CALL TO PRAYER: Let us celebrate God’s gifts to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, a valiant and tender-hearted woman. She lived and died, filled with hope and trust in God’s Providence amid the twists and turns of life. Let us join our hearts and voices in thanksgiving. (Quotes in italics are Elizabeth’s words.)
MAGNIFICAT OF ST. ELIZABETH SETON
While I live, while I have my being, I will sing praises to my God; For God has looked with love on my simple and confiding heart; generations to come will call me Mother of many daughters.
For the One who alone is mighty has changed my poverty and sorrow into the power to do great things. Holy is God’s name! In every age our sweet Providence has continually showered mercy over us.
God, my defense and shield and strength and Salvation, confuses the proud of heart, casts the mighty from their thrones, and calls the lowly to look up with hope.
God raises me from the dust to feel that I am near the Light, and drives away all terrors to fill me with peace.
God’s abundance fills the hungry, while the rich are sent away empty-handed.
God, my Shepherd, sustains me in faith, hope, and charity and leads me to assist the poor with tender compassion.
The God who remembers, who never slumbers or sleeps, upheld our mothers and fathers, our ancestors in faith.
So too for us and for our children, God keeps the promise, Mercy for the future, as sure as the past.
-Composed by Sr. Regina Bechtle, SC
Two Seton scholars who died this past year – Gertrude Foley, SC-SH (June 16, 2023) and Margaret
John Kelly, DC (Nov. 24, 2022) – greatly deepened our understanding of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
“She [Elizabeth] had the instinct of the mystic about the nondualism of life lived as a channel
of God’s infinite and self-spending love. She was totally given to God and totally present to the
givenness of her life. That is where she found God. A spirituality for mission is one that frees us to be
clear and open channels of God’s infinite and self-spending love.” – Gertrude Foley, SC, “Elizabeth Ann Seton: A Spirituality for Mission,” Vincentian Heritage 14:2, excerpt, p. 303
“…(O)ne is struck by the frequency with which the theme of ‘courage’ appears….Elizabeth seems most herself and relates most authentically when she is ‘acting with heart,’ when she converts
her deep sense of God into activities for others. Her awareness of God must be expressed in service;
her spirituality yields, better demands, a lived share in Jesus’ mission….Relationships and projects
merge in the creative, spontaneous, energetic, passionate, and productive Elizabeth.” – Margaret John Kelly, DC, “Her Doing Heart: Key Relationships in Elizabeth Seton’s Life: 1809–1821,” Vincentian Heritage 14:2, excerpt, pp. 332-333
REFLECTION AND SHARING
- What words of Elizabeth speak to your heart and spirit at this time?
- How have you been a source of love for others during this time of division?
- When have you been creative and passionate about sharing the charism?
CLOSING PRAYER: God of all hopefulness, sustain us as we seek to walk by faith, to remain rooted in hope, and to put on love. Keep us steadfast in hope as the Spirit of Christ leads us on the path of Charity. Amen.