A few weeks after her conversion, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton celebrated the Annunciation by receiving Holy Communion for the first time. Thereafter, even in moments of poverty, loss and death, Elizabeth would follow Mary’s example with grace, courage, and a mission to serve others.
St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton teach us that God won’t make troubles go away, but he will protect us in the midst of them. They both found strength by responding to God’s call, even when it meant leaving everything behind.
If we really understood Lent, we would be as enthralled with Ash Wednesday as Mother Seton was. It is through our Lenten journey inward into “the great empty” that we encounter God and meet our authentic selves.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton found in Sacred Scripture a path to God. Her life embodied what the Second Vatican Council called the “force and power in the word of God” that becomes the “support and energy of the Church.”
St. Peter is honored because despite his weaknesses, he loved and followed Jesus, and became the first pope. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton also chose a difficult path, when she answered God’s call, and entered the Catholic Church. Like St. Peter, Mother Seton’s humility became her greatest glory.
The love between spouses is a mirror of God’s enduring love for us. Few examples of such love are more poignant than Elizabeth Ann Seton’s tender care for her dying husband William during their long quarantine in a damp lazaretto after their journey to Italy.
When Bernadette Soubirous and Elizabeth Ann Seton each discerned their callings, these future saints gave unstinting witness to their missions, in extreme obedience to truths that brought hope and light to many. They never backed down.
When the Holy Family presented the infant Jesus at the temple, Mary learned that her soul would one day be pierced by a sword. Like the Blessed Mother, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s faith-filled devotion helped carry her through the pains and trials of motherhood, and can inspire us today.
The conversions of Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton may seem exceptional, but each of us, in our own life, can experience the same grace by opening our heart when Christ calls.