An explanation on how we can follow God as little Children. The Faithful should desire to be close to him, to speak with him, to imitate him in all things and to be obedient to those whom God puts over us.
FOLLOWING GOD’S GUIDANCE. (Click on Link to Listen to Sermon)
Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as most dear children. — Ephesians 5. 1.
My dear brethren, these are not words of counsel or good advice; they are words of command, written by St. Paul. This command is to follow God, and to follow him as most dear children, obediently as the Magi did of old. What is it to follow God? It is to do at least as much as we do when we follow anyone great man. How do we act then? We seek to be with him a great deal. We listen to his every word. We do as he does. We adopt his views of things. We repeat what he teaches. Neither do we dare to differ from him, for fear that people will say that we have no sense; nor do we venture to act in any manner opposed to his ways of doing. In a few words, a man who is followed is the leader in fashion, in taste, and style. Everybody approves his ways, and imitates them. His friends have also the friendship of the world, simply because they are his friends. Any one whom he approves and recommends is listened to and followed because he has recommended him. If we want to follow God, he does not really require, outwardly, any more than men require of us to follow them.
But how can we do this ?
First : Seek to be with God a great deal. Where is he, that we may find him? God is everywhere, and is always found by looking for him and seeking for him diligently in prayer; for prayer keeps us near to God and God near to us. And he is always on the altar Why not hear Mass more than on only on Sundays but now and then on week days and make visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
Secondly: Listen to his every word. God speaks to our souls in prayer, not with a voice like the voice of a man, but in his own sweet and quiet way. We must listen attentively to hear the gentle words of God, not with our outward ears of the body, but with the ability to hear that is within our souls; the ability of the soul to hear the voice of a spirit speaking to our spirit. God also speaks to us through his Holy Word in the Sacred Scriptures, in the Epistle and Gospel set apart for each Sunday of the year, in the writings of holy men and women, and in the teachings of Christian parents and friends. But the most important way in which God has taught, and continues to teach us all, is by means of his church. When we listen to her words, in sermons and other instructions, we hear the Word of God.
Thirdly : Do as God does. Try to be like him, and him alone. Take care to do always the thing that is right. Try hard to be loving, merciful, forgiving, and gentle to all, even your enemies. When we have anything to do, we must say, Would God do this way or that way? When we meet with cruel treatment from others, with ingratitude and base in justice from those we love, we must say at once, How does God treat those who do these things? How does he treat me, notwithstanding my many, many sins ? I shall go and do to these bad people as he has done to me. I shall even bless them, as he has blessed me.
Lastly: If we want to follow God, at least as well as we follow a great man whom we have made a leader among us, we are sure to honor his friends, and obey those he sends to us in his name. Who are these? Not only all good people, but especially our pastors and spiritual directors. We may safely say that one act done for God, in union with those put over us by him, is worth in heaven, and here also, many good works done simply because we like to do them our own way.
To follow God, then, is to follow as dear children. We must consent to be led by God in all things connected with duty, just as little children are led by their fathers and mothers. We must take care, at least, that we follow his lead, and not show more honor to others than we do to him.
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen
An Edited sermon based off of :
Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul. Five Minute Sermons for Low Masses on All Sundays of the Year. Vol. 2. [S.l.]: Catholic Publication Society, 1886. Print. starts pg 62-65
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