My Catholic elementary schooling was probably as traditional as can reasonably be expected in this day and age, with Stations and Benediction every Friday in Lent, blessing of the classrooms after Epiphany, May crowning, and probably some other little touches like that, but our parents generation never taught us how to LIVE as Catholics. What I got was little remnants of Catholic culture.
Andreas, you have certainly zeroed in on a very important point. Religious culture holds only the trappings that are not able, of themselves, to produce sanctity or charity, even though they inspire piety and devotion. These are only blessings of “actual” graces and do not bestow the sanctifying grace we receive in the sacraments. I think education regarding priorites may help point us heavenward.
Most important next to the mass and reception of holy communion is personal prayer … not vocal prayer mindlessly recited, but the prayer of the heart that converses with Our Lord.
Some of the most significant words I read long ago from St. Teresa of Avila, pertain to the absolute necessity of prayer coupled with growth in the virtues. She revealed in her autobiography that in her early years, she fulfilled all of the prescriptions proper to being a nun … daily mass, holy communion (though seldom in those days), rosary, and daily recitation of the LOTH. We would think it was sufficient for holiness, for how few of us even go that far! Yet not until she disciplined herself to engage in daily mental prayer with Jesus did she begin to grow in holiness. The first book of deep spiritual influence on her was Third Spiritual Alphabet by Osuna, who instructed with regard to the importance of interior recollection.
While not neglecting practies of piety, my vote would be to spend time daily in mental prayer as she taught it in Way of Perfection.