|St. Charles Borromeo|
by Orazio Borgianni (1574-1616)
But the thing that stands out about this saint's story is that he was a prime mover in the Catholic Reformation.
It underscores something the Catholic laity knows. Something that we conveniently forget when emotions are high.
God loves His Church and He always sends someone to clean up the House - when things are out of order. And, that person is rarely a member of the laity. That person is almost always a member of the clergy and quite often a Bishop or a Pope.
American Catholics forget this. As Americans, we are used to speaking against the establishment. When we see something that isn't right, we grab a bull horn and announce it to the world. We hold rallies and tea parties and marches (which is necessary in a democracy), but it does not serve the Church very well when the laity speaks out against the Church and Church Authority (this is not to be confused with our duty to be salt and light in the public square - that is a different thing altogether).
We are called to pray that God will raise up someone like St. Charles Borromeo and put him in a key position to protect the Truth and reorder the practice of the Faith so that it is a true application of Church Teaching.
And then, we are called to go into the fields and work.
Yes, there are times when Church reform is necessary. As American Catholics, we are well aware of the scandals. We may want to make a major ruckus and think it is right for us to speak our mind to any and all. But we need to remember . . .
God loves His Church. He always raises up a champion for the Faith. But it's usually someone like St. Charles Borromeo. It's usually a Bishop. Or a Pope. Or a Priest.
It's rarely a member of the laity. And even then, it is almost always a humble saint who would prefer almost any other job.
So, save your "ruckus" for the town square and the cultural issues of the day. Mother Church deserves your prayers, not your grievances.
St. Charles Borromeo, pray for those who have been called to lead the Church, that they will not be afraid to lift high the Cross of Christ, to lead the Bride of Christ, and to proclaim the Teaching of Christ. Amen.