With stones as ill-hewn as we

“How much I must criticize you, my church, and yet how much I love you! You have made me suffer much and yet I owe much to you. I would like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence. You have given me much scandal and yet you have made me understand holiness. Never in this world have I seen anything more deceiving, compromised, or false, yet never have I touched anything more pure, generous or beautiful. Many times I have felt like slamming the door in your face — and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your 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 cannot build another church without the same defects, for they are my own defects. And, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ’s church. 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 would be founding another one on an even frailer rock: Myself! And, 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.” ~Br. Carlo Carretto, hermit; excerpt from I Sought and I Found