The Crescat...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Update your links...

... I have moved. Please follow me over here.

Introducing The Crescat 2.0...

... I know how you all feel about change.

Well, it's not that bad. It's not like I converted to Sufism, changed my voter registration to 'Democrat' and started kicking puppies! It's just a simple change of address.

And for those who care to stop by and visit, I can be found at

My twice monthly column can be found here;

And for those nay sayers who likened it to a marriage made in hell, I welcome you too. Surely your morbid curiosity demands you to take a peek at the spawn.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

it's a mystery to me...

... It's hard to fathom that I've been plunking away at this blog since fall of 2006. With the exception of my son, this blog is the only thing that I have devoted this much time to consistently, and with any measure of success. I've never had a pet this long. They all run away. I've never even kept a plant alive and thriving more than 4 months. The very fact that this blog is still in existence is a minor miracle.

After six years of being on blogger I am thrilled to announce that this blog will be moving over and joining Patheos and I will also have a regular featured column, called 'More Than Mortal Beauty'.

Admittedly, the idea was a bit scary. I'm terribly attached to this blog and it's format. Who doesn't hate change? In fact, I'm still a little nervous. How will The Crescat look over there? And my archives, my precious archives. What about the quirky side bar? It's unnerving to have those things thrust into the hands of someone else, even a very competent IT someone else. But everyone has to grow up and mature some time, right? And it looks like I will be in good company.

The move should be made by the end of this week. The IT fairies are working diligently to transfer archives over and redirect this link to the new Patheos site. When all is complete I will post the url so you can continue to follow my shenanigans. I do hope you will continue to visit me over there. I appreciate all my readers and their contributions and I want to thank you all for being with me over the years and experiencing this journey in the making.

God bless to you all.

It's not really the end, just a new beginning.

Beware of the celebrity priesthood...

... "The principal tasks of a priest are to say Mass and hear confessions. The Cure d’Ars was famous because he was a great confessor. Padre Pio was famous because he received the stigmata and was a great confessor. Twenty-first century priests become famous merely if they are seen on television often enough. I can’t think of any living priest, save Benedict XVI, who is famous for the great care he takes in saying Mass or hearing confessions." -Dorothy Cummings

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Drum roll, please ...

... So without further ado, I would like to announce the winners of the 2011 Catholic Cannonball Awards in their respective categories...

Best Blog by a Religious; Fr. Longenecker's Standing on My Head

Best Political Blog; Adrienne's Catholic Corner

More Catholic Than the Pope; Real Catholic TV

Best Armchair Theologian; Little Catholic Bubble

Best Visual Treat; Betty Beguiles

Most Church Militant; It's a tie! Defend Us in Battle, and Cleansing Fire

Best New Kid on the Block; Heart For God

Best Blog by a Heretic; Bad Vestments

Best Under Appreciated Blog; Barefoot & Pregnant

Best Spiritual Treat; Blessed is the Kingdom

Bat Shit Crazy; I Have to Sit Down

Best Potpourri of Popery; Shoved to Them

Snarkiest Catholic Blog; Acts of the Apostasy

Most Hifreakinlarious; another tie! Acts of the Apostasy and The Ironic Catholic

Blog that Needs to be Updated More Often; Recovering Dissident Catholic

It has been my pleasure to host these annual anti-awards for the past several years. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the nomination process and came out to vote for their favorite blogs.

In honor of the end of the Cannonball awards Fr. Christian Mathis of Blessed is the Kingdom and Dcn. Sean Smith do a little You Tube talk show on the Cannonball Awards ... and Canon Law.

Fine print: Nominees and winners of the 2011 Catholic Cannonball Awards™© receive no prizes, just the sweet sweet satisfaction that they were only slightly better than no one else really all that special. They reserve bragging rights and the distinction of being fantastical ordinary! Yay! You're an awesome average blogger. Enjoy your victory.

Bragging rights to be displayed on your blog designed by Vincenzo.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I can't keep a secret worth a damn...

... you've probably noticed a decline in the frequency of blog posts lately. I'll let you in on a little secret. The Crescat will be moving soon. The big official announcement will be made the end of next week. Until then I will let you speculate where I'll end up.

So what does that means for you? It means no more fanciful phrases like "bat shit crazy". It means proper grammar and proof reading. Other than that, it will be the same blog, with the same name, and the same humor.

So that's where all the posts have gone. I will continue to post here but the juicy stuff, that I'm saving for my new home.


... polls will be closing Sunday @ midnight. Winners will be announced the following Monday. So you have exactly 2 days left to vote often, Chicago style mob rules.

While on the subject, I think this year I will retire the annual awards. Six years is a good run but I feel interest is waning, at least on my part. Maybe I will come up with something better. We'll see how I feel in the morning.

sunlit beds...

... Paul G. Oxborough c.1965

Friday, September 16, 2011

shameless blegging...

... I hate to do it but sometimes these things are necessary. And it's for a good cause. I promise. Please, kind readers, take a moment to see my appeal at the top of the sidebar.

Update 9/20/11: Thank you all for your kindness! I appreciate every donation and your support of me, my son and the Scouting organization!

the Spanish Dancer...

... by John Singer Sargent.

Her hands are stunning.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mater Dolorosa...

... a few links you might need for today.

The Mourning Virgin, c. 18th Century. Wood carving with gilding, ivory and silver. Housed at the Met.

exultation of the cross...

... I have never understood the protestant aversion to the image of Christ on the crucifix. I know they like their Jesus triumphant and risen and all, but it will always baffle me why they wouldn't find it a meditative visual reminder of Christ's mercy as we Catholics do.

I'm quite fond of this quote by Fr. Groeschel; "People can relate to a crucified Christ displayed in Catholic Churches, as each one of us has a cross to carry. None of us can relate to a risen Christ, as none of us has ever risen from the dead."

It seems simple enough and makes perfect sense don't ya think?

Two anecdotes. Well, one anecdote and one musing.

Once, before I even converted to Catholicism, I had a protestant friend who brought her daughter over to my home for a play date. Her daughter was a very precocious four year old, God love her. She was an astute and clever child who asked unabashed questions and noticed things. Things like the time we were all at the pool and when I bent over to remove my shorts she remarked how big my bottom was. Her observation didn't bother me, I've lived with this Puerto Rican posterior following me around all my life. I know it's back there. I simply told her that when you get older and grow up you get bigger. What was this precious little child's remark, "my mom is older than you and her butt is no where near that big!" She had me. What can you do?

Anyway, this sweet little tart became visibly upset at the sight of a crucifix hanging on my living room wall. She said Jesus looked hurt and sad. I told her that was His sacrifice for us so we can go to Heaven. She seemed satisfied with that response; however, her mother never allowed her to come over again claiming the sight of it gave her daughter nightmares. So much for ecumenism. Eh.

Sometimes when we see something over and over again it loses it's impact. Like the crucifix. Us Catholics hang it around our necks, have one in every room of our homes and see Him every Sunday in church. The dramatic shock of seeing Our Lord pierced and dying in agony on the cross becomes another part of the decor.

One evening I found myself complaining to a girlfriend about a particularly dreary evening I spent with a fellow. We had just met and all he could talk about was how awfully his ex-wife had treated him and how evil his ex-mother-in-law was to his children. No matter where I steered the conversation he inevitably brought it back to his miserable lot in life. This man was a victim of The Shrew. I could empathize... to a point. After two hours I felt like I should have billed him for my time, like Lucy in her little "The Doctor is in" booth. I was emotionally exhausted by him before the appetizers arrived! I was going to need another drink.

Several weeks had passed when I thought about this man again, almost quite suddenly. A saw a priest slipping out of the confessional after having heard confessions that evening. He mopped his brow and looked like a man who just ran a marathon. He looked exhausted. Emotionally exhausted. Probably a lot like I looked that dreary evening many weeks ago.

This priest had just endured and forgiven our deepest sins. He, in persona Christi, had carried them on his shoulders to rid us of our burdens. It makes perfect sense, the wave of relief we feel at absolution. Like a weight has been lifted and we are made light of our burden. Because we have been. We've been freed of this load. And while making my penance I looked up at the cross and saw Our Lord crucified... carrying with Him all our sins. I was given just a tiny glimpse of the magnitude of the crushing weight of it all and the extent of His mercy and love for us, when I needed it most. When I was in danger of viewing the cross as just part of the furniture. Sometimes we need to have our eyes opened wide like children so we can see how sad and hurt Our Lord looks.

The Crucifixion, by Francisco de Zurbarán

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bishop suspends Fr. Pavone from Priests For Life...

... Please say a rosary for Fr. Frank Pavone and his organization this evening.

And Fr. Pavone's official statement in response.


... they make it so hard for the rest us; running around perpetuating negative female stereotypes and scaring men into permanent bachelorhood. There are few woman I can not stand less than The Shrew, the angry woman who turns her husband into a verbal and emotional punching bag. I've seen women call their spouses, the same persons they promised to honor and respect, worthless sacks of excrement!

Like reverse sexism, this belittling of men seems to be 100% acceptable. It's used as the tie that binds in building female relationships, commiserating over the miserableness of the male species. I understand it can be hard to make friends when meeting people for the first time, but making your husband the butt of jokes is not the way to endear yourself to me. It's not just insulting to your husband but to me as well, a single woman who would love to have a spouse to promise to honor and respect. It's like waving a steak in front of a starving person and proclaiming it tastes like garbage and tossing it to the floor.

My concern is not just directed to the married women I know how are guilty of husband bashing; male bashing seems to be prevalent everywhere. Even at my job, it's OK to infer my male co-workers are less organized, sloppy and stupider than the rest of us.

On TV, the husband as head of the household has disappeared. The dad is the blithering simpleton who the kid's barely tolerate and the wife makes excuses for. He is the punch line.

I've heard women make the most disparaging comments about their husbands/boyfriends/fathers/sons, you name it, all within earshot of the person being targeted. Never would I dream of speaking to a stranger in such a derogatory manner much less someone I loved.

You're ruining it for the rest of us! No wonder men are in no rush to get married. It's even worse the older you get trying to find a single man who isn't gun shy and jaded from years of relationships full of verbal and emotional abuse.

If I have to go on one more date with some poor morose man who thinks my genuine interest in his hobbies is me being patronizing I think I'll scream. St. Teresa of Avila is quoted as saying "God, deliver me from sullen saints". I beg you, Lord, deliver me from sullen dates.

At age 36, the majority of men I have encountered are divorced and/or nursing savage and gaping wounds from years of being shredded apart by the women in their lives. They are cynical and weary and compliments fall on their ears with suspicion while they try to decipher if I was being genuine or sarcastic. It's exhausting!

Friday, September 09, 2011

fine art Friday...

... just kidding. Have some shitty art instead.

I see what the artist is trying to say here. Christ is the central figure. He is larger in scale and dominates the scene as if to say, I am bigger than your grief. The deep red hue of Santa Claus's garments represents the color of martyrdom. It's striking and bold. Clearly the artist struggled with father abandonment issues, and has placed themselves as Santa longing to be comforted. The pain of loss is intense in both subject's face. It is a tender and moving piece, bravely tackling the tender subject of the 9/11 tragedies... but not in an opportunistic way at all. Nope. Not at all.

I also imagine myself biting on the end of my reading glasses and nodding knowingly as I type this... just like they showed me in art school.

Best. Degree. Ever.

I think I saw my life pass before my eyes...

... my favorite place on earth is in my hammock. It's a good day when time and weather permit me hours of uninterrupted solitude lazily swinging away, book in hand and cold beer never farther than arms reach. Heaven. Pure heaven.

This evening provided me with the rare opportunity to start my weekend off with a quiet moment in my precious hammock. The late summer air had the crisp chill of soon-to-be Autumn on it's breezes. Cicadas and crickets provided the soundtrack while birds dipped wildly about in the branches over head. The sky was washed Parrish pastel in the sun's dimming rays. Can you picture it, this scene of utter tranquility....

Ah. Can you feel your blood pressure lowering? There's only one thing missing that would make this a perfect night. A nice big fat and juciy ...


scary ass flying cockroach the size of a fist to crawl from the depths of hell and land smack on your face!

Life in the mother flipping South.

everybody likes free stuff...

... Brandon Vogt is giving away a copy of Fr. Robert Barron's brilliant, beautiful new book, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith. Follow this link for details. It was Vogt's review that prompted me to purchase the book for myself.

And Lisa Hendey is giving away jewelry! I love jewelry. Or anything shiny for that matter. Guys, you can enter this contest too and gift them to a special lady. I don't consider that re-gifting. And even if it is, I promise not to tell. Unless they read this blog. Then you can give it to me if that be the case.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

on second thought...

... I hope this movie doesn't popularize the Camino so much that it gets flooded, more so than usual, with new agey types skipping along Spain high on Hollywood ideologies. I'm purposefully waiting till October on the hope that the trail will be virtually deserted.

Well, I suppose my small group will have to Catholic it up if that becomes the case. If I can talk Fr. Erik in going with us maybe he can celebrate mass on the Camino itself. And maybe for a bottle of Rum he'll walk it in a cassock. Hell, for two bottles of Rum I'd hike it wearing a cassock and sing Salve Regina all the way.

This way to the Rum.

On a serious note; I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a very fine and devout young man while visiting in Rome. Mr. Smeaton is currently making part of The Way with a group of friends. Pray for him, his travel companions, and Juventutem London.

Happy Catholic reviews The Way...

... "As he goes, Tom acquires three unwanted companions, each of whom have their own hidden reasons. Estivez, who wrote the script, readily admits to being inspired by The Wizard of Oz but in truth one could compare The Way to any story that is based around a journey with a misfit group of comrades. This storytelling device is well known and for good reason. In watching the people rub against each other's pet peeves and tread unwittingly on their hidden secrets, we learn about them on a deeper level. We know the device because it is also the story of our own lives as we do the same to those around us. It is how we are made: to journey through life both alone and in company."

read the full review here.

more than hippies...

... is my disdain for hipsters.

Nope. I still hate hippies the mostest. At least hipsters have better taste in music.

local stuff...

... the Raleigh diocese is getting a new cathedral, Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.

And the Pontifical College Jospehinum has begun wearing the Propaganda Cassock on special occasions. OK, so neither of these institutions is local, but I came of the news via a local seminarian attending Josephinum. So it counts. Sort of. Anyway, the cassocks look like this;

Photo source; JP Sonnen, my go to guy for all things visually Roman.

have I ever mentioned how awesome I think converts are...

... well, they are.

know someone getting ordained soon...

... why not get them a fetching hand stitched and embroidered pall?


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

... You should have seen The Boy's face light up with joy when he found out he is going to be a Torch Acolyte. Then you should have seen his dejected scowl when he found out the "torches" weren't Flame Throwers. His lament ... "But mom! They aren't even torches at all! There are just like regular lanterns on poles. I thought I was gonna get to burn stuff. That was so misleading!"

On the ride home he made me even prouder by declaring that he was "so going to write a blog post about this!"

wanderlust Wednesday...

... Italy's Cinque Terre.

That's right, Mr. Martini. There is an Easter Bunny...

... the post below was written under the heavy influence of NyQuil. I bet you didn't know it was even possible to hallucinate from consuming too much of that green liquid. Well, it is. And I did. There is nothing worse than being sick and wanting nothing more in the world to sleep but you can't. Instead you toss and turn and hear things that aren't there. So to calm your tired mind you blog stupid things.

But I feel better today so blogging should resume as normal. And by normal I mean discombobulated ramblings of incoherent pseudo intellectual mumbo jumbo interspersed with doses of highly concentrated nonsense.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

blah ...

... sometimes I have dry spells where I don't blog for days, even weeks. I wonder if there is really anything left I can say except for a few funny anecdotes. Certainly nothing inspiring or of greater worth that can't be read elsewhere.

I discovered a correlation between my musings. When I am inspired I write. Seems simple enough. But what inspires me? Beautiful music and stunning art. Clever and insightful quips from the lives of the saints. Interactions with family and friends. Time spent in adoration and prayer.

When I don't write it becomes obvious to me that all these things are lacking in my life. I have nothing here to offer, like inviting people over for dinner only to find the cupboard bare.

There are a few bloggers out there who consistently provide thought provoking and spiritually renewing material on their blogs. Whew boy, they must be holy. At least that is how I think. I bet they never contemplate Christ coming again in glory and are suddenly gripped with the question, when we get our glorified bodies will I still have my Puerto Rican ass?

Musings of a saint... yeah right. Who thinks like that?

Friday, September 02, 2011

there's a snake in my boot...

... I refer to my home as the Plague of Frogs. If you venture out at night you must watch your step. Nothing is grosser than stepping on a frog barefoot. Believe me, I know. It goes without saying that my property is infested with snakes as well which, for the most part, managed to keep to themselves... until now.

I was greeted by an Eastern Kingsnake while taking out the trash. My son is outside right now peeing around the perimeter of the house. I doubt it will work but he was more than willing to happily oblige.

I guess this means I have to add another animal to my menagerie to keep the snakes at bay.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

you can never have enough holy water...

... my wonderful son continues to be a model of piety. Every since he learned that Catholics can baptize people in extreme circumstances he has seen fit that every animal in our home be baptize. Even the neighbor's dog. And their ferret.

When he ran out of animals he decided he needed to baptize the cats again, just in case. Because they're real sneaky. His words. I tried to explain to him that you only need to be baptized once. He was thoughtful for a moment but countered my catechism lesson with a very sound observation. Cats have nine lives and he must baptize them all. I think we are going to need more holy water.

wet cat Pictures, Images and Photos

son of a crescat...

... up to his typical antics again.