Devout This!

This morning, I would have been almost on time for Mass. Fortunately, yours truly got so caught up with a Darrell Issa interview on the radio that Father Flapdoodle’s homily was half-way over by the time I walked in. Listening to him tell us the story of his week made me wish I had listened to This Week a little longer.

The above is included to demonstrate, dear reader, that I am not a devout Catholic. “Devout” is an emphatic. If someone goes to daily Mass or weekly confession or prays the rosary regularly, it is an appropriate way to describe him. I do none of those things and don’t plan to start.

For a better modifier, try grudging Catholic. I go to Mass weekly, at best, and complain about it — the ugly A-frame building, the awful homilies, the awkwardly worded prayers of the faithful — and manage to not eat meat about every third Friday in Lent. The Vatican says Catholics have an obligation to go to confession once a year, and so I do.

And yet, during my recent seven-year sojourn in DC, I was often described as “Jeremy Lott, devout Catholic.”

Language shifts over time. Sometimes that works out well. The world “cool,” for instance, has no problem doing double duty describing a both a breeze and a temperament. Other times it results in unnecessary and unfortunate confusion. To call grudging Catholics “devout” robs the term of most of its meaning and usefulness.

Catholic Mass Questionaire
My Church Is All Wet
Why I Would Make an Awful Priest
Hey Mormons, Help a Guy Out
About Jeremy Lott