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5 Inspiring quotes from St. Charles Borromeo


José Salomé Pina | Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 11/04/17 - updated on 10/30/23

"Be sure that you first preach by the way you live."
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St. Charles Borromeo is one of the shining lights who came out of the Catholic Reformation. Together with St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Philip Neri, he fought bravely for the reform of the Catholic Church and helped establish seminaries that would properly educate future priests.

He was a principal actor behind the Council of Trent and assisted in the creation of the first universal catechism of the Catholic Church.

What propelled him forward was a devout prayer life coupled with a charitable heart, always striving to practice what he preached. Here are five inspiring quotes from St. Charles, patron saint of catechists and bishops.

1) 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 honor.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter.


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