Friday, July 15, 2011

Conscience Born Of Wisdom

"La Conscience" by Lionel Le Falher

My prayer, meditation and reading this week seemed to have the common thread of wisdom and conscience. I also happened to come across an article by Deacon Douglas McManaman on the subject of conscience. This article got me to thinking about what conscience is and is not.
It is not uncommon to hear people say that they are following their conscience. In our culture today, however, that statement can be very misleading and also just plain wrong. There is a difference between decisions that are made according to a well-formed conscience and those that are made from a conscience that is ill-formed or even dead.
The statement "I am following my conscience." in today's culture often means: "I am doing what is right and best for me." That's not conscience, but rather moral relativism and it runs rampant in our current culture.
The well~formed conscience requires wisdom. True wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. When we open ourselves to receive this gift and allow the Holy spirit to enliven it within us, we are able to make decisions with a morally, well~formed conscience. This gift also allows us to follow Christ's teachings as they have been handed down to us through the Apostles. The Magesterium is the teaching body of the Church. It does not exist as something or someone telling us what we can or cannot do. The Magesterium exists for our freedom~the freedom to choose and do what is morally right according to the absolute Truth.
The sense of right and wrong according to an absolute truth is looked upon today as something that violates personal freedom and choice. This sense is the result of living our lives according to man's law, not God's natural law. I know this to be true because for much of my life, I lived with this mindset and it led to nothing but death, destruction and much unhappiness. But the "I can do what I feel is best for me according to me"  is one of the many lies Satan would have us believe. It may sound good on the outside, but upon further inspection it is rotten to the core.
It takes humility to accept the wisdom required to form a well and morally formed conscience, but when we do it gives us the freedom to live in Christ, asking for His mercy and forgiveness when we need it, and the grace to truly know the difference between right and wrong.




Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom
God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word,  And by thy wisdom hast appointed man, that he should have dominion over the creature that was made by thee,  That he should order the world according to equity and justice, and execute justice with an upright heart: Give me wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne, and cast me not off from among thy children:  For I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid, a weak man, and of short time, and falling short of the understanding of judgment and laws.
~Wisdom 9:1~5


*Related Article: Conscience by Deacon Douglas McManaman

5 comments:

Daily Grace said...

The title of this post" Conscience Born of Wisdom" really hooked me.
And the picture you chose is wonderful.

I have always cringed at the phrases " I am doing what's best for me". Personally, I have always found them quite self indulging.

You have hit so many great points here, one of them being that we need the direction and wisdom of Holy Mother Church. So many well meaning people quickly loose their way when they "follow thier hearts" rather than pray for wisdom.

I have often heard that this age is the "Age of Stupidity", because we do not value wisdom or even look for it.

The prayer of Solomon is so beautiful.

Thank you Karinann for a great post.

kam said...

Really nice post tackling some tough subjects that a lot of people don't want to acknowledge.

Karinann said...

DG,
Age of Stupidity is quite appropriate for our current times. No one seems to know what true wisdom is or from Whom it comes. Thanks for your thoughts on this one.

kam,
Writing this post was a bit humbling; I am in no way qualified to write in this subject, but for the last two weeks, the Holy Spirit seems to be nudging me to write about His gifts.
Thanks and blessings to you both.

Colleen said...

I love this post because it is very much needed. Many do not understand what a well-formed conscience is. I grew up feeling guilty about everything and could not go to sleep if I did not confess everything I did wrong to my parents!
I could have ended up being very scrupulous. But I have a much healthier understanding of conscience now and sin and guilt, etc., thanks to spiritual direction and some wise people that God put in my life.
So I try to pass it on to my own directees. I will have to tell them to read your post!
Hugs and blessings!

Michael said...

Loved this.

Great perspective - I had never really thought about conscience like that.

But you do touch on one of the more troubling phrases in society today - "doing whats best for me".

God Bless!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.