Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Monday, March 5, 2012

11 March 2012: Third Sunday in Lent

The Formation of Conscience

    Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened.
A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its
judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed
by the wisdom of the Creator.  The education of conscience is 
indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences
and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative 

    The education of the conscience is a lifelong task.  From the earliest
years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law
recognized by conscience.  Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or
cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings
of complacency, born of human weakness and faults.  The education of the
conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

    In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path;
we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  We must
also examine our conscience before the Lord's Cross.  We are assisted by
the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and
guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.

                        -- Catechism of the Catholic Church
                            paragraphs 1783-1785

    If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  (Psalm 95)

This is the third part of a series during Lent on conscience, taken  from the
Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Next week:  To Choose in Accord With

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