Sean Walsh

I live in Dublin, Ireland. Sometimes. Most times I live in my head, quite unaware of my surroundings – if you know what I mean… If you succeed in tracking Sean Walsh, please let me know, ok? I've been searching for him for years…

Carlo Carretto: Ode to the Church

Published on Monday 2nd March 2020 by Sean Walsh

(Carlo Carretto, an Italian monk who died in 1988. For many years, he lived as a hermit in the Sahara Desert.)

How much I must criticize you, my church and yet how much I love you!

How you have made me suffer much and yet owe much to you.

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 obscurantist, more compromised, more false, and yet never in this world have I touched anything more pure, more generous, and more beautiful.

Many times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face – and yet how often 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 though not completely you.

Then, too – where would I go? ‘To build another church?
But I cannot build another without the same defects, for they are my own defects I bear within me.
And again, if I build one, it will be my Church, and no longer Christ’s.

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 should be founding another one on an even frailer rock: myself.

And then, 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.

(My good friend, Father Martin Hogan,
shared with me. 29 02 20)

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