ALL Thy creatures declare to me, O Lord, that - I should love Thee, and in every one of them I discover a tongue which proclaims Thy goodness and greatness. The beauty of the heavens, the brightness of the sun and moon, the effulgence of the stars, the splendour of the planets, the currents of the waters, the verdure of the fields, the diversity of flowers, the variety of colours, and all that Thy divine hands have made, O God of my heart and Spouse of my soul, tell me that I should love Thee. Everything that I see invites me to Thy love, and reproaches me when I love Thee not. I cannot open my eyes without beholding preachers of Thy most exalted wisdom! I cannot open my ears without hearing those who proclaim Thy goodness; for everything that Thou hast made tells me, O Lord, what Thou art.

All created things teach the love of the Creator rather than that of the creature which is His gift. The Scripture saith, in speaking of the creation of the world, that the Spirit of God moved upon the waters; whence we understand that over all things hovered that Divine Spirit which sustains-and governs them with gentle sway. Everything has its first source in the living fountain of love; and everything which continues to exist becomes tinctured with love: so that if the eyesight of our soul were not blinded by the worthlessness and vileness of its own passion and self-love, the principal thing which it would discover in all creation would be the love of the Creator.

Hence it is that Thy friends, O Lord, with greater ingenuity and more subtle art than that famous philosopher who taught men to produce fire from flint, are able to bring forth sparks of the fire of love out of every creature however insignificant. Thus, if the earth sustains me and supplies me with its fruits, Holy Love is the good and careful gardener who commanded it to do so when He created it. If the air refreshes me, and imparts new life. Love has so ordained it, for it could not do so of itself, as being merely a secondary cause. If the water is serviceable to us and supplies us with its fish and runs with great force to the sea, from whence it originated, all this is in order to fulfil the commandment of Love. Finally, if the fire gives forth heat; if the sky gives light and impulse, creating various metals in the earth, all is for my benefit and for the pleasure of the only friend whom this Infinite Love — our God — has created for Himself upon the earth.

What, O Lord, are the elements, the birds, animals, skies and planets, but burning coals with which Thou hast set fire to my frozen heart, in order to dispose it to love Him Whom so many gifts invite that heart to take as its rightful lover? What are the sun and the moon, the heavens and the earth, but jewels given by Thy hand to shadow forth to us Thy great beneficence and love? Every morning, my soul, thou findest at the door of thy house the whole universe, the birds, animals, fields and skies, which are waiting to serve thee, in order that thou mayest repay them all by that service of unconstrained love which thou owest in behalf of them all to thy Creator and theirs. All things call upon thee to awake to the love of thy God; and all, like a steward in behalf of his lord, set before thee the claim that there is upon thy love. To His love thou art invited by the great cry of all His creatures — as well the superior orders as the inferior — which with open voice declare to thee His majesty. His beauty and His greatness. "The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands: there are no speeches nor languages where their voices are not heard."[Psalms xviii. 2, 4.]; so much so that all men are without excuse.

Even when silent, O Lord, the heavens show forth Thy glory and declare to us how great must be the dwelling-place of Thy chosen ones, since Thou permittest the eyes of mortals to behold such beauty. O how rich must Thou be, my God, since Thou art attended by such glorious lights! From what design could such exquisite work proceed? Who could produce such beauteous brightness, such various influences, so many and such different movements, without an error in a single point? With good reason does Job inquire: "Dost thou know the order of heaven, and canst thou set down the reason thereof on the earth?"[Job xxxviii. 33.]

O how glorious is the House of the Lord, and how boundless His dwelling-place! Behold Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast founded.[Psalms viii. 4.] Everything that my eyes discern tells me that I should love Thee. Then if I turn aside to the lesser world, which is man, and fix my eyes upon myself, I find there still greater reason for loving Thee, for Thou hast created all the aforesaid creatures for my service and benefit. If I open my ears I shall hear the Psalmist who says to me: "Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me".[Psalms cxxxviii. 6.] From the knowledge of myself comes far higher wisdom in the knowledge of Thee. For this reason Thy prophet Isaias saith to sinners: "Remember this, and be ashamed; return, ye transgressors, to the heart."[Isaiah xlvi. 8.]