I live in Dublin, Ireland. Sometimes. Most times I live in my head, quite unaware of my surroundings – if you know what I mean… If you succeed in tracking Sean Walsh, please let me know, ok? I've been searching for him for years…
(Carlo Carretto, an Italian monk who died in 1988. For many years, he lived as a hermit in the Sahara Desert.)
How much I must criticize you, my church and yet how much I love you!
How you have made me suffer much and yet owe much to you.
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 obscurantist, more compromised, more false, and yet never in this world have I touched anything more pure, more generous, and more beautiful.
Many times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face – and yet how often 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 though not completely you.
Then, too – where would I go? ‘To build another church?
But I cannot build another without the same defects, for they are my own defects I bear within me.
And again, if I build one, it will be my Church, and no longer Christ’s.
No, I am old enough to know that I am no better than others.
I shall not leave this Church, founded on so frail a rock, because I should be founding another one on an even frailer rock: myself.
And then, what do rocks matter?
What matters is Christ’s promise, what matters is the cement that binds the rocks into one: the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit alone can build the Church with stones as ill hewn as we.
(My good friend, Father Martin Hogan,
shared with me. 29 02 20)