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Meditation on the Works of God, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)


Contribute a translationSource (English)
Meditation on the works of God.
How infinite is God,
how boundless are His works!
out of chaos arose this world of beauty.
He spoke, and the Heavens heard:
out of darkness He created light,
and set bounds to the rolling ocean.
His hand upholds the world:
it came forth as a ball and remains firm,
suspended as it is in air;
the sun came forth, the moon, the stars—
He created all things,
and gave them all their destined duties—
From man
to the lowest worm that crawls on the earth,
from the worm
to the myriads of minute insects invisible to the naked eye;
to all, His boundless power is shown.
In trees and plants,
and the smallest flower that decks the emerald sod,
we can trace His wondrous hand.
The seasons come and pass,
but each bringeth some good to man.
I look forth on nature,
and there is a tongue in every brook
that steals along over its pebbly bed;
a voice in every flower that decks its banks.
The mighty trees no human power can bend,
yet, they are moved like unto a supple twig,
by the wind that comes forth at the Almighty’s nod.
The roaring ocean which foams and dashes on the shore,
and yet passes not its boundary,
the sun that shines forth in the heavens,
and decks this world of beauty with its refulgent light—
Nature shouts forth, there is a God—
One, all-powerful, all-mighty,
infinite in wisdom as in goodness.
From the roaring lion to the fly,
from the elephant to the worm beneath his feet;
from man to the weed that decks his path;
we are all links of one mighty and unbroken chain.
In all, the wondrous hand of God is seen;
and when darkness overspreadeth nature,
look upward to the spangled sky,
and there is a voice in every star
that glitters in such radiance.
These, and the moon with her soft light
that shines over the sleeping world,
would tell of the infinite mercy
of an infinitely merciful God!
From the beginning rose this world of beauty,
and to eternity will it last.
And shall impious man dare to arraign
the wisdom and the goodness
of that all-powerful, all-merciful God
that raised him from nought—
dare to doubt that Almighty wisdom and justice,
when unforeseen misfortunes cloud his earthly lot,
‘‘shall we receive good at the hand of God,
and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10 part)
All on earth, the affairs and misfortunes of man,
may seem to the human eye a chaos,
dark, profound, impenetrable;
but from what arose this world
teeming in beauty and in joyous life?
from a void, dark, obscure.
At the Almighty’s word,
this world in all its loveliness arose,
the light came forth;
there was a season of darkness
and a season of light.
The world of waters parted,
and there was dry land;
and He whose power is so infinite,
whose wisdom is unbounded,
can He not restore the affairs of man?
Chaos as it seems to us,
to His all-seeing eye,
all is clear and light;
and when He wills,
the eye of man shall be enlightened;
The work of His hands,
dare we question our Maker,
dare we murmur at the misfortunes that may befall us?
What are we when compared to Him, all-powerful, all-mighty?
Lower than a worm,
lower than the dust on which we tread.
He created the world
for our good, for our happiness;
He placed us here
to praise Him for His wondrous works;
and can He, all-merciful as he is —
can He have formed us,
and given us this beautiful world to enjoy happiness,
to bestow on us misfortunes for no cause?
Cease impious and presuming man;
infinite in wisdom,
infinite in power and might,
infinite in goodness,
infinite in mercy,
let us look up to Him with adoring awe,
nor dare to question His decrees.
In His time,
the sorrows of the afflicted shall be removed,
or He will in His mercy,
support them beneath the trial.
We are His subjects,
He is our all-wise, all-powerful, all-mighty King,
and as such we must obey him,
we must pay Him homage.
We must pay Him the tribute He demands
to praise him—glorify Him, and do Him honour.
We must submit
with a resigned unmurmuring spirit
to all His decrees,
dark and intricate as they may appear.
We are His children,
He is our all-mighty all-merciful Father;
and as such we must love Him
with all our hearts,
with all our souls,
with all our minds—
we must honour, obey, and fear Him.
We must apply to Him, all-merciful,
for protection, help, and comfort;
for His power is infinite
as His goodness is unbounded.
We must bow beneath His will,
and question not His commands,
and as children,
we must bear His chastisements
patiently and submissively,
for we know that an all-merciful Father
will not chastise His children without cause.
What are we,
that He should extend to us
such boundless mercies, the work of His hands,
it is His mercy alone, that holds us up,
and decks our earthly lot with so much happiness,
for even in the most miserable,
some causes are found for the enjoyment yet of life;
the most miserable would not die, they cling to life
as long as any hope of happiness remains.
Supremely great, supremely good, our Father and our King;
I will look upon him thus,
and my soul shall not sink.
My prayers will be heard.
“Why art thou disquieted within me, O my soul?” (Psalms 42:6)
“Rejoice with trembling,” (Psalms 2:11) saith our divine minstrel;
tremble lest a time should come,
when thou wilt forsake thy God,
not that God will forsake thee;
and yet rejoice, my soul,
that thou art permitted to call on Him
as on a Father
for protection,
and comfort!
In God will I trust,
“and He will spare me
that I may receive strength
ere I go hence and be no more.” (Cf. Psalms 39:14, KJV translation)
“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage,
and He will strengthen thy heart;
wait I say, on the Lord.” (Psalms 27:14)
“Let all those who put their trust in Thee, O God, rejoice;
let them shout for joy, because Thou defendest them,
let them that love Thy Name be joyful in Thee.” (Psalms 5:12)
Blessed be Thy Name,
now and evermore!

“Meditation on the works of God” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in the UK edition of Sacred Communings, pp. 79-82. It is not found in the US edition.






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