Blog Post - January 4th
S. Elizabeth Ann Seton| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Mother Seton is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children.
Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a true daughter of the American Revolution, born August 28, 1774, just two years before the Declaration of Independence. By birth and marriage, she was linked to the first families of New York and enjoyed the fruits of high society. Reared a staunch Episcopalian by her mother and stepmother, she learned the value of prayer, Scripture and a nightly examination of conscience. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, did not have much use for churches but was a great humanitarian, teaching his daughter to love and serve others.
The early deaths of her mother in 1777 and her baby sister in 1778 gave Elizabeth a feel for eternity and the temporariness of the pilgrim life on earth. Far from being brooding and sullen, she faced each new “holocaust,” as she put it, with hopeful cheerfulness.
At 19, Elizabeth was the belle of New York and married a handsome, wealthy businessman, William Magee Seton. They had five children before his business failed and he died of tuberculosis. At 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless, with five small children to support.
While in Italy with her dying husband, Elizabeth witnessed Catholicity in action through family friends. Three basic points led her to become a Catholic: belief in the Real Presence, devotion to the Blessed Mother and conviction that the Catholic Church led back to the apostles and to Christ. Many of her family and friends rejected her when she became a Catholic in March 1805.
To support her children, she opened a school in Baltimore. From the beginning, her group followed the lines of a religious community, which was officially founded in 1809.
The thousand or more letters of Mother Seton reveal the development of her spiritual life from ordinary goodness to heroic sanctity. She suffered great trials of sickness, misunderstanding, the death of loved ones (her husband and two young daughters) and the heartache of a wayward son. She died January 4, 1821, and became the first American-born citizen to be beatified (1963) and then canonized (1975). She is buried in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Elizabeth Seton had no extraordinary gifts. She was not a mystic or stigmatic. She did not prophesy or speak in tongues. She had two great devotions: abandonment to the will of God and an ardent love for the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote to a friend, Julia Scott, that she would prefer to exchange the world for a “cave or a desert.” “But God has given me a great deal to do, and I have always and hope always to prefer his will to every wish of my own.” Her brand of sanctity is open to everyone if we love God and do his will.
Elizabeth Seton told her sisters, “The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly, to do it because it is his will.”
Patron Saint of:
Loss of parents
Sea of Mercy:
All my nothingness is drowned in the sea of mercy. With the confidence of a child, I throw myself into your arms, O Father of mercy, to make up for the unbelief of so many souls who are afraid to trust in you.-- S. Faustina Kowalska
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If nothing but mortification for the soul were gained...it would still be a marvelous thing.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Introductory Reflections: 1-10
We begin, today, reflecting upon an introduction to Diary of Divine Mercy of Saint Faustina. This treasure reveals Jesus’ own Heart. It reveals His infinite love and Mercy. Ponder each short daily reflection throughout the day so that, by the end of the Year, you will have pondered everything Jesus revealed to this great saint.
In the reflections that follow, you will discover many of the beautiful truths of God’s Mercy. Some may strike you to the heart, while others may not. Pay attention, especially, to those reflections that jump out at you. Some may be deeply convicting and be the cause for you to reexamine your life. Do not be afraid to let the Lord speak to you in a powerful way and do not resist His message of Mercy. If a particular message does strike you, and if this is the result of God speaking to you and challenging you, then listen. Pray over that reflection and let the Lord speak. Do not be offended and do not turn away.
This first section presents a basic introduction and overview of Saint Faustina’s Diary and the message of Divine Mercy in general. These first ten reflections are offered as a way of introducing you, by way of an overview, to the Heart of our Lord as revealed through the six notebooks Saint Faustina filled with her inspirations and private revelations. As you read through this initial section, allow yourself to be open to the newness of the concept of Divine Mercy and the devotion that flows from it. God deeply desires to pour out His Mercy in our day and age and the revelations given to Saint Faustina are a gift by which God is speaking to us in a special way.
Reflection 3: Creation of the Angels as an Act of Mercy
In addition to the creation of the material world, God created the spiritual world out of nothing. The angels, as well as every human soul, are gifts of pure love from God. In creating the spiritual world, God created beings who are capable of knowledge and love. The creation of angels is a particular act of Mercy toward humanity in that angels are created not only to know and love God, but also to know and love humanity and to draw humanity into the heights of Heaven.
Spend time today reflecting upon the gift of all celestial beings. Our guardian angels, as well as all celestial beings, are precious gifts beyond our imagination. Try to let this reality sink in this day and be grateful for their working in your spiritual soul.
Lord, I thank You for the gift of the celestial hosts of Heaven. I thank You for the abundance of Mercy You bestow upon humanity through these celestial beings. May I always be open to Your grace which comes to me through them. Jesus, I trust in You.