The gratitude which we owe Him

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“God has loved you from eternity, and through pure love, he has selected you from among so many people whom he could have created in place of you; but he has left them in their nothingness, and has brought you into existence, and placed you in the world.  For the love of you, he has made so many other beautiful creatures, that they might serve you, and that they might remind you of the love which he has borne to you and of the gratitude which you owe to him.  ‘Heaven and earth,’ says Saint Augustine, ‘and all things tell me to love you.’  When the saint beheld the sun, the stars, the mountains, the sea, the rains, they all appeared to him to speak, and to say: Augustine, love God; for he has created us that you might love him.  When Abbé De Rancé, the founder of La Trappe, looked at the hills, the fountains, or flowers, he said that all these creatures reminded him of the love which God had borne him.  Saint Teresa used to say that these cratures reproached her with her ingratitude to God.  While she held a flower or fruit in her hand, Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi used to feel her heart wounded with divine love, and would say within herself: Then my God has thought from eternity of creating this flower and this fruit, that I might love him.”  (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

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