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Can I trust my conscience? Not necessarily.

Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 4, 2020 •

The conscience is not necessarily of the intellect. It's more of a response, an emotional response to what you believe is right or wrong. ...

You can't use your conscience to make a decision about things since it happens after the fact. Unless, looking back over the years of your life you recognize a pattern of reaction. These decisions felt good, those decisions felt bad. Using that knowledge, having reflected on my experience, I now make decisions based on what I believe to be true, about my conscientious reaction. That's how the conscience works - we can only use it to make decisions once we've reflected upon it....

All of us know that because of original sin, our wills are weakened, our intellects are darkened - meaning we can't trust ourselves when we make decisions or try to understand something on our own. Look how often we don't make the right decision or we don't recognize the Truth.

Since I can't trust myself because of original sin, can I trust my conscience? Should I? If it's my conscience, it's within me. It's my reaction, my response to what I believe to be morally good or morally evil. Can I trust that?

Not necessarily. It doesn't matter how consistent it may be in my past. I should never act according to my personal conscience alone.

This is why the Church and the Scriptures teach us that the conscience must be formed - at least for the Christian - according to faith. That is the moral obligation of every believer. The conscience must be formed by faith.

And what is faith? Faith is the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church. That's it.... What I think is right and wrong is irrelevant. It's what Jesus says is right and wrong. It's what His Church says is right and wrong.

In the end God will judge them, not strictly according to their conscience, but as a Catholic, how well their conscience was conformed to the teachings of Christ Jesus His Son, and His Church.

Is 5:1-7; Ps 80:9, 12, 13-14, 15-15, 19-20; Phil 4:6-9; Mt 21:33-43

Homily begins at 19:20.

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