History revisited

I’m taking a church history class right now and yesterday found these words from Carlo Carretto.  Carretto was an Italian Catholic spiritual writer who lived and died in the last century.  I thought his words resonated with some of the struggles that college students/young adults have with the church today.

Carlo Carretto, 1910-1988

‘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!’”[1]


[1] Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing (New York: Doubleday, 1999), 128-29.

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