All creation was given to us by God for our benefit, which we should be grateful to Him for

February 27, 2022 • 4 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 36
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Consider in addition to this benefit the rich and delightful banquet of nature prepared for you by your Creator.

Everything in this world is for man’s use, directly or indirectly. Insects serve as food for birds, which in their turn serve as food for man. In like manner the grass of the fields supports the animals destined also for man’s service.

Cast your eye upon this vast world, and behold the abundance of your possessions, the magnificence of your inheritance. All that move upon the earth, or swim in the water, or fly in the air, or live under the sun are made for you. Every creature is a benefit of God, the work of His Providence, a ray of His beauty, a token of His mercy, a spark of His love, a voice which proclaims His magnificence.

These are the eloquent messengers of God continually reminding you of your obligations to Him. “Everything,” says St. Augustine, “in heaven and on earth calls upon me to love Thee, O Lord! and the universe unceasingly exhorts all men to love Thee, that none may exempt themselves from this sweet law.”

Oh! that you had ears to hear the voice of creatures appealing to you to love God. Their expressive silence tells you that they were created to serve you, while yours is the sweet duty of praising your common Lord not only in your own name but in theirs also.

I flood your days with light, the heavens declare, and your nights I illumine with the soft radiance of my stars. By my different influences all nature bears fruit in season for your necessities.

I sustain your breath, the air tells you; with gentle breezes I refresh you and temper your bodily heat. I maintain an almost infinite variety of birds to delight you with their beauty, to ravish you with their songs, and to feed you with their flesh.

I maintain for your nourishment innumerable fishes, the water exclaims. I water your lands, that they may give you their fruit in due season. I afford you an easy passage to distant countries, that you may add their riches to those of your own.

But what says the earth, this common mother of all things, this vast storehouse of the treasures of nature? Surely she may tell you: Like a good mother I bear you in my arms; I prepare food for all your necessities; I procure the concurrence of the heavens and all the elements for your welfare. Never do I abandon you, for after supporting you during life, I receive you in death, and in my own bosom give you a final resting-place.

Thus can the whole universe with one voice cry out: Behold how my Master and Creator has loved you. He has created me for your happiness, that I might serve you, and that you in your turn might love and serve Him; for I have been made for you, and you have been made for God.

This is the voice of all creatures. Will you be deaf to it? Will you be insensible to so many benefits? You have been loaded with favors. Do not forget the debt you thence contract. Beware of the crime of ingratitude. Every creature, says Richard of St. Victor, addresses these three words to man: Receive, give, beware. Receive the benefit; give thanks for it; and beware of the punishment of ingratitude.

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