of Lent? Should I? I wonder how much of this kind of mindset continues to lurk in the shadows of my recent Lenten journeys, pulling the strings as I give up or take up something. After all, it’s so much easier to point to rules and regulations and call…
February 10th, 2015
A nun uses ashes to mark the forehead of a man during the traditional observance of Ash Wednesday in Manila, Philippines. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)For many of us who profess to be Christians (a dangerous journey), Lent looms in midwinter before anything green has sprung above the ice and snow. It seems cruel to think about giving anything up when the whole experience of winter is basically … giving things up. Being warm, going for long walks with your dog, sitting with friends and sipping wine — all of those things that make being human such a festive occasion. Instead, five pounds fatter than I was in October, possibly drinking two glasses of wine per night instead of just one, and inhabiting…
February 3rd, 2015
Let’s face it: The Bible can be an intimidating read. After all, it’s a compilation of texts written 2,000 to 3,000 years ago in Hebrew and Greek. It’s full of strange metaphors, unfamiliar references and baffling context. Plus, the English we have translated it into is often stilted or archaic. Sadly, the most common translations of the Bible aren’t always “accessible” to most people without graduate degrees in scripture. So, even when someone is looking for moral guidance or spiritual sustenance and really wants to read the Bible, it is easy for them to give up on it. But what if the Bible spoke like we do? Biblical scholar Eugene Peterson took it upon himself to write a translation that would do just…
January 30th, 2015
Trappist Father Thomas Merton pictured in an undated photo. (CNS photo/Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University)Writer, student, bohemian, activist, poet, traveler, artist. Thomas Merton wore many hats during his 53 years of life on this earth. He played many of these roles throughout his restless youth before finally discovering a faith that spoke to his inner most needs, transforming him into the figure we best know him as today: a Catholic Trappist Monk — a role he would flee from and return to again and again. As a monk and prolific writer, Merton managed to connect ideas from Buddhist meditation with Catholic reflection to create a deeper level of connection between…
January 22nd, 2015
I just read about a man exploring prayer who would take out his iPhone, scroll through his contacts, and see which names jumped out at him — indicating people in need of his prayers. “Cool!” I thought. What a wonderful marriage of technology and prayer. I tried doing it and found myself scrolling through my list of people, fretting about those I may have disappointed in myriad ways, worrying about family members facing health challenges, and wishing I could help friends unable to find jobs in this still wobbly economy. As a writer, my mind tends to go galloping off in too many directions when I look at words and names. Perhaps images would work better for my restless, ADD mind. Then inspiration struck: Let’s…
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