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.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

18 March 2012: Fourth Sunday in Lent

To Choose In Accord With Conscience

    Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right
judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the
contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

    Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral
judgments lass assured and decision difficult.  But he must always
seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will of God
expressed in divine law.

    To this purpose, man strives to interpret the data of experience
and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the
advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy Sprit and
his gifts.

    Some rules apply in every case:

        -- One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

        -- the Golden Rule:  "Whatever you wish that men would
            do to you, do so to them."

        -- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's
            neighbor and his conscience:  "Thus sinning against
            your brethren and wounding their sin
            against Christ."  Therefore "it is right not to ... do anything
            that makes your brother stumble."

                    -- Catechism of the Catholic Church
                        paragraphs 1786-1789

    "But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works
    may be clearly seen as done in God."  (John 3: 21)

This is the fourth part of a series during Lent on conscience, taken  from
the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Next week: "Erroneous Judgment."

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