Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ode to the Church

In my trips to the gym, lately I've been listening to talks given by Abp. Dolan at a retreat he gave at Mount St. Mary's Seminary back in 2008. In the talk I listened to this morning, he read a poem by the Italian poet Carlo Carretto, entitled, "Ode to the Church":

Now much I criticize you, my church,
and yet how much I love you!
You have made my 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.

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