Friday, November 4, 2016


Cf. Ps 38 (37): 22-23

Forsake me not, O Lord, my God;
be not far from me!
Make haste and come to my help,
O Lord, my strong salvation!


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.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.


Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo

PHIL 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
and observe those who thus conduct themselves
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears,
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified Body
by the power that enables him also
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

1 JN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

LK 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples,

“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light.”

November 4

Saint Charles Borromeo (1538 - 1584)

Saint Charles Borromeo was born on October 2, 1538 at the castle of Arona on Lake Maggiore near Milan. His father was the Count of Arona and his mother a member of the House of Medici. 
He was the third of six children born to the couple.

At the age of 12, the young Count Charles Borromeo dedicated himself to a life of service to the Church. His uncle gave to him the family income from the Benedictine abbey of Saints Gratinian and Felinus. Even as a youth, his integrity was obvious. He was explicit in telling his father that he could only keep the money required for his education and to prepare him for service to the Church. 
All other funds belonged to the poor of the Church and were to be passed along to them.

The young count suffered from a speech impediment that made him appear slow to those who did not know him. Despite this challenge, he performed well and impressed his teachers. He attended the University of Pavia and learned Latin. He was praised because he was hardworking and thorough.

In 1554 his father passed away and although Charles was a teenager, responsibility for his household fell to him. Charles continued in his studies and earned a doctorate in canon and civil law.

His responsibility for his household resulted in financial difficulties, 
and Charles earned a reputation for being short of funds.

Life sped up for the young count after his uncle, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Medici became Pope Pius IV on December 25, 1559. The new pope asked his nephew to come to Rome and appointed him as a cardinal-deacon. With the rank came the job of assisting and advising his uncle full-time. 
A month later, Pope Pius IV made his nephew a cardinal.

With the new rank came even more duties including the government of the Papal States, the supervision of the Knights of Malta, the Franciscans, and the Carmelites. He was only 23 years old.

The young Borromeo used his leadership role in the Vatican to promote learning and he established a literary academy. He wrote of some of the lessons and lectures in the book, Noctes Vaticanae.

Borromeo was appointed administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1560. Since he would become the ecclesiastical administrator of Milan, he decided that the Lord was calling him to the priesthood.

In 1561, he founded a college at Pavia dedicated to St. Justina of Padua.

In 1562 his brother died and his family urged him to leave the service of the church to preserve the family name. However, Borromeo refused. He became more insistent upon becoming a good bishop and in compelling others to lead exemplary lives of clerical service.

Borromeo was ordained first to the order of deacon. Then, he was ordained to the holy priesthood on September 4, 1563. Then, he was ordained as a bishop on December 7, 1563. 
He became Archbishop of Milan in May 12, 1564.

In 1566, Archbishop Borromeo's benefactor and uncle, Pope Pius IV died. Borromeo had already developed a reputation as a young, idealistic reformer in Rome, and he continued that mission in Milan. Milan was the largest diocese in the Catholic Church at the time and corruption was rampant.

The driving out of corruption was a critical matter during Borromeo's time. The Protestant Reformation was spreading throughout northern Europe and constantly threatened to move south. The greatest defense against Protestant doctrinal errors and claims against the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was reform and the restoration of integrity to the Catholic Church. 
Archbishop Borromeo saw this clearly and he made this his mission.

His strategy was to provide education to many clergy he saw as ignorant. 
He founded schools and seminaries and colleges for clergy.

He also ended the selling of indulgences, a form of simony (Catholic Catechism #2120, and ordered monasteries to reform themselves. He made a lot of visits to various locations to inspect for himself. He ordered the simplification of church interiors, which was a major point of contention between some Catholics and Protestants. The complex and busy interiors were claimed to be a distraction from the worship of God. This danger was acknowledged during the Council of Trent which Archbishop Borromeo enforced. Even tombs belonging to his own relatives were cleared of inappropriate ornaments and embellishments.

His work of cleaning up the Church also made him enemies. On one occasion a member of a small, decrepit order known as the "Humiliati" attempted to assassinate him with a pistol, but missed.

Many of his subordinates and secular officials complained about the Archbishop throughout his career. However, the existence of these enemies only emboldened Borromeo and served as confirmation that his efforts to eradicate corruption were working.

In 1576 a famine struck Milan followed by the plague, and many of the wealthy and powerful fled the city. Archbishop Borromeo remained. He used his own fortune to feed the starving people. When that money was spent, he took loans and went deep into debt. He may have fed 70,000 people per day. Eventually, the Archbishop convinced the local governor to return to his post and care for the people.

In 1583, Archbishop Borromeo traveled to Switzerland and began work suppressing heresy there. Protestant heresies, along with witchcraft and sorcery had been widely reported. 
He founded the Collegium Helveticum to serve and educate Swiss Catholics.

Eventually, the Archbishop's life of work and toil began to take its toll. In 1584, he became ill with a fever. He returned to Milan where his conditioned worsened. When it became obvious he would die, 
he was given his last Sacraments. He died on November 3, at the age of 46.

He was beatified on May 12, 1602 by Pope Paul V. 
He was subsequently canonized by Pope Paul V on November 1, 1610.

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Christ is the chief shepherd,
the leader of his flock:
come, let us adore him.


Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David

Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
to generation upon generation
my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
“My kindness shall be established forever”;
your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
and our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Love and truth walk in your presence, Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)

The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Son of God was born into the house of David when he came into this world.

Psalm 88 (89)

Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant:
his dynasty shall last forever.

“But if his children abandon my law
and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
a faithful witness in the sky.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Once for all, I have sworn to David my servant:
his dynasty shall last forever.

The words that you utter give light
– and understanding to the simple.

First Reading
1 Maccabees 3:1-26

Then Mattathias’s son Judas, called Maccabaeus, took over his command.
All his brothers, and all who had attached themselves to his father,
supported him, and they fought for Israel with a will.

He extended the fame of his people.
He put on the breastplate like a giant
and girded on his war harness;
he engaged in battle after battle,
protecting the ranks with his sword.
He was like a lion in his exploits,
like a lion’s whelp roaring over its prey.
He pursued and tracked down the renegades,
he consigned those who troubled his people to the flames.
Renegades were abashed for terror of him,
all evil-doers were utterly confounded,
and deliverance went forward under his leadership.
He brought bitterness to many a king
and rejoicing to Jacob by his deeds,
his memory is blessed for ever and ever.
He went through the towns of Judah
and utterly destroyed the infidels in them,
turning wrath away from Israel.
His name resounded to the ends of the earth
and he rallied those who were on the point of perishing.

But Apollonius mustered the pagans and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel. When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him and routed and killed him. Many fell wounded, and the survivors took to flight. Their spoils were seized and the sword of Apollonius was taken by Judas, who used it to fight with throughout his life. On hearing that Judas had raised a mixed force of believers and seasoned fighters. Seron, commander of the Syrian troops, said, ‘I will make a name for myself and gain honour in the kingdom if I fight Judas and those supporters of his who are so contemptuous of the king’s orders.’ He therefore launched another expedition, with a strong army of infidels to support him in taking revenge on the Israelites. He had nearly reached the descent of Beth-horon when Judas went out to confront him with a handful of men. But as soon as these saw the force advancing to meet them they said to Judas, ‘How can we, few as we are, engage such overwhelming numbers? We are exhausted as it is, not having had anything to eat today.’ ‘It is easy’ Judas answered ‘for a great number to be routed by a few; indeed in the sight of heaven deliverance, whether by many or by few, is all one; for victory in war does not depend on the size of the fighting force; it is from heaven that strength comes. They are coming against us in full-blown insolence and lawlessness to destroy us, our wives and our children, and to plunder us; but we are fighting for our lives and our laws, and he will crush them before our eyes; do not be afraid of them.’ When he had finished speaking, he made a sudden sally against Seron and his force and overwhelmed them. Judas pursued him down from Beth-horon as far as the plain. About eight hundred of their men fell, and the rest took refuge in the country of the Philistines. Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and alarm seized the surrounding peoples.
His name even reached the king’s ears, and in every nation there was talk of Judas and his battles.


They come against us in great pride and lawlessness;
as for you, do not be afraid of them:
it is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, since strength comes from heaven.

We fight for our lives and our laws,
and the Lord himself will crush them before us.
It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, since strength comes from heaven.

Second Reading
A sermon
by St Charles Borromeo

Practise what you preach

I admit that we are all weak, but if we want help, the Lord God has given us the means to find it easily. One priest may wish to lead a good, holy life, as he knows he should. He may wish to be chaste and to reflect heavenly virtues in the way he lives. Yet he does not resolve to use suitable means, such as penance, prayer, the avoidance of evil discussions and harmful and dangerous friendships. Another priest complains that as soon as he comes into church to pray the office or to celebrate Mass, a thousand thoughts fill his mind and distract him from God. But what was he doing in the sacristy before he came out for the office or for Mass? How did he prepare? What means did he use to collect his thoughts and to remain recollected?

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.

If teaching and preaching is your job, then study diligently and apply yourself to whatever is necessary for doing the job well. 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.

Are you in charge of a parish? If so, do not neglect the parish of your own soul, do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself. You have to be mindful of your people without becoming forgetful of yourself.

My brothers, you must realise that for us churchmen nothing is more necessary than meditation. We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: I will pray, and then I will understand. When you administer the sacraments, meditate on what you are doing. When you celebrate Mass, reflect on the sacrifice you are offering. When you pray the office, think about the words you are saying and the Lord to whom you are speaking. When you take care of your people, meditate on how the Lord’s blood that has washed them clean so that all that you do becomes a work of love.

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.


You must aim to be saintly and religious,
filled with faith and love, patient and gentle.
This is what you are to enforce in your teaching:
be an example to all the believers.
If you put all this before the brothers,
you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus.
This is what you are to enforce in your teaching:
be an example to all the believers.

Let us pray.

Lord, keep alive in your people
the spirit you gave to your bishop Saint Charles Borromeo.
Shape and renew your Church
until it bears the image of Christ,
and shows his true likeness to the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.