Elizabeth Ann Seton was an avid reader, even as a child, and this love of books and Scripture served her well when she founded the Sisters of Charity. "Give some time every day, if it is only half an hour, to devotional reading," she taught her Sisters, "which is as necessary to the well-ordering of the mind as the hand of the gardener is to prevent the weeds from destroying your favorite plants."
Spiritual formation is an important part of a Christian's life and should be taken seriously. The more we read the life of Christ - the more we see His reactions, sense His compassion, hear His teachings - the more we become conformed to Him. Elizabeth Seton advises us that we need to order our minds. How often do our imaginations run wild? Reading the Gospels prayerfully enables the Holy Spirit to take hold of our imagination and use it for good. Can we picture Jesus in the countryside; can we put ourselves in the crowd? What would He say to us? Would He ask us for a drink, as He did the Samaritan woman at the well? (John 4:1-30) Would we beg Him to heal us, like the ten lepers? (Luke 17:11-19) Would we hear Him say, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid", as He did to the disciples at sea? (Mark 6:45-52) Would we follow Him, or deny Him, as Peter did? (Matthew 4:18-20; 26:69-75).
As human beings, the more we love someone, the more we wish to know them. That's the love and desire we should have for Christ. Today, let's ask St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's intercession as we read the life of our Savior - to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him all of our days.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!