Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
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Augustine of Hippo
2. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His rewards" (ver. 2 ). But the rewards of the Lord cannot be before thine eyes unless thy sins are before thine eyes. Let not delight in past sin be before thine eyes, but let the condemnation of sin be before thine eyes: condemnation from thee, forgiveness from God. For thus God rewardeth thee, so that thou mayest say, "How shall I reward the Lord for all His rewards unto me?" This it was that the martyrs considering (whose memory we are this day celebrating), and all the saints who have despised this life, and as ye have heard in the Epistle of St. John, laid down their lives for the brethren, which is the perfection of love, even as our Lord saith: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends:" this the holy martyrs, then, considering, despised their lives here, that they might find them there, following our Lord's words when He said, "He that loveth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for My sake, shall keep it unto life eternal." ..."Forget not," he saith, "all His rewards:" not awards, but "rewards." For something else was due, and what was not due hath been paid. Whence also these words: "What," he asketh, "shall I reward the Lord for all His rewards unto me?" Thou hast rewarded good with evil; He rewardeth evil with good. How hast thou, O man, rewarded thy God with evil for good? Thou who hast once been a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious, hast rewarded blasphemies. For what good things? First, because thou art: but a stone also is. Next, because thou livest: but a brute also liveth. What reward wilt thou give the Lord, for His having created thee above all the cattle; and above all the fowls of the air, in His image and likeness? Seek not how to reward Him: give back unto Him His own image: He requireth no more; He demandeth His own coin. ...
3. Think thou, soul, of all the rewards of God, in thinking over all thy wicked deeds: for as many as are thy sins, so many are His rewards of good. And what present, what offering, what sacrifice, canst thou ever tender unto Him? ...What wilt thou reward the Lord with? For thou wast reflecting, and couldest not find: "I will receive the cup of salvation." What? hath not the Lord Himself given the cup of salvation? Reward Him from thine own, if thou canst. I would say, No, do it not; reward Him not from thine own; God doth not will to be rewarded from thine own. If thou rewardest Him from thine own, thou rewardest sin. For all that thou hast thou hast from Him: sins only thou hast of thine own. He doth not wish to be rewarded from thine, He doth will from His own. Just as, if thou shouldest bring to a husbandman, from the land which he hath sown, an ear of wheat, thou hast rewarded him from the husbandman's own produce; if thorns, that hast offered him of thine own. Reward truth, in truth praise the Lord: if thou shalt choose to reward Him from thine own, thou wilt lie. He who speaketh a lie, speaketh of his own. If he who speaketh a lie, speaketh of his own: so he who speaketh truth, speaketh of the Lord's. But what is to receive the cup of salvation, but to imitate the Passion of our Lord? ...I will receive the cup of Christ, I will drink of our Lord's Passion. Beware that thou fail not. But, "I will call upon the Name of the Lord." They then who failed, called not upon the Lord; they presumed in their own strength. Do thou so return, as remembering that thou art returning what thou hast received. So then let thy soul bless the Lord, as not to forget all His rewards.