“It is only with the heart that one sees rightly…” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Though small in height, Elizabeth Ann Seton truly had a great heart.
With her whole heart, she embraced people near & far.
With her whole heart, she met the ups and downs of life.
She found the source and meaning of her life in loving.
She found peace when her heart rested in the heart of the God whom she loved and served.
Like St. Vincent de Paul, she knew that “first God asks for the heart, and then the work.”
Like the songwriters, Elizabeth knew that “Love changes everything,” and that “what the world needs now is love.”
May we feel and share the love in these words from her letters.
- “Hope must go on with us, for it will not do for hearts and fortunes to sink together.” (to her sister-in-law Rebecca Seton, 1799) (a good one for a time of recession – or depression!)
- “We must pray literally without ceasing…in every occurrence of our lives–you know I mean that prayer of the heart which is independent of place or situation. It is a habit of lifting up the heart to God, as in a constant communication with him.” (to her sister-in-law Cecilia Seton, 1805)
- “… all he [God] asks of us is the heart.” (in a note about prayer, to Cecilia Seton, 1807)
- “My heart melts at the thought of how dear we are to each other and the tie which binds us.” (to Cecilia Seton)
- “Providence has disposed for me a plan after my own heart” (to Julia Scott, March 2, 1809, from Baltimore, as plans were taking shape for Elizabeth’s move to Emmitsburg, and for the community & its ministry there)
- “I find in proportion as my heart is more drawn to the summit, it looks back with tenderness to everyone I have ever loved, much more to those who have long possessed its entire and true attachment.” (to Eliza Sadler, 1809)
- “Our Adored has given us hearts to love each other without restraint, calculations, or fears of saying too much or too little.” (to Catherine Dupleix, 1811)
- “Knowing as I do so well your heart’s full desire to serve our Lord…, I can say nothing to you, dearest soul, but to keep well to what you believe to be the grace of the moment.” (to a Sister being sent on mission, 1814 or after)
- “Dearest one, I carry you constantly in my heart before him [God] who loved us, and so much more than any friend can love a friend – may he bless you, strengthen you, and make you truly pleasing to him, own dear friend of my heart.” (to Julia Scott, 1817)
- “…If the heart is lost, all is lost.” (to Rev. John Hickey, 1818)
- “I carry you before him [God] continually in my heart is all I can do – let me hear from you soon as your dear heart is quiet.” (to Sr. Cecilia O’Conway in NY, 1819)
By Sr. Regina Bechtle