church: the love/hate tension
In his book, The Holy Longing, Fr Ronald Rolheiser shares the writings of an Italian spiritual writer – Carlo Carretto. Rolhesier says (in reference to the church) that Carretto "captures well both its scandal and its grace." I think I agree.
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 too – 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!
Amen and amen.