“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, yet never have I 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.”
Carlo Carretto (1910-1988), Italian writer, author of Letters From the Desert and many other spiritual volumes, was a mystic, desert hermit for many years, and member of the Little Brothers of Jesus. He modeled himself upon the desert contemplative, Blessed Charles de Foucauld.