The place where we seek holiness is at work, in our relationships with those who share the same tasks as us, in our social dealings, in our family.
If we encounter obstacles, misunderstandings or unjust criticisms, we will ask the Lord for his grace to remain serene, to be patient and, ordinarily, not to stop doing apostolate. The Lord did not always encounter people of good faith when announcing the Good News, and not for that reason did he fail to show the wonders of the Kingdom of God. The Apostles, in the beginnings of the Church, and the first Christians as well, encountered situations and environments that, at least at first, flatly rejected the saving doctrine they carried in their hearts, and yet they converted the ancient world. "-I do not understand your abulia. If you stumble upon a somewhat difficult group of companions-which perhaps has become difficult because of your neglect-you disregard them, you shrug it off, and you think that they are dead weight, a burden that opposes your apostolic illusions, that they will not understand you....
"How do you want them to hear you if, apart from loving them and serving them with your prayer and mortification, you do not speak to them?..."
On the other hand, no situation is immovable or definitive. The passage of time will eventually give reason to the one who works and treats others with honesty, with uprightness of intention, without seeking personal advantages.
To let oneself be carried away by human respects is typical of people with a superficial formation, without clear criteria, with a weak character. Often this attitude, so unattractive also in the human aspect, is supported by the comfort of not having a little bad time, the fear of jeopardizing a position, for example, or the desire not to distinguish themselves from others.
Though the nobles sit and murmur against me," reads the responsorial Psalm, "your servant meditates on your laws; your precepts are my delight, your decrees are my counselors.
To overcome human respects, we need right intention, paying more attention to the opinion of God than to the opinion of others; strength to pass with elegance the small criticisms, often superficial, when they exist; joy to communicate the treasure that every disciple of the Lord has found, and the good example, of which we will never regret, which is simple coherence with the grace that the Lord has placed in our heart. Even in the most difficult environments we will be able to win souls for Christ if we truly desire to make those friends, companions or acquaintances happy. "Before we want to make saints of all those whom we love, it is necessary that we make them happy and joyful, for nothing prepares the soul better for grace than joy and gladness.
"You already know (...) that when you hold in your hands the hearts of those whom you want to make better, if you have been able to attract them with the meekness of Christ, you have already covered half of your apostolic journey. When they love you and have confidence in you, when they are happy, the field is ready for sowing. For their hearts are open like a fertile soil, to receive the white wheat of your word as an apostle or educator.
"If you know how to speak without hurting, without offending, even if you must correct or reprove, hearts will not be closed to you. The seed will undoubtedly fall on fertile soil and the harvest will be abundant. Otherwise your words will find, instead of an open heart, a solid wall; your seed will not fall on fertile soil, but on the side of the road (...) of indifference or lack of trust; or on the stone (...) of an ill-disposed spirit, or among the thorns (...) of a wounded heart, resentful, full of resentment.
"Let us never lose sight of the fact that the Lord has promised his efficacy to kindly faces, to affable and cordial manners, to clear and persuasive words that direct and form without wounding (...). We must never forget that we are men who deal with other men, even when we want to do good to souls. We are not angels. And, therefore, our appearance, our smile, our manners, are elements that condition the effectiveness of our apostolate".
In the Blessed Virgin we find, like the Apostles, the necessary strength to speak of God without human respect: "After the Master, as he ascended to the right hand of God the Father, said to them: 'Go and preach to all nations,' the disciples were at peace. But they still have doubts: they do not know what to do, and they gather with Mary, Queen of the Apostles, to become zealous heralds of the Truth that will save the world".