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Why say it like everyone else?

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

January 9, 2019

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you may have noticed I like to write descriptions in a way I can only refer to as “interesting.” People who regularly interact with me know I also do this when I talk. I have my own unique vocabulary – words or descriptions I regularly use in place of other, more conventional terms. Here are a few examples:

Grate My Cheese – To get on my nerves or bother me. Common usage: “it takes a lot to grate my cheese.”

My Magic Stewpot – My electric pressure cooker. My husband and/or I cook in it at least two to three times a week.

Mom Talk – My family’s term for those moments when my brain can’t come up with a common word, and I make up a ridiculous description. For example, “tongs” become “the metal grabby things.”

Smoking Porch of Shame – One of two porches attached to my house; the portion of our property where smoking is allowed.

Torture Sticks – Crutches.

Practicing Catholic – Most people use this term to describe a person who believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church and tries to live them. I sometimes use it that way, but I’m just as likely to use the phrase in another context.

I’m a “practicing Catholic” because I’m not very good at it. We practice skills – sports, art techniques, playing instruments… – because we haven’t mastered them, and we have room for improvement.

I sometimes use this version of “practicing Catholic” in response to individuals who – either in person or on social media – suggest a level of hypocrisy in people who sit in pews on Sunday and commit sins on Monday.

Maybe there is a level of hypocrisy, but I prefer to think most of us just struggle to meet the ideal; we struggle to be Christ-like in every moment.

Just because we’re struggling doesn’t mean we’re not trying. We’re practicing. We’re trying to improve.

We’re practicing Catholics, and we’re working at being better Catholics and better people. We’re working to be holier.

There are beauty and graces in the work, and I pray we keep practicing together and talking about it in fun ways.

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