Living a Life Fixed on Eternity
“For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit. The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6
It’s so easy to get caught up in the physical world in which we live. After all, we’ve never known anything else. We’ve never lived anywhere else. So, it’s hard to imagine that the things we can’t see are more important than what we can.
The Heaven Focus
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a perfect example of keeping one’s eyes fixed on Heaven while simultaneously tending to earthly duties. Her focus on her eternal home provided the grace and perseverance to endure the many tragedies in her life.
Elizabeth was born into a devout Protestant family and lost her mother at a very young age. She later married, and when her husband became sick, they traveled to Italy, where he died, leaving her a young widow with five small children.
Faith and Crosses
She converted to the Catholic Faith, but her suffering intensified when her newfound faith left her ostracized from her Protestant family and friends — being shunned, especially by those we love, can be an unbearable cross to carry alone. I can only imagine the graces granted Elizabeth by uniting this kind of heartache to Jesus’ passion and keeping her sights set on her eternal home.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton shows us that our entire lives can be a prayer, a giant offering to God. And she exhibited that beautifully. Elizabeth was not a cloistered religious who had many hours a day to spend alone with our Lord. She was a widowed mother of five and founder of the Daughters of Charity in the United States and the United States parochial school system in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Her days were busy but did not obstruct her view of Heaven.
Her simple advice to us on living a life fixed on eternity is found in her quote, “Look up to the blue skies and love Him!”
May we strive to follow in St. Elizabeth’s footsteps and set our gazes on Christ and our eternal home.