Carlo Carretto (1910–1988) was an Italian spiritual writer inspired by Charles de Foucauld and others who have sought God in simplicity and solitude. He was a school teacher, and a worker with Catholic Action. Between 1954 and 1964 he lived as a hermit in the Sahara desert, settling eventually in Spello, Italy, where for the rest of his life he was a hermit and spiritual director. The English translations of his books became very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Over the next few days I will share with you some passages from them.
DARKNESS AND FAITH
FAITH is neither a feeling nor a mental process; it is an act of self-surrender in the dark to a God who is indeed darkness as far as our human nature is concerned. And He is darkness not because of an absence of light, but rather because we are overwhelmed by the reverberations of a light to which we are yet unaccustomed, here in the restricted world of our own unfolding history.
The area in which reason and faith operate, and in which there is an interplay of light and shadow belonging to the two clearly distinct worlds, the visible and the invisible, is a terribly complex one. When the light which emanates from the cloud of unknowing reaches the earth on which we are journeying, it forms, as it were, a mist (St. Paul) which surrounds everything and forces us to feel our way (Acts), putting us on our guard and inducing within us a continual state of anxious expectation.
An expectation which obliges us to fix our gaze on what lies ahead, and gives us a glimpse of the unexpected patch of sunlight which is to come. And it is on this uneven terrain that, sooner or later, God will be waiting for us, as He waited for Abraham, as He waited for Moses, as He waited for Job.