God demands for our own sake that we acknowledge his benefits, especially of our creation

February 20, 2022 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 28
By Venerable Louis of Granada

This, then, the first of God’s benefits, is the foundation of all the others, for all other benefits presuppose existence, which is given us at our creation.

Let us now consider the acknowledgment God demands of us, for He is no less rigid in requiring our gratitude than He is magnificent in bestowing His benefits; and this is an additional proof of His love, for our gratitude results in no advantage to Him, but enables us to profit by the favors we have received, and thus merit other graces from His infinite goodness.

Thus we read in the Old Testament that whenever He bestowed a favor upon His people He immediately commanded them to keep it in remembrance.

When He brought the Israelites out of Egypt He commanded them to commemorate by a solemn festival every year their happy deliverance from bondage.

When He slew the first-born of the Egyptians and spared the Israelites He commanded that the latter, in return, should consecrate their first-born to Him.

When He sent them manna from heaven to sustain them in the wilderness, He ordered that a portion of it should be put in a vessel and kept in the tabernacle as a memorial to generations of this extraordinary favor.

After giving them victory over Amalec He told Moses to write it for a memorial in a book, and deliver it to Josue.

Since, therefore, God so rigidly requires a continual remembrance of the temporal favors He grants us, what return of gratitude will He not demand for this immortal benefit? Such we truly call the benefit of creation, because with it we receive from God the gift of an immortal soul.

The patriarchs of old were deeply sensible of this obligation of gratitude, and therefore we read that whenever God bestowed upon them any special favor or blessing they evinced their gratitude by erecting altars to His name and by rearing other monuments to commemorate His mercies to them.

Even the names they gave their children expressed the favors they had received, so desirous were they that their debt of gratitude to God should never be forgotten.

St. Augustine, speaking on this subject in one of his soliloquies, says: “Man should think of God as often as he breathes; for as his being is continuous and immortal, he should continually return thanks to the Author of his being.”

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