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Christian Resources for Worship in Schools

Through the eyes of a Saint

Charles Borromeo is a Saint of the sixteenth century. What on earth has he got to teach us about tackling the problems in the world today? This assembly helps us to see what’s happening around us and to try do something about the things that are wrong.

Opening Activity

What’s the tallest building you have ever climbed? Perhaps you have been to the Empire State Building or been to the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps you have climbed the tall tower of a Cathedral or been to the Blackpool Tower! On the shore of Lake Maggiore is a giant statue of St Charles Borromeo, who was born in a Castle near the lake (many people go to the Lakes on holiday). It’s 35.1 metres high and just like the statue of Liberty you can climb right up inside his head and look out through his eyes! The statue is the second tallest bronze statue in the world (after, of course, the statue of liberty which is 46 metres tall but if you take the pedestal into account it is 93 metres high)

Looking through the Eyes of a Saint
St Charles Borromeo (Feast Day November 4) was ordained priest in 1563 and became Bishop of Milan in the same year. Charles Borromeo was a great reformer of the Church. He could see what was wrong with the church and, despite opposition, put into place what he thought was right. He put systems into place to help the poor and needy. He improved the education of the clergy and laity. He preached and taught. He did so much to improve and change the church.

What do we see?
I am sure there will be lots of things that we think are wrong with the church or the world, and which could be improved. Can we really see when things are wrong? (Not just the things we don’t happen to like but the things that are perhaps really wrong and need changing). Do we look into things, and keep in touch with what’s going on in the world? Are we interested in what’s happening in the world? Not just popular gossip and news about celebrities—but global things? What do we see? What would we change? And why?

It takes great courage to change things, especially when we meet with great opposition.
Think about Martin Luther King who fought so hard against racism in the United States and who was killed for his beliefs and actions.
Think about Mahatma Ghandi who fought against tyranny and stood up for civil rights through non-violent, peaceful means. He too was also assassinated.
Think about Bishop Desmond Tutu, Trevor Huddleston and Nelson Mandella who fought so hard against Apartheid in South Africa.

All these people have seen or experienced something in the world that they wanted to change. The could see what was wrong. They could see what needed to happen. Even though they were faced by great opposition they carried on working for the good of others. And for some of them that meant that they were killed for their beliefs.

There are lots of things too in our own communities, in our school, that are not always good. Do we see when people are unhappy? Do we see when someone is bullied or picked on? Do we see when someone is lonely or in need of some help? Or do we look away and pretend we haven’t seen a thing?

Imagine we could see the world through the eyes of a saint? What does that mean? It means trying to see the world as God sees it. We are called to be Christ’s body in the world: to be his hands and feet, his eyes and ears, to being his healing touch, his comforting words, to listen to the voice of the needy and oppressed and to change the world into the kingdom of God.

God our Father,
there are so many things in the world that are wrong.
Help us to see what needs to be done,
and give us the courage and faith to help change the world
into a better place.
We ask this through Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Prayer of Teresa of Avila
"Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world."

Also Check Out

St Martin de Porres

Useful Links

Why not check out some information online about people such as Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Ghandi, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Trevor Huddleston and Nelson Mandella

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