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Daily Meditations (The Love of God in Practice by St Alphonsus Liguori) Day 4

God's Gifts Tell Of His Love 

As God knows that men are drawn to those who do them favors, He has been pleased to captivate their hearts by means of His gifts. This is just what He tells us: " I shall draw them by the cords of Adam, by the bonds of love."(Os..11,4). I wish to draw men to love me by means of those enticements with which they are most readily won; and these are the bonds of love. All the gifts that have been given by God to man have been given exactly for this purpose. He has given man a soul, with faculties and powers fashioned like unto His own self, in His own image - with memory, understanding and will; and a body, endowed with the gifts of the senses. For him God has created the heavens and the earth, and a great many other things- all these for love of man; the skies, the stars, the planets, the seas, the rivers, the springs, the mountains, the plains, the minerals, the fruits, and the manifold species of animal life. He has made all these creatures so that they may serve man; and that man in gratitude for such great gifts should give his love to God. "The heavens and the earth tell me to love you" exclaims St. Augustine, as though he would say: My Lord, what marvelous things I see on the earth and above the earth; and all tell me and exhort me to love you, because they all assure me that you have made them for the love of me. When the Abbott de Rance, founder of La Trappe, looked forth from his hermitage over the lovely view before him - the hills, the springs, the birds, the flowers; and beyond them the planets, and the skies; the sight of all these creatures set him on fire with love of God, who had made them for the love of him.