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 you more than I owe 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 the world have I seen anything more obscurantist, 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 din your sure arms!
No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you. Then too—where should I go? To build another church? But I cannot build another church without the same defects, for they are my own 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…
from I Sought and I Found after returning
to Italy from the Sahara desert after many
years as a monk among the Bedouin