Everyone loves a birthday, but St. Elizabeth Ann Seton intuitively saw something the Catholic Church also uniquely sees: Birthdays have a deep and powerful meaning.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart teaches us that the way of the saints is not about an abstract ideal or rules for life, but about the unfathomable love of God, who we embrace—blood, sweat and all.
Lost car keys or a feverish child might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it’s in the little things that we find, every day, a multitude of ways to love.
Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can rest in the community of love that is the Triune God. Mother Seton shows us how to immerse ourselves in the life of the Blessed Trinity as God’s beloved sons and daughters.
The difference is great between the young African tribesman in Uganda and the religious foundress from New York City. But Pentecost Sunday reminds us just how alike they really are.
At Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church through imagery of divine wind and fire. For Mother Seton—and for Catholics today—it’s within the storms and wreckage of life that grace is encountered, and new paths are revealed.
As we endure trials and isolation during the pandemic, we can look to St. Julian of Norwich and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for strength. They share the mystic’s confidence that “all shall be well” if we trust in God. These things that we suffer and fear – pain, death, illness, loss, and strife – Jesus has already overcome. We suffer in the world, but He has conquered the world.
Meditating on the trials and struggles of St. Louise de Marillac and Mother Seton gives us hope in these uncertain times. We learn that holiness is found not in flashes of glory, but in the messy spaces where one watches, prays, and waits.
What attracted Mother Seton to the Catholic Church was the closeness of Christ, from the intimate scenes of the nativity, to His presence in the Eucharist. Like the great saint Athanasius, she proclaimed the truth of the Incarnation to all—“God is so infinitely present to us that he is in every part of our life and being.”