On this feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, it might be fitting to meditate on her nature, which was joyful and generous of heart. She wrote to her Sisters: "Cheerfulness prepares the mind for all the noblest acts of religion: love, adoration, praise and every union with our God, and also for duties, charity, happy zeal, (and) useful concern for our neighbor."
Several biographies mention this about her, that she was kind, patient, courteous and cheerful. And it does seem to follow that this disposition would be the most receptive to God's undertakings, and that a joyful nature would be one which would open naturally to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Can our personalities really change for the better through our faith? Yes! since overcoming ourselves is part and parcel of the Christian walk. A joyful spirit can be cultivated if it does not come naturally, as Mother Seton's seemed to. The psalmist asks and answers:
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11)
Mother Seton put all her hope in God and so was able to praise Him throughout her life. Perhaps this was her secret. We can do the same when the circumstances of life weigh us down. Why be downcast, my soul? God is in His heaven...
Blessed Feast Day, dear St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - pray for us!