Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Thought for the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Working behind the scenes, Saint Charles deserves the credit for keeping the Council of Trent in session when at several points it was on the verge of breaking up.   Borromeo encouraged the pope to renew the Council in 1562, after it had been suspended for 10 years.   He took upon himself the task of the entire correspondence during the final phase.   Because of his work at the Council, Borromeo was unable to take up residence in Milan until the Council concluded.

Eventually, Borromeo was allowed to devote his time to the Archdiocese of Milan, where the religious and moral picture was far from bright.   The reform needed in every phase of Catholic life among both clergy and laity was initiated at a provincial council of all the bishops under him.   Specific regulations were drawn up for bishops and other clergy.   If the people were to be converted to a better life, Borromeo had to be the first to give a good example and renew their apostolic spirit

Charles took the initiative in giving a good example.   He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury and imposed severe penances upon himself.   He sacrificed wealth, high honours, esteem and influence to become poor.   During the plague and famine of 1576, Borromeo tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily.   To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay.   Whereas the civil authorities fled at the height of the plague, he stayed in the city, where he ministered to the sick and the dying, helping those in want.

Saint Charles Borromeo made his own the words of Christ:  “…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35-36).   Borromeo saw Christ in his neighbour, and knew that charity done for the least of his flock was charity done for Christ.

St Charles Borromeo, Pray for us!ST CHARLES BORROMEO PRAY FOR US 4 NOV 2018

Advertisements
Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Quote/s of the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

“Charity is that,
with which no man is lost
and without which,
no man is saved.”charity is that - st charles borromeo - 4 nov 2018

“We must meditate before, during and after everything we do.
The prophet says: “I will pray and then I will understand.”
This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties
we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work.
In meditation we find the strength,
to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in other men.”we-must-meditate-before-st-charles-borromeo-4-nov-2017

“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God,
we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves in the presence of God,
as much as possible and have no other view or end,
in all our actions but the divine honour.”

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)if-we-wish-st-charles-borromeo-4-nov-2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 November – Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28b-34

One Minute Reflection – 4 November – Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28b-34 -Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) and St Felix of Valois (1127-1212)

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’   There is no other commandment greater than these.”...Mark 12:30-31

REFLECTION – “You cannot love God without loving your neighbour and you cannot love your neighbour without loving God.   In effect, the visible sign a Christian can show, in order to witness to his love for God to the world and to others, to his family, is the love he bears for his brothers, is the love of his people.   The Commandment to love God and neighbour is the first, not because it is at the top of the list of Commandments.   Jesus does not place it at the pinnacle but at the centre, because it is from the heart that everything must go out and to which everything must return and refer.
In the Old Testament, the requirement to be holy, in the image of God who is holy, included the duty to care for the most vulnerable people, such as the stranger, the orphan and the widow (cf. Ex 22:20-26).   Jesus brings this Covenant law to fulfilment, He who unites in Himself, in His flesh, divinity and humanity, a single mystery of love.
Now, in the light of this Word of Jesus, love is the measure of faith and faith is the soul of love.   We can no longer separate a religious life, a pious life, from service to brothers and sisters, to the real brothers and sisters that we encounter.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 October 2014)you shall love the lord your god - mark 12 30-31 - in the light of this word of jesus - pope francis - 4 nov 2018

PRAYER – God power and mercy, by whose grace, Your people give You praise and worthy service, help us to see Your face in our neighbour.   To love them all as we love You.   Save us from faltering on our way and grant us the joys You have promised  . St Felix of Valois and St Charles Borromeo kindly assist our journey by your prayers. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st felix of valois pray for us - 4 nov 2018

st-charles-pray-for-us-3-4 nov 2017

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God
we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves in the presence of God
as much as possible and have no other view
or end in all our actions but the divine honour.”if we wish to make - st charles borromeo - 16 dec 2017

“We must meditate before,
during and after everything we do.
The prophet says:
“I will pray, and then I will understand.”
This is the way we can easily overcome
the countless difficulties we have to face
day after day, which, after all, are part of our work.
In meditation, we find the strength,
to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in others.”

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)we must meditate - st charles borromeo - 16 dec 2017

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Pope Benedict XVI on the Commemoration of the fourth centenary of the Canonisation of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) – 4 November 2010

Pope Benedict XVI on the Commemoration of the fourth centenary of the Canonisation of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) – 4 November 2010

With the Church, we pray,

Preserve in the midst of Your people, we ask, O Lord, the spirit with which you filled the Bishop Saint Charles Borromeo, that Your Church may be constantly renewed and, by conforming herself to the likeness of Christ, may show His face to the world.st charles icon

The Pope emeritus writes:

Lumen caritatis.   The light of charity of St Charles Borromeo has illumined the whole Church and, by renewing the miracles of the love of Christ, our Supreme and Eternal Pastor, has brought new life and new youthfulness to God’s flock, which was going through sorrowful and difficult times.   For this reason I join with all my heart in the joy of the Ambrogian Archdiocese in commemorating the fourth centenary of the Canonisation of this great Pastor on 1 November 1610.

1.   The time in which Charles Borromeo lived was very delicate for Christianity.   In it the Archbishop of Milan gave a splendid example of what it means to work for the reform of the Church.   There were many disorders to sanction, many errors to correct and many structures to renew;  yet St Charles strove for a profound reform of the Church, starting with his own life.   It was in himself, in fact, that the young Borromeo promoted the first and most radical work of renewal.   His career had begun promisingly in accordance with the canons of that time:  for the younger son of the noble family Borromeo, a future of prosperity and success lay in store, an ecclesiastical life full of honours but without any ministerial responsibilities;  he also had the possibility of assuming the direction of the family after the unexpected death of his brother Federico.

Yet Charles Borromeo, illumined by Grace, was attentive to the call with which the Lord was attracting him and desiring him to dedicate the whole of himself to the service of his people.   Thus he was capable of making a clear and heroic detachment from the lifestyle characterised by his worldly dignity and dedication without reserve to the service of God and of the Church.   In times that were darkened by numerous trials for the Christian community, with divisions and confusions of doctrine, with the clouding of the purity of the faith and of morals and with the bad example of various sacred ministries, Charles Borromeo neither limited himself to deploring or condemning nor merely to hoping that others would change but rather set about reforming his own life which, after he had abandoned wealth and ease, he filled with prayer, penance and loving dedication to his people.   St Charles lived heroically the evangelical virtues of poverty, humility and chastity, in a continuous process of ascetic purification and Christian perfection.

He was aware that a serious and credible reform had to begin precisely with Pastors if it was to have beneficial and lasting effects on the whole People of God.   In this action of reform he was able to draw from the traditional and ever living sources of the Catholic Church:  the centrality of the Eucharist, in which he recognised and proposed anew the adorable presence of the Lord Jesus and of his Sacrifice of love for our salvation;  the spirituality of the Cross as a force of renewal, capable of inspiring the daily exercise of the evangelical virtues; assiduous reception of the Sacraments in which to accept with faith the action of Christ who saves and purifies His Church; the word of God, meditated upon, read and interpreted in the channel of Traditionlove for and devotion to the Supreme Pontiff in prompt and filial obedience to his instructions as a guarantee of full ecclesial communion.

The extraordinary reform that St Charles carried out in the structures of the Church in total fidelity to the mandate of the Council of Trent was also born from his holy life, ever more closely conformed to Christ.   His work in guiding the People of God, as a meticulous legislator and a brilliant organizer was marvellous.   All this, however, found strength and fruitfulness in his personal commitment to penance and holiness.   Indeed this is the Church’s primary and most urgent need in every epoch: that each and every one of her members should be converted to God.   Nor does the ecclesial community lack trials and suffering in our day and it shows that it stands in need of purification and reform.   May St Charles’ example always spur us to start from a serious commitment of personal and community conversion to transform hearts, believing with steadfast certainty in the power of prayer and penance.   I encourage sacred ministers, priests and deacons in particular to make their life a courageous journey of holiness, not to fear being drunk with that trusting love for Christ that made Bishop Charles ready to forget himself and to leave everything.   Dear brothers in the ministry, may the Ambrogian Church always find in you a clear faith and a sober and pure life that can renew the apostolic zeal which St Ambrose, St Charles and many of your holy Pastors possessed!

2. During St Charles’ episcopate, the whole of his vast diocese felt infected with a current of holiness that spread to the entire people.   How did this Bishop, so demanding and strict, manage to fascinate and to win over the Christian people?   The answer is easy: St Charles enlightened the people and enticed them with the ardour of his love.   “Deus caritas est”, and where there is a living experience of love the profound Face of God who attracts us and makes us His own is revealed.

The love of St Charles Borromeo was first and foremost the love of the Good Shepherd who is ready to give his whole life for the flock entrusted to his care, putting the demands and duties of his ministry before any form of personal interest, amenity or advantage.   Thus the Archbishop of Milan, faithful to the Tridentine directives, visited several times his immense Diocese even the most remote localities, and took care of his people, nourishing them ceaselessly with the Sacraments and with the word of God through his rich and effective preaching;   he was never afraid to face adversities and dangers to defend the faith of the simple and the rights of the poor.

St Charles, moreover, was recognised as a true and loving father of the poor.   Love impelled him to empty his home and to give away his possessions in order to provide for the needy, to support the hungry, to clothe and relieve the sick.   He set up institutions that aimed to provide social assistance and to rescue people in need;   but his charity for the poor and the suffering shone out in an extraordinary way during the plague of 1576 when the holy Archbishop chose to stay in the midst of his people to encourage them, serve them and defend them with the weapons of prayer, penance and love.

Furthermore it was charity that spurred Borromeo to become an authentic and enterprising educator:  for his people with schools of Christian doctrine;  for the clergy with the establishment of seminaries;  for children and young people with special initiatives for them and by encouraging the foundation of religious congregations and confraternities dedicated to the formation of children and young people.

Charity was always the deep motive of the severity with which St Charles practiced fasting, penance and mortification.   For the holy Bishop it was not only a matter of ascetic practices aiming for his own spiritual perfection but rather of a true ministerial means for expiating sins, for invoking the conversion of sinners and for interceding for his children’s needs.

Throughout his life, therefore, we may contemplate the light of evangelical charity, of forbearing, patient and strong love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7).   I thank God that the Church of Milan has always had a wealth of vocations especially dedicated to charity;   I praise the Lord for the splendid fruits of love for the poor, of service to the suffering and of attention to youth of which it can be proud.   May St Charles’ example of prayer obtain that you may be faithful to this heritage, so that every baptised person can live out in contemporary society that fascinating prophecy which, in every epoch, is the love of Christ alive in us.

3. However it is impossible to understand the charity of St Charles Borromeo without knowing his relationship of passionate love with the Lord Jesus.   He contemplated this love in the holy mysteries of the Eucharist and of the Cross, venerated in very close union with the mystery of the Church.   The Eucharist and the Crucified One immersed St Charles in Christ’s love and this transfigured and kindled fervour in his entire life, filled his nights spent in prayer, motivated his every action, inspired the solemn Liturgies he celebrated with the people and touched his heart so deeply that he was often moved to tears.

His contemplative gaze at the holy Mystery of the Altar and at the Crucified one stirred within him feelings of compassion for the miseries of humankind and kindled in his heart the apostolic yearning to proclaim the Gospel to all.   On the other hand we know well that there is no mission in the Church which does not stem from “abiding” in the love of the Lord Jesus, made present within us in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.   Let us learn from this great Mystery!   Let us make the Eucharist the true centre of our communities and allow ourselves to be educated and moulded by this abyss of love!   Every apostolic and charitable deed will draw strength and fruitfulness from this source!aa - st charles allegory

4. The splendid figure of St Charles suggests to me a final reflection which I address to young people in particular.   The history of this great Bishop was in fact totally determined by some courageous “yeses”, spoken when he was still very young.   When he was only 24 years old he decided to give up being head of the family to respond generously to the Lord’s call;   the following year he accepted priestly and episcopal Ordination.   At the age of 27 he took possession of the Ambrogian Diocese and gave himself entirely to pastoral ministry.   In the years of his youth St Charles realized that holiness was possible and that the conversion of his life could overcome every bad habit. Thus he made his whole youth a gift of love to Christ and to the Church, becoming an all-time giant of holiness.

Dear young people, let yourselves be renewed by this appeal that I have very much at heart:  God wants you to be holy, for He knows you in your depths and loves you with a love that exceeds all human understanding.   God knows what is in your hearts and is waiting to see the marvellous gift He has planted within you blossom and bear fruit.  Like St Charles, you too can make your youth an offering to Christ and to your brethren. Like him you can decide, in this season of life, “to put your stakes” on God and on the Gospel.   Dear young people, you are not only the hope of the Church;  you are already part of her present!   And if you dare to believe in holiness you will be the greatest treasure of your Ambrogian Church which is founded on Saints.

Venerable Brother, I joyfully entrust these reflections to you and as I invoke the heavenly intercession of St Charles Borromeo and the constant protection of Mary Most Holy, I warmly impart to you and to the entire Archdiocese a special Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 1 November 2010, the fourth centenary of the canonization of St Charles Borromeo.

Pope Benedict XVI

This letter addressed Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of the Canonisation of Saint Charles Borromeo.st charles - pray FOR US.3.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Thought for the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

“An austere, dedicated, humourless and uncompromising personality” is the way that a biographer—an admiring biographer—describes Charles Borromeo.   Charged with implementing the reforms dictated by the Council of Trent, Borromeo had to be tough and his toughness brought him into conflict with secular leaders, priests and even the pope himself.

Borromeo can offer us crucial inspiration and some very specific advice about tough love.   For the larger good of the church during a time when it was beleaguered, he knew that he had to sacrifice his own popularity.   His example demonstrates that we must be brave in God’s service.

He also also teaches crucial fairness.   Evenhanded in his demands, he expected the same compliance with Council of Trent reforms from everyone.   Bishops and priests alike had to dismiss their female relatives from their households;  all schoolteachers—no exceptions—were required to make public professions of faith;   every workingman who was apprehended in the street by one of the Archbishop’s “fishers” on Sunday was escorted to catechism class.   Borromeo reminds us that the rules must be the same for all and that we will not succeed if we make exceptions and play favourites.

Borromeo’s life reminds us that we cannot be hypocrites.   If we expect to re-invigorate our family, our parish, our workplace for example, we must model that reform in our own lives.   While others may be displeased with us at first and while we may face hard words, we must take courage and know that the larger cause for which we work is worth the effort, and the pain.

St Charles Borromeo, pray for us!

st charles - pray for us.2

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Quote/s of the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Quote/s of the Day – 4 November – The Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God
we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves in the presence of God,
as much as possible and have no other view or end,
in all our actions but the divine honour.”if we wish - st charles borromeo - 4 nov 2017

“I admit that we are all weak but if we want help,
the Lord God has given us the means to find it easily.
Would you like me to teach you how to grow from
virtue to virtue and how, if you are already recollected at prayer,
you can be even more attentive next time
and so give God more pleasing worship?
Listen, and I will tell you.
If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you,
do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out.
Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat
and grow cold.
In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can.
Stay quiet with God.
Do not spend your time in useless chatter.”i admit that we are - st charles borromeo - 4 nov 2017

“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live.
If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing
but live otherwise and your words will bring
only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.”

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)be sure that you - st charles borromeo - 4 nov 2017