19. If we take the word “miracle” in its correct etymological sense, — in the sense simply of a wonder, — we behold incessant miracles before our very eyes. We breathe them in the air; they crowd upon our steps: for all nature is a wonder.
Can one give to the people, to the ignorant, to the weak-minded, an idea of God’s power, without showing them infinite wisdom presiding in all things? — In the admirable organisms of all that live, in the fructification of plants, in the appropriation of every part of every being to its needs, according to the place of its abode. It is necessary to make them behold the divine action in producing a blade of grass, in the expanding flower. We must show them his goodness in the sun which vivifies all things, his goodness in his solicitude for all creatures however small or feeble they may be, his foresight, in the reason of existence of everything, none of them useless, his wisdom in the good which proceeds from momentary and apparent evil. Make them comprehend that evil is really man’s own work, and that God has made everything good. Seek then, not to frighten them with pictures of endless flame, causing them to doubt the goodness of God; encourage them with the certainty of their ability to repair all the wrong they have done; show them the discoveries of science as revelations of divine law, and not as the work of Satan; finally, teach them to read the book of nature, incessantly open before them as an inexhaustible volume, wherein the wisdom and goodness of the Creator are inscribed on every page. Then they will comprehend that a Being so great, occupying himself with all, watching over all, foreseeing all, must be sovereignty powerful. The laborer will behold him while he ploughs a furrow, and the unfortunate will bless him in affliction, for he will know that unhappiness is his own fault. Then will man be truly religious, rationally so, which is far better than to encourage faith in stories of images which sweat blood, in statues which wink their eyes and shed tears.