When I was on Facebook, one of my Facebook friends posted these words: "I'm not a cafeteria Catholic. I'm an all-you-can-eat Catholic." I thought that was brilliant, and expressed so much of the appeal of Catholicism.
Catholicism is so rich-- intellectually, sensually, emotionally, socially, historically, artistically. And not only rich, but intense.
Personally I am on the side of that which makes life richer, thicker, more intense, deeper, fuller. And I'm against whatever makes life thinner, shallower and dimmer.
Of course, Catholicism says "no" in many places where the modern world says "yes". It closes off avenues that the modern world wants to keep open. But the ultimate outcome of these prohibitions is more, not less. Thicker, not thinner. Deeper, not shallower.
If we are going to be Catholics, I think we should practice thick Catholicism, not thin Catholicism. We should have holy pictures in our homes and on our desk at work (although I understand this latter might sometimes be too dicey, depending on your avocation). We should invoke God in our conversation. We should practice devotions. Nobody should ever be in any doubt that our faith is the centre of our lives.
I feel the same way about nationalism. I have nothing but disdain for a perfunctory patriotism-- one particular flavour of multiculturalism or globalism. Let's have full-blown romantic nationalism or nothing.