Speaking of Conscience

I mentioned conscience in my post earlier today. Let me define it for you, and then try to apply it to the idea of confronting the national conscience in regard to abortion, marriage and family, euthanasia, and other pro-life issues.

Conscience is “.. the ‘place’ where man is illuminated by a light which does not come to him from his created and always fallible reason but from the very Wisdom of the Word in whom all things were created.” (Bl. John Paul II, 1988)

Conscience then is the illumination deep within us arising from a Wisdom, a Word, whom we know is Jesus Christ. It is a meeting of a man or woman with that Wisdom in which directs him or her to do this and avoid that. It is an encounter with which speaks to us as we face moral decisions and issues. In this way, we must obey our consciences for it is the promptings of God and his Spirit that guide us.

This presumes, of course, that our consciences are well-formed. It is our duty to form our conscience, that is it is our duty to listen to God’s Word as revealed to us, not only in the particularity of our lives but in the communal experience – as interpreted by the Magisterium – of the People of God, the Church, the Body of Christ .

Indifference to the Truth leads to confusion and a profound adhesion to personal opinion or the opinion of the majority. The “journey toward a mature moral conscience cannot even begin if the spirit is not free from a mortal illness, very widespread today: indifference to the truth…” (Bl. John Paul II 1983)

Our national conscience needs reformation. It will only be done by consistently revealing to our fellow citizens the truth of human life, human sexuality, human relationships, and the common good, to which all people and nations are subject. In other words, we in the pro-life movement must consistently witness to the truth by our lives, how we vote, how we speak in the public arena, and our commitment to civic activity and in doing so form the national conscience.

Witnessing at times demands heroism. At times, it requires sacrifice. It never includes violence which is always false. It is non-violent in response to who God has revealed himself to be and how he has directed us to act in the immediacy of the moment.

I believe that if the national conscience is presented, relentlessly, the truth of Roe v. Wade and the injustice of abortion, it will eventually be reformed.

Let us pray that day will come soon.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Ethics and Morality, Fundamental Theology, Human Development and Life, Marriage and Family. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Speaking of Conscience

  1. marilyn peterson says:

    Hi Bob….I was hoping I would find something concerning the “prolife” march in your column. I searched through the Crucifixion bulletin for even a mention of it…but there was none. I was there for the Saturday night Mass and nothing was mentioned
    (unless I missed it?) and I just don’t know why there wasn’t a whole sermon with this particular issue as the focus. If ever there was a weekend when the evils of abortion and the opportunity to “follow Jesus” was begging for a sermon…this is it. Lately, I have been attending St. James the Less Church in La Crosse on Sundays – because this is certainly a topic that will not pass under the radar with Fr. Robert Schaller. I didn’t get there yesterday because I wasn’t sure about the freezing roads that were being predicted. But I know that it was mentioned and promoted last Sunday at St. James. It’s interesting comparing the two churches on a weekend.
    Did you know that there will be a new bible study series beginning on Feb 20 at St. James on the Robert Barron Catechism study. I am planning to go…I have hung up a notice regarding it at the grade school….is there any way we could promote this series in our church – or God willing ever offer it at Crucifixion – with possibly one of our deacons in charge. I know that at the last one I attended at St. James… Father Schaller was there every opportunity he had. That was the study with the new liturgy changes being explained.
    Recently, I was talking with a “very active and practicing” Catholic woman who has 3 children in the Catholic grade school. I mentioned to her how much I enjoyed the opportunity that is available at St. James for confession every Sunday morning for 45 minutes before the 10:00 a.m. Mass. She was honestly confused as to why I thought this was so great…she said ” I haven’t been to confession for more than 3 years” Surprised…I asked her why not? She said – she didn’t feel the need! This is a woman I was truly surprised to hear that from. I wish Father Havel could sense the need for Faith formation opportunities at Crucifixion and even at Holy Cross I imagine.
    My purpose in this email actually is to thank you for speaking out about ProLife…and perhaps sometime the bulletin might list your blog site – or you could type it up and place it as an insert on special anniversaries such as this.

    Thanks for answering the call!

    Marilyn Peterson

  2. Deacon Bob says:

    Thank you, Marilyn as always for your deeply held faith and your willingness to express it. The series you are mentioning by Fr. Robert Barron is the Catholicism Project, and from what I know, it is excellent. I will explore its possibility in our parish cluster.

    My blog is listed on the Holy Cross bulletin and on Crucifixion’s website. Pass the web address on to those you know. It is part of what I consider my diaconal ministry. The Knights of Columbus also feature it on their website.

    Marilyn, we need you in our parish, and I am so glad to see you there.

    Deacon Bob

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