Monday, December 04, 2006

St. Charles Borromeo on Advent

From a pastoral letter by St. Charles Borromeo (which was in this morning's Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours):

"Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace, and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. ... Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. This holy season teaches us that Christ's coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries; his power has still to be communicated to us all. We shall share his power, if, through holy faith and the sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us, and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ. The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again. When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace."

Speaking of Borromeo, one of the neat churches in Rome is the Basilica of Sts Ambrose and Charles on the Corso. The "Charles" in the church's title is for Borromeo, and the church has his heart in a reliquary behind the main altar. What I think is most excellent about this parish, though, is their commitment to evangelization and catechetics. At the entrance of the Basilica is a wall of racks (the "pamphlet" kind, not the "torture" kind), holding very well-done booklets in 5 languages about what the Catholic Church teaches on various topics. The parish has put them online, and you can check them out for yourself, or print them for others, by clicking here.

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