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The chain that held together St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s life


Fr James Bradley | CC BY 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/03/24

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton describes the "blessed chain" that was an essential part of her spiritual life.
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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had a remarkable life, full of many joys, but also many sorrows. She was tested in her faith, but remained steadfast in her trust in God.

In the Letters and Journal of Elizabeth Seton, we find that she wrote one Sunday how she thought of her ultimate goal of Heaven and how she longed to reach it:

I see the door of my eternity so wide open that I turn too wild sometimes. Oh if all goes well for me what will I not do for those I love? But alas! Yet if I am not one of His elect, it is I only to be blamed; and when going down, I must still lift the hands to the very last look in praise and gratitude for what He has done to save me. What more could He have done? That thought stops all.

After this thought she wrote down what she calls her “blessed chain.” It is a spiritual chain that she relied on heavily to bring her to that heavenly homeland:

Link by link the blessed chain:
One Body in Christ – He the head we the members.
One Faith – by His word and His church.
One Baptism – and participation of His sacraments.
One Hope – Him in heaven and eternity.
One Spirit – diffused through the Holy Ghost in us all.
One God – our dear Lord.
One Father – we His children.
He above all through all and in all. Oh, my soul, be fastened link by link, strong as death.

This “chain” is what sustained her during life and what she clung to during her trials. Each link of the chain was essential to her spiritual life and guided her towards Heaven.

It is a simple chain, one we can learn from and implement in our own lives, making sure our faith is fastened tightly to each link.

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