My kingdom is invisible, but I want to establish you, my Bride, before the eyes of men so visibly that no one will be able to overlook you. I want to raise you up like the brazen serpent in the desert, like the rock against which hell itself is dashed to pieces, like Mount Tabor over whose peak the shining cloud hovers, and like the Cross that casts its shadow over all lands — the blazon of my victory in failure.
I want to establish you upon iron foundations, and your structure is to be a true and distinctive sign that I am setting up a memorial to myself upon the earth. You will be my witness to the very edge of the world, a witness that I was in the world, and I will not forsake you until the end of time. You will be a sign of contradiction among the peoples, and no one will even as much as whisper your name, O my Church, without shuddering. Over you men will have to part their ways, for many will love you and squander everything for you, but very many will hate you, and these will swear an oath not to rest until they have exterminated you from the land of men. And you will be despised like no man or thing, except myself, has ever been despised on earth. They will stand in line for the privilege of spitting in your face, of wiping off on your garments the mud from their shoes.
On all walls they will scrawl caricatures of your mystery, and in the bars, writhing with laughter, they will sing obscene songs about you. They will set you in the pillory and, after they have bound and gagged you, they will accuse you of every vulgarity and demand that you wash yourself clean. No means will be left untried to bring you under suspicion and every one of your shortcomings will be inflated to monstrous proportions. You will know hard times, nor will there be any assigned place for you. Wherever the path seemed to lie open before you, you will, before long, find a landslide and a roadblock, or perhaps a wall.