Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Carlo Caretto's Love Letter to the Church

Note: Job complained bitterly before God, so it is comparatively innocent at times to complain of the Church [in her human elements, not the divine]---especially while loving her immensely, as Carlo Caretto did. Every marriage, in love for life, has its moments. In his last book translated into English, Carretto, after years of sublime spiritual confession, had to find a new publisher in order to speak out plainly for the unborn against the compromiser's, within or without.

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 in your 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!"

Note: The above seems instructive to me because it could just as easily have been written by the great majority of the more reasonable traditionalist Catholics who have combined constructive criticism of (in retrospect) ill-advised Church measures in her human element, while never failing to remain in communion in the Body of Christ.

The Irony of Infatuation With An Uncritical View of "Progress": "Obscurantist is a word for people who think that tradition is something from which man needs to be freed, a bondage from which he must be emancipated. It is a word for someone who believes scrapping tradition is enlightenment and holding to tradition is to hide in the dark."---Daniel Larison

Caretto's writings and, above all, his choice to go into the literal desert show a man who was steeped in the traditional spirituality of the Church, proximately of Charles de Foucauld, and then the whole monastic tradition---it hardly gets more traditional than that---whatever his criticisms of the human elements of the Church which he rarely touches on and which I think can probably be traced back to the time when he led "Catholic Action" in Italy.

Carlo Carretto (1910-1988) was a leader in Italian "Catholic Action" and served as National President of Catholic Youth from 1946 to 1952. At the age of forty-four he heard the call of God to go into the desert of the Sahara. There he joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld.

--->Pius X on lay Catholic Action...

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