Carretto, Carlo. The God Who Comes. Orbis Books. 1974.
C.C.- a monk who belonged to the Little Brother of Jesus order. One of the past great R.C. spiritual writers.
Even though Carlo was a very staunch Roman Catholic to the point of very little tolerance for other non-Catholic churches his comments on how our relationship with God works are insightful and helpful. He has a very strong commitment to his Church but also realizes the need for changes that need to happen in the Church. It was in ‘the path of poverty’ that he had his most meaningful spiritual experiences.
He declares, by way of introduction, “Are we witnessing the beginning of the end or are we seeing the birth of history and of the Church? Will the collapse of institution drag everything into chaos, or will it set free a profound new life in the world and in the Church?” Intro. This was written in 1978.
God has been coming to man from time eternal, especially in creation. “God’s presence is obvious to anyone who can hear his footsteps.” (7) God is seen in creation but expressed through grace.
For the God of parables to become the God of faith requires a huge transition. Faith is a gift from God and is appropriated as we respond with active belief. The road of faith, hope, and love is difficult.
History is God’s story (his story). “A man in crisis begins to taste what he is too full of.” (35) e.g. Elijah after his success with the prophets of Baal. It is contemplation not reasoning that puts us in a position where we can hear from God. The coming of God is a process. His presence was with Israel. He came in incarnation. By His presence (Holy Spirit) we are born again. Ours is a growing, developing relationship with God the Son.
“In the mystery of the Eucharist, in the sacrament of the bread of life, God truly becomes everything to everybody.” John 6:53-58. (Transubstantiation?) Through prayer and contemplation we receive a revelation of God.
“One of the most common fundamental errors a Christian can make in our times is to mistake or identify the gospel message with the evolution of history or with social revolution.” (133) Carlo was a great admirer of communism and the potential it had for bringing about positive social change. He came to the position where he realized that this was in fact not happening.
Most declarations of love are motivated by self-interest. Love must become charity. Love functions as “a straight line, the union of two”. (155) Charity transforms this line (love) into a triangle, “the triune presence of God at its vortex”. (155) Pleasure is a great enemy when it becomes a perversion. The result is hell.
Carlo stands firmly on the belief that the Church was built on Peter who was (is) the first pope. The Church’s legitimacy is the Eucharist.