"Keep soberly and quietly in His presence, trying to turn every little action to His will." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)
When we seek the sacred in our day we are seeking the presence of God. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton looked for God in all aspects of her life - in the humdrum monotony of a moment as well as the extraordinary events. She raised her children, cooked, cleaned and struggled to give them a good home. She nursed her husband and two children while they lay dying. She cheerfully encouraged her Sisters when they were cold, hungry and tired. She was able to do all of this because she lived continually in God's presence and so could offer everything up to Him.
I can imagine her bending over a desk in the candlelight, poring over her bills and trying to parcel out the little money she had to distribute to each one. I can imagine her scrubbing floors with strong hands and mending clothes with careful stitches . I can imagine her laying a prayerful, cooling hand on her children's feverish heads. All this as she prayed: "Continue to give me your soul-cheering presence. In life or in death let me be your own."
How often do we recognize the sacred in our daily existence? Do we offer up as prayer the little things we do each day: make holy the preparation of meals, our work in the office, the care of our family? Are we thankful for that really good cup of coffee or the smile of a stranger? Do we see God in the face of the bus driver, hear Him in a friend's concern? St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had that continual awareness of God's presence in her life; today and everyday, may we make it our own.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!