Not only did St. Elizabeth Ann Seton endure much suffering and illness throughout her life, but she underwent her own harrowing quarantine with her dying husband far from home. This Lent we can unite our own inner and exterior trials across time and space with the communion of saints.
We used to celebrate Christmas for forty days, a period symbolizing conversion. Mother Seton’s own life-changing Christmas experience prompts us to ask ourselves—did we open our hearts to the Christ child this year? Or did we lock the door of the inn?
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s last words were “Be children of the Church.” Advent reminds us that belonging to the Mystical Body of Christ does not depend on our feelings; it depends on our orientation of heart; on where we bring and put our bodies; on a relationship with Christ that is intimate beyond imagining.