by Matthew Sitman
“Diets and New Year’s resolutions are Protestant things. Among Catholics there is often an amused condescension regarding converts who take religion too seriously, who are preoccupied with theology, who try to match the communal faith. You might as well try to match a spring day. Catholicism is just there, a way of life that need never come to a head. Catholicism never stands or falls on one decision. Catholicism isn’t a novel.
The problem with Catholicism, the huge pillow-breasted consolation of Catholicism, is that it is all-embracing. Catholicism can as easily define a hemisphere as a neighborhood. But what does it mean that Brazil is the largest Catholic country in the world if nobody there goes to mass?
The Catholic Church assumes it is the nature of men and women to fail. You can be a sinner and remain a Catholic. You must consider yourself a sinner to remain a good Catholic. Bohemians and poets from Protestant climes gravitate toward the romance of Catholic countries or Catholic cities or Catholic parts of cities – wherever tragedy hangs its shingle; wherever tragedy holds sway. Everyone knows that Catholics run better restaurants than Protestants.
Life is hard. Flesh is weak. Consolation is in order. Lapses are allowed for. Catholics have better architecture and sunnier plazas and an easier virtue and are warmer to the touch. At its best, Catholicism is all-forgiving,” – Richard Rodriguez, Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father.