Ah. The ambitious Catholic is hard-pressed!
I could write for ages on this theme, on the contradictions of ambition and humility, mainly. St. Paul, a slave to Christ, who wrote for the ages! But I know enough to be quite certain that I cannot add to the lessons of the Lord in his parables (or to those of St. Paul in his letters). And, even there, I hesitate to offer examples to put "my" point across without succumbing to ambition its very self.
It's all quite amusing. I do not mean that ironically. We have guides and tools aplenty. Regular attendance, acts of charity, the commandments and liturgy, obviously, etc.
But most apparently (for those who have eyes to see) we have the example of other Catholics. Either long-time parishioners or the process by which new Catholics become old Catholics, learning, along the way, how to serve, willingly, joyfully, so as to set an example for others.
We have been doing this for a while now. 2,000 years, give or take. And it boils down to four words:
Believe Commit Serve Share
How else would one follow the Lord? What options are there that can possibly claim anything like success? Understanding that any success is simply recognition of the power of God, what ambition is available to us, but to believe (in the Lord), commit (to following his example), serve (others in their belief), and share (our experience as believes and thus evangelize)?
What do Catholics believe? We believe that to be, fully, is to share fully in belief. We, as individuals, do this more or less well in the way that people do more or less well the things they do. Running a country, raising a family, being married, painting a painting, running a business, running a church, serving the Lord.
We put serving the Lord and each other first. Both. Love God and your neighbor. So, there you have it. The ambition is not in how to be Catholic, but in being in faith as we understand it to serve God and others.
But, you know, I do not really care for opinions that seek to show that something rich and complicated is "really very simple." No, not at all. I like complicated things to be recognized as such, and for rich important things to be left free and clear for everyone to plumb for whatever meaning they can draw out. I cannot simplify my faith.
I can't say much other than what has been shown to me. And, what is the purpose, after all? For me to sound like I know what I am saying?
No, the ambition is peace. And I am not peace. The Lord is. The Lord is peace of heart and all that will be.