Some items you just won't find in a fast-food restaurant.
You can't pick and choose which earthly realities will lead you to heavenly bliss. And you can't eat the apple from the garden of Eden without realizing that you are absolutely naked without God. Cafeteria Catholicism runs absolutely antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and illustrates 'the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same...'
Cafeteria Catholicism, therefore, destroys 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you." Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
'I believe in God, and I don't need some Church to tell me what to do!'
'You don't need religion, you only need faith.'
'It's my body, and I can do whatever I want to do with it.'
'Jesus didn't really make all those rules, those are made up by stuffy old men in the Vatican.'
'I follow my conscience. After all, everybody has a different standard of what is right and wrong.'
Experience proves out that when we stray from the norm and experiment on our own, there are consequences. To the extreme, when we deny gravity and jump from a roof we go boom. To an equal extreme, when we experiment with drugs and excessive alcohol, our life goes boom. Sadly, many a good hearted person has gone boom over pornography and extra-marital sex.
As hard as it is to carry the Cross, it is the only Way to sanity, in inner peace and faith filled joy, in a world gone boom.
"He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them." Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Working backwards, you can't be Catholic without believing in God. And you can't be Catholic without believing in the Revelation of the Holy Trinity: Prodigal Father, Merciful Son, and Holy sanctifying Spirit. Catholicism is further defined in acknowledgment of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Finally, Catholicism is truly lived to its fullness in faithful obedience to the Teaching Authority of the Church, nourished in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, for the glory of God the Father, in the Way of His Son, in the Spirit which strengthens us in our trails of faithfulness.
For there is no other god; there is no other christ; there is no other church; and there is no other Way, but the Way of the Cross, lived counter-culturally, and through the Eucharist, in the Way of the Catholic Church.
"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.'" Matthew 5:17-19
The Eucharist sits atop the altar in a golden monstrance, silent, unmoving, and docile. Yet, in God's simple genius, like the Word of God in Sacred Scripture, it is timeless, consistent, and unchanging in His message of Unconditional Love.
Think about it.
The Catholic Mass has been subject to some shenanigans in the recent past. But Sacred Scripture and the Most Holy Eucharist, both the Word of God, Jesus, in word and sacramental presence, have not changed one iota. Many have tried to change the translation of God's Sacred Word in lame non-gender specific terms and pollyanna terminology; likewise, many have tried to re-interpret Scripture in ways unfriendly to Catholic Tradition. The Eucharist, moreover, has been subject to banishment from the central altar, relegated to a tabernacle hidden in the bowels of the Church. The Eucharist, moreover, has been desecrated in numerous ways to include reception by overtly Pro-Choice politicians.
Yet, the written word and the Eucharist remain solid in their Life in Jesus Christ.
This begs a multitude of questions:
If Jesus never changed the Law, but fulfilled it, what right do we have to pick and choose what to believe? If Catholicism demands Catholicism, what right do we have to call ourselves Catholic if we refuse her teaching?
If Christ died fulfilling the Law, and we receive the Eucharistic Lord while rejecting His Law, don't we reject His Cross too?
When will we learn that the Eucharistic Lord is too sublime for our cafeteria Catholicism?