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.