On Tuesday, we made colonial bread in her honor, and on Wednesday, we learned about her life.
This is pretty much how things go around here. We celebrate a saint’s feast week!
St. Elizabeth Seton—or Mother Seton, as she came to be known—was raised in the Protestant Episcopal Church but became a Catholic when she was 30. She was staying in Italy when her host family brought her to the cathedral in Florence. In her words, “When I entered the church, I fell to my knees. I prayed there for a long time because I felt that God was really present there.”
Now then. I’ve been to the cathedral in Florence and it was one of the most beautiful, majestic, amazing architectural structures that this little gal from North Dakota has ever seen!
It’s no wonder that St. Elizabeth Seton felt God’s presence there.
Yet I don’t believe that it was the cathedral alone that caused St. Elizabeth’s conversion. She also wrote about the generosity of her friends in Italy, saying that “truly, since we left our country, we have met with kindness and thoughtfulness.”
This made me wonder. Do I have the same effect on the people in my life?
After my big conversion—or reversion, as I had never actually left the Catholic faith—I spent a half a year in a conservative Catholic community in Kansas. And when I say conservative, I mean conservative. Yet some of those “more Catholic than the Pope” people treated me very poorly.
They were cold. They were judgmental. They could be very mean.
Good thing I’d already fallen in love the Church! Good thing they weren’t my only ticket in!
My point is this. As a Catholic, I have a HUGE responsibility to be Christ’s emissary to the world. I am called to treat all the people in my life—my family, my friends, the man on the street—with fairness and kindness and most of all, great love.
We are the only cathedral that many people will see.