At the time of her canonization in 1975, Terence Cardinal Cooke spoke of her legacy: “In Elizabeth Ann Seton, we have a saint for our times...we have a woman of faith for a time of doubt and uncertainty...a woman of love for a time of coldness and division ... a woman of hope for a time of crisis and discouragement. Thanks be to God for this saintly daughter of New York, for this valiant woman of God's Church.”
Elizabeth Seton truly was a saint for our times, as her struggles were the struggles of so many of us. One particular quote of hers is apt for ending our month and summing up her challenge to each of us: “Go out and meet your grace!”
"The saints are the people who have responded with the greatest sensitivity to that supernatural help (of grace). Neither can we keep count of all the graces we receive to help us sanctify the actions of our ordinary life, carrying them out with determination, with perfection and with purity of intention, for supernatural reasons as well as for noble human ones. If we are faithful from morning to night to the help we receive, we will find we have filled each day with acts of love of God and neighbor, at both the pleasant moments and at those times when perhaps we felt tired and had less strength and enthusiasm....Each day is a great gift that God gives us. He wants us to fill it with love by corresponding cheerfully with His grace, and by not being surprised at any difficulties or setbacks. He wants us to count on His help to overcome such obstacles and use them so that they will urge us on to holiness and apostolate. Everything is very different when we do it with love and for Love." (Francis Fernandez, "In Conversation with God)
Surely our Saint would agree. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton "met her grace" with determination and love, offering all to her Savior. If each of us were to diligently seek those inspirations of the Holy Spirit in our day, how the Kingdom of God would blossom here on earth! Help us, Mother Seton, to "go out and meet our grace." We end with her prayer:
“How much of my day is passed I know not. Save me, let not the night overtake me! Blessed saints of God, pray for the weary soul that has strayed so far behind. You have reached the summit, pray for me.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, please continue to pray for us!