Consider the good and beauty of mortal friendship. We enjoy it, yes. But we also appreciate it, and this fact itself is a good; it reflects and thereby doubles the original enjoyment. Did I say doubles? Say rather triples, quadruples, quintuples, as the enjoyment of friendship reverberates in the strings of memory, gratitude, and delight. If we never remember our friends, have no gratitude for them, and are never moved to joy just because they are, we can scarcely be said to have experienced friendship at all. We are diminished, impoverished, mutilated; something is wrong with us.
But if all that is true even in the case of goods like mortal friendship, then isn’t it still more true in the case of friendship with God? If we cannot take joy in remembering Him, being grateful to Him, and delighting in the thought of Him, aren’t we missing the very note on which the chord of good is built?
We are, and this fact alters and deepens the motive for obeying the natural law. True, the natural law directs us to nothing but our good. The Objector responds, “Then we should have done it anyway, even apart from God’s command.” But is it possible that part of what makes it good for us lies in doing it just because He commands it?
What lover has not known the delight of doing something, just because the beloved asked? What child has not begged Daddy to give him a job to do, just so he could do it for Daddy? What trusted vassal did not plead of a truly noble lord, “Command me!” just in order to prove himself in loyal valor? If in such ways, even the commands of mere men can be gifts and boons, then why not still more the commands of God?