SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
HOW TO SHUN EVIL; OR, THE SINNER'S GUIDE
CHAPTER III. OF THE THIRD MOTIVE THAT OBLIGES US TO SERVE GOD, WHICH IS THE BENEFIT OF OUR PRESERVATION AND DIRECTION.
What shall I say of their essences and perfumes, of their stately furniture, their sumptuous tables, and niceness and superfluity of their dishes, with their different sorts of sauces, and their several ways of cooking ? Nay, sensuality and luxury are so much in fashion, that men have made a trade of these scandalous excesses, and published books to instruct us how to sin in this matter. They have corrupted all things by their misusing them, and, instead of taking an occasion from them to praise God, the end they were given them for, they have made use of them as the incentives to their debaucheries and vanities ; thus perverting the lawful use of the creatures, they have made those things help and assist them in vice, which ought to have encouraged and excited them to virtue. There is nothing, in fine, which they have not sacrificed to the gratifying of their senses, and the pampering of their flesh, whilst they have quite neglected to relieve their neighbor, though God has so particularly recommended him to their care. They never complain that they are poor, but to those that are so themselves; nor do they ever so much as think of paying their debts, unless when any body comes to beg an alms of them; take them at any other time, and you shall neither find them poor nor in debt.
Have a care this be not laid to your charge at the hour of your death. Do not suffer so heavy a burden as this, to be pressing upon you at that time. Consider that the greater the concern is, the more strict account you must give of it. To have received much, and to have made but small acknowledgment of it, is a kind of judgment laid upon you already. It is a great sign of a man's reprobation when he continues to abuse those favors God Almighty bestows on him. Let us look upon it as the utmost disgrace, that beasts should surpass us in this virtue; since they requite their benefactors with gratitude, whilst we neglect to do it. If the Ninevites are to rise up in judgment against the Jews, and condemn them for not entering into a state of penance after our Saviour's preaching, let us take care that the same Lord have no reason, at' the last day, to condemn us upon the examples of beasts, for taking so little notice of our Benefactor, when they have expressed much love to theirs.