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This should be the first rule of your day, according to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


Before anything else Seton holds up this simple, yet challenging rule.

In the fast-paced world that we live in, it is easy to be worried about “many things.” We may not always know where to focus our attention and attempt to do everything at the same time.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton would like to help.

According to this saint who was born in the United States, there is a single rule that should stand at the forefront of our daily lives. Simply put, it is living God’s will in the present moment.

It is a rule based on the words of Jesus to his disciples, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Matthew 6:34).

Archbishop Fulton Sheen elaborates, “We are to leave the past to divine mercy and to trust the future, whatever its trials, to God’s loving providence. Each minute of life has its peculiar duty — regardless of the appearance that minute may take. The Now-moment is the moment of salvation.”

This entails being open to God’s will every moment of the day, and seeking his will in that moment, asking ourselves, “What is God’s will for me, right now?”

It can be a difficult rule to live by, but one that the saints learned how to master. Through prayer and trust in God, nothing is impossible.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton left a beautiful prayer on this theme, a prayer that can be said daily, possibly as a morning prayer to start the day. As we struggle to follow this rule, may our hearts be open to whatever God has in store for us.

O Father, the first rule of our dear Savior’s life was to do Your Will. Let His Will of the present moment be the first rule of our daily life and work with no other desire but for its most full and complete accomplishment. Help us to follow it faithfully, so that in doing what You wish we will be pleasing to you. Amen.

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