Setbacks In Mission Are Opportunities For Growth
As soon as the Apostles began with courage and daring to teach the truth about Christ, the obstacles also began to present themselves. And in the course of time persecution and martyrdom followed. But before long belief in Christ had extended beyond Palestine, arriving in Asia Minor, Greece and Italy, and reaching men of every culture, social position and race.
We too can expect to meet with misunderstanding, a sure sign of divine predilection, and can be sure that we are following the footsteps of Our Lord, because a disciple is not above his teacher. We accept our setbacks joyfully as being permitted by God. We welcome them as opportunities to activate our faith and hope and love. They help us to increase our prayer and mortification, confident that prayer and sacrifice always produce fruit, because the Lord's chosen ones will not labour in vain. And we always treat other people well, with understanding, drowning evil in abundance of good.
It should not surprise us that very often we have to go against the current, in this world that seems to distance itself every day more and more from God, that has material wellbeing as its end, giving no importance to spiritual values or simply relegating them to a secondary plane. It is a world some would like to organize with its back turned completely against its Creator. Along with the deep and disordered attraction which material goods exercise on those who have lost all contact with God, there is added the bad example of some Christians; through this, when religious education is neglected, doctrine misleadingly expounded or shortcomings made evident in the religious, moral and social life of believers, then we must admit that the true face of God and of religion is veiled rather than revealed.
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 2 pp.331-332