This excellent video explains that the pursuit of God’s kingdom must be the thrust of everything we do in our daily lives. EVERYTHING. That’s a tall order, but it’s doable with the help of God.
The video also makes another great point about virtue. Meritorious virtue implies an effort. If you happen to be a nice and friendly person by nature, because that’s your personality, then there isn’t much merit in that because it requires no effort on your part. Meritorious virtue require some grit. It means pushing ourselves to do things that are challenging, that are beyond our default behaviour.
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:46-48)
That being said, it is possible to grow in holiness such that we develop good habits of behaviour that go beyond our basic nature. Something that didn’t come naturally to us at first then becomes commonplace and easier because we’ve trained ourselves over time. Now that’s meritorious. Married couples experience this all the time. Spouses need to adapt to each other and grow, especially in the early days of their marriage. This develops virtue.