This sixteenth century Cardinal Archbishop of Milan was a leading figure in the Counter-Reformation. He made some significant reforms in the Church more generally, being responsible for the creation of seminaries for the training of priests. He was greatly admired by St Francis de Sales.

He said: ‘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 honour. 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’.

This advice is as sound today as on the day it was first spoken. May we heed St Charles’ words, and put them into practice, and may God bless you this day.