A Saintly Exhortation
Recognize to whom you owe the fact that you exist,
that you breathe,
that you understand,
that you are wise, and, above all,
that you know God
and hope for the kingdom of heaven.
You have been made a child of God,
co-heir with Christ.
Where did you get all this,
and from whom?
What benefactor has enabled you
to lookout upon the beauty of the sky,
the sun in its course,
the circle of the moon,
the countless number of stars
with the harmony and
order that are theirs,
like the music of a harp?
Who has blessed you
with the art of husbandry,
with different kinds of food,
with the arts, with houses,
with a life of humanity and culture,
with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?
Is it not God
who asks you now in your
turn to show yourself generous
because we have received
from him so many wonderful gifts,
will we not be ashamed to refuse him
this one thing only, our generosity?
— St. Gregory Nazianzen
Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carter