Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gifts and Heaven

“Then how can tongue describe all the beauty and use of the creation, which the divine bounty has poured out for man to see and take, although he is condemned to such toils and miseries? The diverse and varied beauty of sky and earth and sea, the abundance and loveliness of light in sun and moon and stars, the shady woods, the colours and perfumes of flowers, the many species of bright and chattering birds, the vast variety of living creatures, the smallest of which move us to the greatest wonder (for we are more surprised by the accomplishments of ants and bees than by the size of whales)! The grand spectacle of the sea, dressing itself in its different garments, now green, now blue, now purple: what a lovely sight it is when it is rough – much more agreeable to the spectator from the shore than to the sailor tossed upon it! What abundance of food to meet our hunger! What a variety of flavours to suit our taste, all distributed by the bounty of nature, not produced by the skill and labour of the cook! In so many circumstances what remedies for protecting or recovering health! How pleasant the alternation of day and night! How soothing the coolness of the breeze! How much material for clothing in trees and beasts! All blessings who can enumerate?

Here I have just dealt with a casual collection, but if I wished to open up the whole store and deal with each and every one, how tedious should I be! And these are all consolations of mankind under judgement, not the rewards of those in bliss. What then must they be like, if these are so many and so great? What will God give to all those whom he has predestined to life, if he has given all this to those whom he has predestined to death?”

St. Augustine, City Of God

I just read this the other day and I thought it was a great continuation from my last blog. The way he describes all the gifts in nature we have been given really paints a beautiful picture. Then it is this sentence that gets me, “And these are all consolations of mankind under judgement, not the rewards of those in bliss.” How wonderful heaven will be!



Kathryn 8/03/2006 11:51 PM  

If earth is this fabulous (though we've nearly wrecked it!) imagine Heaven?!


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