John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican
“Matthew got up and followed him.”
Our Lord told Saint Matthew: “Follow me.” This lovable saint is a model for everyone. He was first of all a great sinner, as the Gospel says, and later, he became one of the great ones among all God’s friends. For Our Lord spoke to him in the depths of his being, and then he left everything in order to follow the Master.
To follow God in truth – that is everything; and in order to do that, it is necessary to truly and completely leave all that is not God, whatever it might be. God is a lover of hearts. He is not interested in what is external; rather, he wants us to give him a living interior devotedness. That devotedness has in itself more truth than if I said prayers so as to fill the whole world, or if I sang so loud that my song rose up to the highest heaven, more truth than everything I might do externally in fasting, vigils and other practices.
But I find it convenient, easier to accomplish or appear to accomplish the externals, also to receive affirmation or recognition for them. But they have no lasting value with those motives, and make me desire only the comfort and recognition, while being almost desperate to protect these earthly aspirations.