Habits of piety

Daily Reading for January 4 • Elizabeth Seton, Founder of the American Sisters of Charity, 1821

He who perseveres to the end shall be saved. Piety must be habitual, not by fits. It must be persevering, because temptations continue all our life, and perseverance alone obtains the crown. Its means are: the presence of God, good reading, prayer, the sacraments, good resolutions often renewed, the remembrance of our last end; and its advantages: habits which secure our predestination—making our life equal, peaceable, and consoling—leading to the heavenly crown—to where our perseverance will be eternal!!!. . .

What, then, must be His seed of faith, of His word, of His blood, of His cross, of His flesh in the Eucharist, deposited in our hearts through the winter of life? What must be the fruit in the harvest of eternity, whose echoing vaults and ever-verdant fields shall resound with praise and love forever? Oh, exulting—oh, delightful prospect! joyful anticipations. How endearingly should we cherish this precious faith, this ineffable hope, this first seed of love now shooting in our hearts during the trail of patience and winter of life which will so soon pass away and bring us to the harvest of delights in eternity!!!

Oh, food of Heaven, how my soul longs for you with desire! seed of Heaven, pledge of its immortality, of that eternity it pants for. Come, come, my Jesus, bury yourself within this heart. It shall do its best to preserve that warmth which will bring forth the fruits of eternity. Oh, amen. Our Jesus.

From Memoir, Letters and Journal of Elizabeth Seton, Convert to the Catholic Faith, and Sister of Charity, edited by the Right Rev. Robert Seton, D.D., volume 2 (New York: P. O’Shea, 1869).

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