St. Alphonsus Liguori on Nature
(The following is excerpted from Chapter 17 of "How To Converse Continually And Familiarly With God" by St. Alphonsus de Liguori; published by TAN Books. 2 August is the feast day of St. Alphonsus on the traditional sanctoral calendar of the Latin rite.)
"When you view fields and seashores, flowers and fruits, which gladden you with their appearance or with their fragrance, say: 'How many beautiful things God has made for me on this earth in order that I may love Him! What further delights He has in store for me in Heaven!' St. Teresa of Avila, on seeing beautiful hills and landscapes, used to say that they reproached her for her ingratitude toward God. The Abbot de Rance, founder of the Trappist Order, was wont to remark that these wonderful things of created nature reminded him of the obligation to love God. St. Augustine said the same in these words: 'Heaven and earth and all things tell me to love You.' The story is told of a certain holy man who, while walking through the fields, would gently strike with a stick the flowers and plants he met on his way. 'Do not speak any more,' he would say; 'do not reproach me with my ingratitude to God. I hear you; keep quiet; that is enough.' St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, when she held in her hand a fruit or flower, felt herself wounded by divine love. 'Behold,' she would say, 'how my God has thought for all eternity of creating this fruit and this flower as a token of His love for me.'"