The Lord does not ask for the impossible. And he expects all Christians to live the Christian virtues in their integrity, even if they are in environments that seem to move further and further away from God. He will give the necessary graces to be faithful in these difficult situations. Moreover, the exemplarity that he expects of everyone will often be the means to make the doctrine of Christ attractive and to re-evangelize the world anew.
Many Christians, having lost the supernatural sense and, therefore, the real influence of grace in their lives, think that the ideal proposed by Christ needs adaptations in order to be lived by ordinary men and women of our time. They yield to moral compromises at work, or in matters of marital morality, or to the atmosphere of permissiveness and sensuality, to a more or less generalized gentrification, and so on.
With our life - which may have faults, but which does not conform to them - we must teach that the Christian virtues can be lived in the midst of all noble tasks; and that to be compassionate with the defects and errors of others is not to lower the demands of the Gospel.
To grow in the human and supernatural virtues we will need, together with grace, the personal effort to practice these virtues in ordinary life, until we achieve authentic habits, and not only the appearance of virtue: "The façade is one of energy and hardiness. -But how much laziness and lack of will on the inside!
"-Foster the decision so that your virtues are not transformed into a disguise, but into habits that define your character."
St. John Chrysostom encourages us to struggle in the interior life as do "pupils in school. First," says the Saint, "they learn the form of the letters; then they begin to distinguish the crooked ones, and so, step by step, they eventually learn to read. Dividing virtue into parts, let us first learn, for example, not to speak badly; then, moving on to another letter, not to envy anyone, not to be slaves of the body in any situation, not to let ourselves be carried away by gluttony.... Then, passing from there to the spiritual letters, let us study continence, mortification of the senses, chastity, justice, contempt for vain glory; let us try to be modest, contrite of heart. Linking some virtues with others, let us write them in our soul. And we have to exercise this in our own home: with our friends, with our wife, with our children".
The important thing is that we decide firmly and lovingly to seek the virtues in our daily life. The more we exercise ourselves in these good acts, the easier it will be for us to carry out the following ones, thus identifying ourselves more and more with Christ. Our Lady, "model and school of all the virtues," will teach us how to carry out our commitment if we turn to her for help and advice, and she will help us to achieve the results we desire in our particular examination of conscience, which will often be oriented toward acquiring a specific and determined virtue.
Hablar con Dios