And what are bricks worth anyway?
What matters is the promise of Christ,
what matters is the cement that unites the bricks,
which is the Holy Spirit.
Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church
with such poorly molded bricks as are we.
- Carlo Carretto
Brick by brick ...
After Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and the writings of John of the Cross, one of the first contemporary spiritual writers I read after my conversion was Carlo Carretto and his book, The God Who Comes. The book literally seized me and ignited a great devotion to prayer, while remaining in the world, as they say. The urban desert. Fortunately, I had a wonderful spiritual director at the time, a very practical man. He warned me away from the 'Wanderer' types and those who rejected everything written after 1960. He watched me make mistakes, and was there to help me learn from them. But anyway.
Little Brother Carlo sounded a lot like Pope Francis. Back in the day I was told to 'be careful' of his writings. His little book was like my very first "Philokalia" on my pilgrimage. Today's readings reminded me of that: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land I will show you." I'm still on that journey.
Carretto was a prophet in my life - in my journey. His words, so completely simple echoed God's will for my life. Yesterday at Mass I experienced a sort of epiphany, I suppose. Hard to explain. I like to think, 'I found my place - at the end of the line.' I'm reminded of St. Paul's admonition, "'Associate with the lowly' - because that is what you are."
“We often fail to realize the depth of evil, terrifying as it is. I am not speaking only of the selfishness of the wealthy, heaping up riches for themselves, or of those who sacrifice to achieve their self-selected goals. Or of the dictator who breathes in the incense due only to God. I am speaking of the selfishness of good people, devout people, those who have succeeded through spiritual exercises and self-denial in being able to make the proud profession before the altar of the Most High, “Lord, I am not like the rest of men.” Yes, we have had the audacity at certain times of our lives to believe we are different from other men. And here is the deepest form of self-deception, dictated by self-centeredness at its worst: spiritual egotism. This most insidious form of egotism even uses piety and prayer for its own gain.” - Little Brother Carlo
Echoes of our Holy Father Francis.
"Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father's house." - Psalm 45