Ave Maria Meditations
Now, you will ask how can we know if we have virtue in our hearts, that virtue which remains ever true to itself? Now listen, dear brethren, and you will perceive whether you have that virtue on account of which God will receive you into heaven. A person who is truly virtuous does not waver in the least, he is like a rock beaten by the storm in the midst of the sea.
Whether you are blamed, or calumniated, or mocked at, or regarded as a hypocrite, or treated as a prude, none of these things should be capable of robbing you of your peace of soul. You should be just as well disposed toward your enemies as if they had spoken well of you. You should not fail to show them kindness although they have spoken badly of you.
You should say your prayers, go to Confession and Holy Communion, and attend Holy Mass, with disregard of anything the world may say. Our virtue, also, to be true should be steadfast That is to say, we must be just as resigned to the will of God and zealous under crosses and ill-fortune, as at the time when nothing disagreeable comes in our way.
This is how the saints acted. Look at the great multitude of the martyrs who endured everything that the frenzy of a tyrant could think of, and who, far from neglecting God, were, on the contrary, drawn closer to him. Neither torments nor persecutions inflicted upon them caused them to waver.
Let us then, conclude by remembering that our virtue must have its source in the heart, in order to be fruitful and pleasing to God.
St. John Vianney