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.
As we see in the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and in the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, we are each made for some purpose. Not for “nothing,” but decidedly for “something” in the grand scheme of the world and all of its intended Glory.
When we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, we proclaim with the Church that Jesus is the “King of the Universe.” Few understood this fact more intensely than Mother Seton. Do we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our lives? Do we accept him as King in all things?
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton accepted God’s will for her life as something sweet—even adored. How can we achieve the same spiritual surrender in our own lives?
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton knew the secret of God’s grace and generosity. She once wrote: “The greater my unworthiness, the more abundant His mercy.” Her words are a great consolation when we feel weak in the face of a world that needs us.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, like so many other saints, took inspiration from the lives of those who came before her. For All Saints Day, why not copy the venerable practice of seeking out a patron saint to teach you throughout the next liturgical year?
From the seeds planted 200 years ago, the church that Elizabeth Seton cherished as her “ark” today serves more than 64 million Catholics.
There is a lot this homegrown saint can teach us, especially these three lessons from her life.
Elizabeth Bayley Seton and her family shaped Catholic life in nineteenth century America. And they continue to shape it today.