^ Back to Top
Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo St. Charles Borromeo
 
 
 

Latest News

Links

Prayer Services

Vocation: A Prophetic Call Contributed by Sr. Anitha Flavia Lobo

A call is something you receive from God. A call is not a career. A career is something you do for yourself; a call is something you do for God. A career promises status, money or power. A call generally promises difficulty, suffering, and the opportunity to be used by God. A career may end with retirement. A call isn't over until the day you die. A career can be disrupted by any number of events; but when God calls you he enables you to fulfill your calling even in the most difficult circumstances. God calls each of us personally, by name. since God calls us by name, our response can only be from the unique individuals that we are, we respond with our own talents and abilities, our own shortcomings and limitations. As Abraham was different from Moses, Peter from Paul, Mary from Martha, so each of us is different and so is our response. We respond to God in a way that is not better or worse than others, but just uniquely different. Every call is a call to live in faith. Therefore, with faith in our loving God let us surrender our life to him.

Scripture Reading: Ex 3:4-8, 10-12:4:1-5.

Reflection:- when God called Moses, one of the questions he asked him was, "what is that in your hand? Moses held his shepherd's staff. It represented his livelihood: it's what he was good at. It represented his income: his flock was his wealth and his family's security. God asked him to be willing to lay it down. Today God asks us, "What is that in your hand? What has been given to you? It could be our gifts and talents, our wealth, our experience, our relationships, our education. God has given us some special human qualities called our strengths. It might include abilities like curiosity, love for learning, sound judgment, and social intelligence. It can be our capacity for kindness and the expression of mercy or the ability to bring about fairness and leadership. Or else qualities like self-control, prudence, humility, the appreciation for beauty, the expression of gratitude, the ability to hope, and the capacity for joy. We all have the capacity for each of these strengths, but a few resonate more deeply in us. They are called "signature strengths". We need to identify these, and begin to understand our calling. Sometimes we think God couldn't or wouldn't use us because of our weaknesses. No, the opposite is true. Listen to what St. Paul says, "Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, and not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God". For Paul, his weakness was never a hindrance in proclaiming Jesus, he writes to the Corinthian community, "I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me". Every call has a goal and a purpose. Our call is often connected to what troubles us deeply. For Moses it was the oppression of his people. So God used that, and called Moses to lead his people to freedom. For Dr Martin Luther king Jr. It was the injustice of a society that enslaved and oppressed African-Americans. If we want to discover our call, begin praying about what troubles us deeply. Usually we try to avoid unpleasantness, but if we have a sense that our call involves helping the poor, spend time around those in poverty. Allow our heart to be moved, carry within us the conviction that things must change, and keep praying, Lord, and make me a changed person. "Our call means God believes in us.

Short pause for personal reflection:

Intercessory Prayer

Response: Lord, make us faithful and loyal disciples. -

God has a plan for each of us. He has built in us tremendous potentials to realize this plan. May we surrender all are unique qualities and abilities at the disposal of the Lord to be used for his purpose.

Resp. -

All those called by God were constantly in touch with the Lord. Their deep intimacy with the Lord helped them to be faithful to their call. May all the committed youth be deeply rooted in God, and may God be their constant companion in all the events and happenings of their life.

Resp. -

When Jesus called his disciples, so prompt was their response that they left everything and followed him. When we know that God is inviting us for a particular task, may we too have the disposition to follow him with generosity and promptness?

Resp. -

Lord Jesus, we beg you to make us worthy disciples, may we faithfully follow your teaching and inspiration. In moments of weakness strengthen us.

Resp.

Concluding prayer: Heavenly Father, you anointed and sent your only son Jesus into the world to proclaim the good news of salvation to the people of our time. Through the ages you continue to choose and send out men and women of goodwill to carry out the same mission. May all those who are called respond generously to your invitation, modeling their life on the life of Jesus, and be true to their calling even at the cost of great sacrifice. We make this prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Reference: from the book of 'Come Let us Worship' by Miriam N fsp

 

ST. CHARLE BORROMEO AND THE YEAR OF FAITH 2012 – 2013
Compiled by Sr. Sheila Corda


This is truly a Year of Grace for the Church and for the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo. St. Charles Borromeo is the Promoter and Defender of Faith and Patron of Catechists. Grace is the magnet that draws us to Jesus. It puts a desire in us to embrace Jesus and his teachings. Scripture tells us that “faith comes by grace (Eph. 2:8). As Pope Benedict wrote: “faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him” (Porta Fidei, 10).

Without spending time with Jesus in personal prayer, without liturgy and the sacraments, “the profession of faith would lack the efficacy because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness” (Porta Fidei, 11). That’s why everyone is called to stay connected to the vine (John 15:5), to drink the “living water” of the Spirit (John 4: 10, 13), and eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood (John 6; 53): it’s why the Holy Father asks us to “keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ” (Porta Fidei,13). Without grace, faith will fall by the wayside.

St. Charles Borromeo is called the reformer of the Church, the Promoter and Defender of Faith. He is one of the great supporters of the Council of Trent, one of the results which came from the deliberations of the Council was a decree for the revision of the Bible and for the compiling of the Tridentine catechism. We owe to the Council of Trent that great renaissance of the Catholic Faith. NOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE YEAR OF FAITH.

St Charles Borromeo, was canonized on 1 November 1610 by Pope Paul V, The opening of fourth centenary had an important event the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI Lumen Caritatis, of November 1, 2010, the very day of the anniversary of the canonization; It was indeed an important event in the history of the Church. In the letter, the Holy Father briefly sets out some fundamental aspects of the sanctity of Borromeo.

The first aspect refers to his work as reforming bishop. In implementing with wisdom and originality the decrees of the Council of Trent, St Charles reformed the Church that he loved deeply; indeed, precisely because he loved it with a sincere love, he wanted to renew it, helping to give back to it its most beautiful aspect, that of Bride of Christ, a bride without blemish or wrinkle.

A second aspect of the sanctity of Charles Borromeo was that he was a man of prayer, intense, trusting, prolonged, robust and flourishing prayer in his life as a pastor. If St Charles was enamored of the Church, it was because he was enamored beforehand with the Lord Jesus, present and active in the Church in its doctrinal and spiritual tradition, present in the Eucharist, in the Word of God. He was especially enamored of Christ crucified, as the iconography that not by accident ¬has handed down to us the image of this saint in contemplation and in adoration of the Passion and Cross of the Lord.

Finally Charles Borromeo was a saint – the Pope reminds us – because he was able to embody the figure of the zealous and generous shepherd, who was ready to sacrifice his whole life for the flock entrusted to his care. St Charles was truly ‘ubiquitous’ in the diocese of Milan through pastoral visits, he was concerned in a prophetic and incisive way with the problems of his time; above all, like the great bishops of the Middle Ages, he was truly pater pauperum, father of the poor and weakest: just think of what he managed in terms of charity and welfare during the dramatic moments of the famines and the plague of 1576. The Pope’s letter is rightly titled Lumen Caritatis, because it makes explicit reference to the pastoral charity that daily and in heroic fashion St Charles knew how to live and practice.

St. Charles Borromeo, by accepting the realities of his time, could urge the Fathers to come to grasp with the vital matters of their age and seek solutions which would revivify the Catholic spirit. From a Church which was alert to the dangers of its times, and reformed in practice and discipline, he could hope for, and work for, positive progress.

Pope John XXIII, a great authority on St. Charles, sounded the call for Vatican Council II to face the challenge of bringing Christ into our world. St. Charles has shown us that lasting results are obtainable, but that the methods must be brought into conformity with contemporary problems.

St. Charles Borromeo would have enjoyed this challenge immensely, and he would have been proud to see his beloved Church, not in need of reform, thank God, but dynamically searching for new ways of increasing its effectiveness. The approach he used four hundred years ago still has validity: positive action; practical action; a willingness to go right into the heart of vital matters.

Since we are sure of the guiding power of the Holy Spirit, we can go fearlessly forward no matter how startling the "cures" might be for a world staggering under the weight of Communism, Materialism, Welfare programmes, and a divided Christendom.

Saint Charles is a model for both clergy, religious and lay faithful in this Year of Faith. He was the unwearied advocate and defender of the true Catholic reformation, opposing those innovators whose purpose was not the restoration, but the effacement and destruction of faith and morals. This celebration of the feast of St. Charles Borromeo should prove to be not only a consolation and lesson for every Catholic but also a noble incentive for everyone to cooperate wholeheartedly of reviving and restoring all things in Christ.

This wonderful working of Divine Providence in the Church's program of restoration was seen with the greatest clarity and was given as a consolation for the good especially in the century of Saint Charles Borromeo. In those days passions ran riot and knowledge of the truth was almost completely twisted and confused. A continual battle was being waged against errors. Human society, going from bad to worse, was rushing headlong into the abyss. In the XXI Century we too observe a decline in morals and a weakening of Faith. Let us draw inspiration from St. Charles Borromeo.

The Lord began to work His wonders in Charles. He filled him with a wisdom, justice, and burning zeal for promoting His glory and the Catholic cause. Above all, the Lord filled him with a great concern for restoring the faith in the Church universal according to the decrees of the renowned Council of Trent. That Pontiff himself, as well as all future generations, attributed the success of the Council to Charles, since even before carrying its decrees into action he was its most ardent promoter. In fact, his many vigils, trials, and labours brought its work to its ultimate completion.

Let us make St. Charles Borromeo, a model of zeal, recall how the holy Bishop frequently and fervently taught that the Clergy should not only provide the opportunity but even consider it their duty to see that children, youth, families, servants, and employees study Christian doctrine. ‘Parish priests should erect as many schools for this same purpose as the number and needs of the people demand. They should further take care that they have upright teachers, who will be assisted by men and women of good morals according to the manner the holy Archbishop Milan prescribed’

Today, we are challenged by our Patron to truly make this Year of Faith a memorable reality in keeping with our Charism: to incarnate the Compassionate love of God to all through Christian education in all our ministries.

 ST. CHARLES BORROMEO AND THE YEAR OF FAITH 2012-2013

ST. CHARLES BORROMEO PROMOTER AND DEFENDER OF FAITH

(Compiled by Sr. Sheila Corda)

 (Suggestion: Could be used during the Prayer of the Church either in the Morning or Evening in place of the Word of God and Intercessory prayers of the day).

FIRST DAY

“ According to your faith let it be done to you.”

INTRODUCTION: This is truly a Year of Grace for the Church and for us Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo as we begin our proximate preparation for the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Promoter and Defender of Faith and Patron of Catechists. Grace is the magnet that draws us to Jesus. It puts a desire in us to embrace Jesus and his teachings. Scripture tells us that “faith comes by grace (Eph. 2:8). As Pope Benedict wrote: “faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him” (Porta Fidei, 10).

Without spending time with Jesus in personal prayer, without liturgy and the sacraments, “the profession of faith would lack the efficacy because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness” (Porta Fidei, 11). That’s why everyone is called to stay connected to the vine (John 15:5), to drink the “living water” of the Spirit (John 4: 10, 13), and eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood (John 6; 53): it’s why the Holy Father asks us to “keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ” (Porta Fidei,13). Without grace, faith will fall by the wayside.

St. Charles Borromeo is called the reformer of the Church, the Promoter and Defender of Faith. He is one of the great supporters of the Council of Trent, one of the results which came from the deliberations of the Council was a decree for the revision of the Bible and for the compiling of the Tridentine catechism. We owe to the Council of Trent that great renaissance of the Catholic Faith. NOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE YEAR OF FAITH.

WORD OF GOD: Mt. 9: 27 – 31, JESUS HEALS TWO BLIND MEN

Prayer of Saint Charles Borromeo:

Almighty God, you have generously made known to human beings the mysteries of your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit.

Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church

treasures and teaches.

Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them.

Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride,

Without ostentation, and without personal gain.

Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others to the knowledge

of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures.

Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me. Amen

 

 

SECOND DAY

Everything is grace: Looking towards St Charles.

“You of little faith, why do you doubt?”

INTRODUCTION:

The fourth centenary of the canonization of St Charles Borromeo, was on 1 November 1610 by Pope Paul V. It was indeed a very busy year, full of projects of great spiritual, pastoral and cultural significance for the Ambrosian Church.  The opening of this centenary had an important event the Apostolic Letter of Benedict XVI Lumen Caritatis, of 1 November 2010, the very day of the anniversary of the canonization; It was indeed an important event in the history of the Church.

In the letter, the Holy Father briefly sets out some fundamental aspects of the sanctity of Borromeo.

The first aspect refers to his work as reforming bishop. In implementing with wisdom and originality the decrees of the Council of Trent, St Charles reformed the Church that he loved deeply; indeed, precisely because he loved it with a sincere love, he wanted to renew it, helping to give back to it its most beautiful aspect, that of Bride of Christ, a bride without blemish or wrinkle.

A second aspect of the sanctity of Charles Borromeo: he was a man of prayer, intense, trusting, prolonged, robust and flourishing prayer in his life as a pastor. If St Charles was enamored of the Church, it was because he was enamored beforehand with the Lord Jesus, present and active in the Church in its doctrinal and spiritual tradition, present in the Eucharist, in the Word of God. He was especially enamored of Christ crucified, as the iconography that not by accident ­ has handed down to us the image of this saint in contemplation and in adoration of the Passion and Cross of the Lord.

Finally Charles Borromeo was a saint – the Pope reminds us – because he was able to embody the figure of the zealous and generous shepherd, who was ready to sacrifice his whole life for the flock entrusted to his care. St Charles was truly ‘ubiquitous’ in the diocese of Milan through pastoral visits, he was concerned in a prophetic and incisive way with the problems of his time; above all, like the great bishops of the Middle Ages, he was truly pater pauperum, father of the poor and weakest: just think of what he managed in terms of charity and welfare during the dramatic moments of the famines and the plague of 1576. The Pope’s letter is rightly titled Lumen Caritatis, because it makes explicit reference to the pastoral charity that daily and in heroic fashion St Charles knew how to live and practice.

Indeed, in imitation of Christ who gave His life for our salvation, St Charles literally ‘loosed’ his life into pastoral charity. From the moment he became bishop of Milan, in programmatic and systematic fashion, he put the cause of the Gospel and the good of the Church before everything: before his own convenience, before private and personal interests, before family

interests or his circle of friends, before his free time, to the point of never having free time for himself, given that all the time at the disposition a bishop – St Charles said the same – must be spent for the salvation of souls.

WORD OF GOD: Mt. 6: 22 – 33, JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER

 

THIRD DAY

ST CHARLES BORROMEO – THE HOUSE BUILT ON ROCK

Christ is my rock, my refuge, my stronghold

“Everything that St Charles did and achieved, was built on the unshakable rock that is Christ, on the full integrity and loyalty to the Gospel, on unconditional love for the Church of the Lord”. (The discourse of the Archbishop Emeritus of Milan at the Rimini Meeting by Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi )

This centenary event presented itself in its twofold aspect: cultural and spiritual.

There is undoubtedly, the cultural aspect: an instructive exhibition on the life and pastoral work of Charles Borromeo, the panels, captions, multimedia supports; there is a catalogue with scholarly contributions. All this is important because it enables a better understanding, beyond the many simplifications and beyond the partial or even ideologically prejudiced interpretations, of the true face of this great bishop, authentic interpreter of the Tridentine reform of the Church.

But personally I would like to emphasize the spiritual aspect of the initiative, as clearly emerges from the title the organizers have chosen for this exhibition: ‘The house built on rock’. The reference is to the famous page that closes the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of two house-builders, the first builds on sand, the other on rock. And the outcome is entirely predictable: the house of the former, at the first trials of life and the storms of history, inevitably collapses, the house of the latter, despite the difficulties of life and the upheavals of history stands and resists. And the rock on which the house is built is Christ the Lord, it is His Gospel of truth and life (cf. Mt 7, 24-27).

This parable can truly and in particular fashion be applied to St Charles and his work: everything he did and achieved was built on the unshakeable rock that is Christ, on full consistency and fidelity to the Gospel, on unconditional love for the Church of the Lord. That is why what St Charles built withstood the storms of his time, and has also stood against the wear and tear of the passing centuries, as evidenced by the fact that even today many of his insights, many of the pastoral and institutional solutions he devised or prefigured remain valid, have their own incisive relevance, not just for the diocese of Milan, but also for the whole Western Latin Church.

 WORD OF GOD: Mt. 7: 24 – 27, THE TWO HOUSE BUILDERS

 

FOURTH DAY

POPE JOHN XXIII, A GREAT AUTHORITY ON ST. CHARLES, SOUNDED THE CALL FOR VATICAN COUNCIL II  

TO FACE THE CHALLENGE OF BRINGING CHRIST INTO OUR WORLD.

 “Where is your faith?”

INTRODUCTION:

St. Charles Borromeo, by accepting the realities of his time, could urge the Fathers to come to grasp with the vital matters of their age and seek solutions which would revivify the Catholic spirit. From a Church which was alert to the dangers of its times, and reformed in practice and discipline, he could hope for, and work for, positive progress.

Pope John XXIII, a great authority on St. Charles, sounded the call for Vatican Council II to face the challenge of bringing Christ into our world. St. Charles has shown us that lasting results are obtainable, but that the methods must be brought into conformity with contemporary problems.

St. Charles Borromeo would have enjoyed this challenge immensely, and he would have been proud to see his beloved Church, not in need of reform, thank God, but dynamically searching for new ways of increasing its effectiveness. The approach he used four hundred years ago still has validity: positive action; practical action; a willingness to go right into the heart of vital matters.

Since we are sure of the guiding power of the Holy Spirit, we can go fearlessly forward no matter how startling the "cures" might be for a world staggering under the weight of Communism, Materialism, Welfareism, and a divided Christendom.

Let US Pray: O Saintly reformer, St. Charles Borromeo animator of spiritual renewal of priests and religious, you organized true seminaries and wrote a standard catechism. Inspire all
religious teachers and authors of catechetical books. Move them to love
and transmit only that which can form true followers of the Teacher
who was divine. Amen.

FIFTH DAY

THE CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRIT OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO

…be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God

and with what he requires of you,..

With all this emphasis on active works, it is important to understand something of the interior spiritual life of St. Charles. His piety was first and foremost a liturgical piety, coming from the Mass, the sacraments, and the canonical hours/prayer of the Church. This heritage, which he had from his youth, he worked to share with his people. He was strongly attracted to the Passion of Christ, devotion to the Blessed Mother, and a deep veneration for the relics of the saints.

Charles Borromeo is relevant for his formidable ability to work out a balance between action and contemplation. We all know the many images of St Charles absorbed in prayer, especially before the Crucifix, immersed in real mystical experiences. But the emphatic contemplative dimension that he managed to give to his life never took him away from his duty as a pastor of souls. Indeed, we can say that he became one of the great models of bishop and pastor precisely because his pastoral work was deeply imbued with prayer and contemplation. St Charles ‘did’ much in his life, the projects achieved were many, and indeed we wonder in amazement where he found the time and strength to do everything he did. One is tempted to say that all he did had something miraculous about it: and so it did! Truly it has something miraculous about it because it was all steeped in prayer, conversation with God, imbued with the loving contemplation of the mysteries of salvation in Christ, starting from His passion, death and resurrection. This is the timeless message that comes from St Charles: communion with God, prayer, contemplation do not wrench us out of history but plunge us into it, giving us the strength even to work miracles in the world and for the world. Whereas ours is a period suffering from activism, hectic in its doings, busy producing goods and services if the aim is not to waste it. And so our period arrives at evaluating the person not for what they are, but for what they do and produce. In such a context should one perhaps not speak of contemplation, meditation, prayer, silence, as the most ‘outdated’ things our time could experience? The truth, however, is exactly the opposite. St Charles urges us not to be deceived by this kind of drug, but to restore order in our lives, restoring the primacy of God over all, in the certainty that the rest will follow. It is the Lord’s own admonition: “Seek instead, above all the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt 6, 33).

WORD OF GOD: Mt.6: 25 – 34, DONOT WORRY

 

 

 

 

SIXTH DAY

ST. CHARLES BORROMEO A SOCIAL SAINT

“Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

INTRODUCTION:

There is the aspect of the pastoral work of St Charles that impressed his contemporaries more than any other – so that they began to consider him exceptional precisely because of it – it was his charitable activity. Above all during the terrible plague of 1576 he stripped himself literally of everything, of family property, of personal property, not only of the superfluous, but of the absolutely necessary so as help the people of Milan stricken by the epidemic. And not only was he prodigious in times of emergency, he also decided that various charitable institutions should continue their work beyond the emergency of the plague, aware that poverty, want, marginalization, social and moral degradation are an everlasting emergency, in every moment. And in fact, in every moment St Charles shone as fatherly helper of the poor, of every poor person, of all who held out their hand asking for help. He was also – to use the terminology of our current culture – a ‘social saint’: that is he was able to interpret the social problems of his time in the light of the Gospel, pointing to various concrete solutions, fearless in denouncing the ills of society such as public corruption, the practice of usury, the unjust privileges of certain cliques, the lack of what we now call ‘social conscience’ or ‘concern for the common good’.

 

SEVENTH DAY

ST.CHARLES BORROMEO,, AN ASCETIC.

Do not let these little ones to lose faith in me,...

 INTRODUCTION:

Another aspect to the sanctity of St.Charles Borromeo that deserves mention is the ascetic dimension of his life. He was most strict on this point, something that lead to harsh criticism and misunderstandings in those who lived close to him. He was poor, chaste, humble, penitent; he practiced fasting very seriously, he prayed into the night so as to keep the day for his pastoral duties; he reduced his rest to a minimum, indeed he tended not to rest at all. We know that the doctors often reproached him with not taking sufficient care of himself, and he would reply that if one paid heed to doctors one couldn’t be a good bishop! His death at barely 46 put the seal on a life that was literally consumed in ascetic practices. This is an aspect which leaves us wondering, as did his contemporaries, who rightly wondered if St Charles was imitatable in those virtues given their heroic character. And we ourselves wonder today, but without falling into the trap of judging excessive the exercise of ascetic virtues as lived by St Charles, judging it ‘outdated’ according to the parameters of our contemporary sensibilities. Might not such a view be just a reassuring way of excusing ourselves from imitating him? We must have rather the honesty to find in this an aspect of great relevance. To speak today of ‘asceticism’, of ‘penitence’, of ‘renunciation’ exposes us to the risk of being ridiculed and judged as people out of time and out of this world, coming from the world of so many centuries ago. Whereas we are the people who need a firm reminder to purify our lifestyle, to make it more simple, to rediscover self-control and mastery of the senses, of the instincts and uncontrolled passions: as a path to an inner freedom that makes us masters of ourselves and of our true path toward the truth, the good, the just and the beautiful.

 

WORD OF GOD: Mt.18: 8 – 10, TEMPTATION TO SIN

 

EIGHTH DAY

THE RING, THE CROZIER, THE CHALICE– A FAITHFUL BISHOP

INTRODUCTION:

The  three authentic relics that in some way reveal the personality of St Charles: an epiphany of his heart, a manifestation of his spiritual secret.

First of all there is Borromeo’s ring. And a bishop’s ring speaks symbolically of his spousal relationship with the Church entrusted to him. It is thus the sign of pastoral love and faithfulness to the ministry, of total dedication.

Then we come upon his pastoral crozier: it is the symbol of authority and governance of a bishop. But, as we know, it is a matter of an authority that can never be implemented as a pure exercise of power. In imitation of Christ – the Good Shepherd par excellence – the exercise of the pastoral governance coincides with the offering of a life to the point of full consummation of self. So Christ did, so did the holy pastors, such as Charles Borromeo.

Finally, we may look at his chalice, the one he used to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice. It stands as testimony to the life of prayer that a bishop must have, as a reminder that, ultimately, it is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, it is His word and His sacraments – in which His work of salvation is present and efficacious – that build the Church, enlighten, enliven and guide it.

This applies to the Church that preceded us in time, for the Church that we are now living, for the Church which is opening to the future: a Church always filled with the grace and love of her Spouse and Lord. It is then without any fear, but with the unalterable and overflowing trust that comes from Christ, that we are all together called to continue on our path to holiness, heeding His words and making them a daily experience of life.

WORD OF GOD: Lk.7: 1 - 10, JESUS HEALS A ROMAN OFFICER’S SERVANT

 

NINTH DAY

ST.CHARLES BORROMEO ADVOCATE AND DEFENDER OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH

New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith

Saint Charles is a model for both clergy, religious and lay faithful in this Year of Faith. He was the unwearied advocate and defender of the true Catholic reformation, opposing those innovators whose purpose was not the restoration, but the effacement and destruction of faith and morals. This vigil of the celebration of the feast of St. Charles Borromeo should prove to be not only a consolation and lesson for every Catholic but also a noble incentive for everyone to cooperate wholeheartedly of reviving and restoring all things in Christ.

 This wonderful working of Divine Providence in the Church's program of restoration was seen with the greatest clarity and was given as a consolation for the good especially in the century of Saint Charles Borromeo. In those days passions ran riot and knowledge of the truth was almost completely twisted and confused. A continual battle was being waged against errors. Human society, going from bad to worse, was rushing headlong into the abyss. In the XXI Century we too observe a decline in morals and a weakening of Faith. Let us draw inspiration from St. Charles Borromeo.

 The Lord began to work His wonders in Charles. He filled him with a wisdom, justice, and burning zeal for promoting His glory and the Catholic cause. Above all, the Lord filled him with a great concern for restoring the faith in the Church universal according to the decrees of the renowned Council of Trent. That Pontiff himself, as well as all future generations, attributed the success of the Council to Charles, since even before carrying its decrees into action he was its most ardent promoter. In fact, his many vigils, trials, and labours brought its work to its ultimate completion.  

Let us make St. Charles Borromeo, a model of zeal, recall how the holy Bishop frequently and fervently taught that the Clergy should not only provide the opportunity but even consider it their duty to see that children, youth, servants, and employees study Christian doctrine.. ‘Parish priests should erect as many schools for this same purpose as the number and needs of the people demand. They should further take care that they have upright teachers, who will be assisted by men and women of good morals according to the manner the holy Archbishop Milan prescribed’

A sincere and zealous reformer St. Charles Borromeo avoided extremes and never overstepped the bounds of true reform. He was always united in the closest bonds with the Church and Christ, her Head. There he found not only strength for his interior life but also the directives he needed in order to carry out his work of healing human society.

The function of this divine mission, which has from time immemorial been handed down to the ambassadors of Christ, is to "make disciples of all nations" True reformers understand this very clearly. They do not kill the blossom in saving the root. That is to say, they do not divorce faith from holiness. They rather cultivate both of them, enkindling them with the fire of charity. Moreover, he seconded every one of their acts with the practical means needed to realize the end in view, namely, the real reform of sacred discipline.