St. Charles was a leading Catholic reformer
He was born to a rich and powerful family. One of his uncles was Pope Pius IV.
Charles experienced a lot of pressure to enjoy the privileged lifestyle into which he was born.
However, he had a clarity about his vocation in following Christ.
There was a lot of corruption in the Church at the time. Charles set about trying to do something about it.
Eventually he became Archbishop of Milan in Northern Italy.
The Council of Trent was a reforming Catholic Council at the time of the Protestant Reformation. St. Charles put a lot of effort in ensuring that this Council was able to take place.
A weak Church could more easily be manipulated by secular powers, such as the kings and emperors at the time.
In his own personal life, Charles grew in his commitment to the Gospel and holiness.
His brother’s death reminded him that all things pass away, and he put his gaze on the Kingdom of God.
He personally lived a simple life, gave his property to the poor, and worked tirelessly for the reform of the Church. He met much opposition from those who opposed the reform because of vested interest, there were even attempts on his life.
He led by example, and was undeterred in clarity and commitment to his mission.
He was no zealot, not a ‘fanatic’,
He was also flexible and very human, while not wavering from his call.
The Church always needs reformers. We are called to contribute to this reform.
We do this by:
Saying a clear ‘yes’ to God in response to God’s call to us.
Making a clear commitment to be living members of the Church.
To also practice charity and love, even for those who oppose reform or are different in their views from us.
Not to act out of our ego, or ‘self-righteous’ attitude, but in true humility.
To be prayerful.
To continue to learn and be better informed about our faith from the right and balanced resources.