Dear Companions on the Journey,
I was struck by this Ode to the Church by Italian poet and “Little Brother of Jesus” Carlo Carretto. It’s provocative!
HOW MUCH I MUST CRITICIZE you, my church, and yet how much I love you!
You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone. I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence.
You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness. Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, and yet I have never touched anything more pure, more generous or more beautiful.
Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your sure arms! No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you.
Then to where would I go? To build another church?
But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects. And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ’s church. No, I am old enough. I know better!
What do you think?
And let us pray for/with one another.
The Paulist Center