Today is the feast of one of my favorite saints, Elizabeth Ann Seton. She was a wife, mother, convert to Catholicism, and founder of a religious community, the Sisters of Charity. She was a society debutante as a young woman and later in life lived extreme poverty as she founded the Sisters of Charity. I’ve always loved the excerpts I’d read from her writings, but only when I was researching her life for my book, Saints Alive! The Faith Proclaimed, did I realize what a prolific writer she was. A woman of her time, Elizabeth didn’t publish her writings, but she wrote many, many letters, journaled, and wrote spiritual guidance for her sisters. From these come many spiritual gems, including one of my favorite adaptations of the Anima Christi prayer, which you can read here.
Here is a lovely quote from St. Elizabeth for the Year of Mercy:
“The greater my unworthiness, the more abundant is his mercy.”
Elizabeth’s life was filled with tremendous sorrow and loss—from troubles at home in her early life, to the death of her husband, to the loss of her children—only one survived her. Perhaps because of her sufferings, her writing style is warm, simple, and practical. I have found many spiritual gems in her writings. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton uses beautiful and understandable imagery to describe the spiritual life—not an easy thing to do. Her writings have recently become freely accessible in PDF. Although she is not listed as a patron for writers, I’ve added her to my list as a patron saint for my writing. I think she is a wonderful patron for those who write about spirituality, women writers, letter writers, and those who journal.
Just a reminder for any New Yorkers that I’ll be visiting this week for two special events:
2. Daughters of Saint Paul Centenary Day of Recollection and Centenary Mass on Saturday, June 6th, from 10 AM to 6:30 PM, at Holy Family Church, where I will be giving one of two talks and will lead the Eucharistic Hour of Adoration:
Catholic Sistas posted a lovely review of my book, Soul of Christ: Meditations on a Timeless Prayer. They also posted their own beautiful line-by-line reflections on this wonderful prayer that is perfect to pray during Holy Week. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this lovely prayer, I’m posting it here. If you are familiar with it, you might find this Holy Week a good opportunity to pray this classic prayer recommended by many saints through the centuries, from Saint Ignatius of Loyola down to Blessed James Alberione:
Soul of Christ
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Your wounds, hide me;
Permit me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy defend me;
In the hour of my death call me
and bid me come to Thee,
that with Your saints I may praise Thee
forever and ever. Amen.
Happy Feast of Saint Joseph! (Click here for a quick spiritual take on what we can learn from St. Joseph–after you click, read pages 9-12.)
The first stage of my book tour for Soul of Christ: Meditations on a Timeless Prayer is now completed! Since November, I’ve been making frequent trips around the USA and Canada to our various Pauline Book & Media Centers: Toronto, Chicago, Redwood City, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Saint Louis. I should have kept a running count from my trips of all the people I’ve met who have read, are reading, or will soon read Soul of Christ, but it’s easily in the area of 500-600 people. In addition, I’ve tried to reach out through Catholic radio–and I’ve been impressed with the dedication of the Catholic radio producers that I’ve spoken with! (Spirit Catholic Radio in Nebraska, Radio Maria’s Community in Concert in Toronto, Relevant Radio–both the Morning Air and Wendy Wiese’s On Call shows, Covenant Radio in St. Louis, and Salt + Light Radio).
The entire experience has been filled with grace, as I’ve witnessed so many people’s tremendous love for our Eucharistic Lord, and their excitement to deepen their Eucharistic amazement and love with the Anima Christi (Soul of Christ prayer).
The Goodreads Giveaway that I ran for one week back in February also worked out well, even with the confusion of the first three days where people couldn’t find the giveaway–looking for it on the wrong book. In the end, almost 400 people requested the book–and I had the joy of sending out the book to the three people who won! That was exciting, and I can’t wait to hear their feedback.
For the next three months, I’ll focus on the apostolic writing I’ve let slide during my travels. My inner introvert is very happy about getting back to writing–rather than talking about writing! This also means that I can be more active online–blogging here at least once a week, more present on Twitter, etc. I’ve run into some good articles and resources on various aspects of writing, which I hope to share in the near future.
If you are in the San Francisco area, I invite you to join me for today’s or tomorrow evening’s Soul of Christ events! (If you are in the Los Angeles or San Diego area, scroll down for next week’s events!)
For Los Angeles:
Note that the retreat day on February 8th will include Eucharistic adoration but will be focused on the topic of my earlier book, See Yourself Through God’s Eyes: Allowing God’s Love to Shape Our Self-Esteem.
And in the San Diego area: