Wisdom, Chapter 17, Verse 3-4
3 For they, who supposed their secret sins were hid under the dark veil of oblivion, were scattered in fearful trembling, terrified by apparitions. 4 For not even their inner chambers kept them unafraid, for crashing sounds on all sides terrified them, and mute phantoms with somber looks appeared.
Darkness afflicts the Egyptians, while the israelites have light. This description of the darkness of the ninth plague is a development of the ideal that true light comes from a pure conscience. For the first and only time in the Septuagint the Greek word for “conscience” occurs. There is no Hebrew word that is equivalent; the idea is expressed indirectly. The horrendous darkness is not extinguished with the lightings of fire that only contributed to the terror.
These three days of complete darkness stretched over the lands of Egypt—not those of the Hebrews, who enjoyed light by day—in the ninth plague. It was so dark that the Egyptians could not see each other. After this plague, the Pharoah attempted to negotiate the freedom of the Hebrews. His bargain that they could leave if their flocks were left behind was not accepted.
Darkness of the Soul
A natural facility to judge
1. Reminds us always to do good and avoid evil.
2. Makes a judgment about the good and evil of particular choices in a specific situation.
3. Bears witness after the fact to the good or evil that we have done. (I.e., having a guilty conscience.)
· This is a common point of misunderstanding. Many who reject Church teaching will say, “I’m just following my conscience.” What they usually mean is that they’re looking to their conscience as the source of moral principles, which is a serious error.
· It’s likely that some other Catholics will challenge you on this point, and you’ll have to defend it. Use the Catechism to defend this point. This article will help you read the Catechism’s section on conscience accurately. Also see the excellent article on conscience on the Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) Web site. Beyond that, Pope John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor contains a definitive discussion about conscience in sections 54-64; number 64 particularly speaks to this point.
You must follow your conscience
The dignity of conscience
· Lack of care in forming our conscience or our powers of reason
· Misunderstanding conscience
· Damage caused by repeated and habitual sin
· Following the bad example of others
· Rejection of Church teaching
· Ignorance of Christ and the Gospels
· Neglecting the work of our conversion to Christ
· Neglect of charity
…[T]he performance of good acts… constitutes the indispensable condition of and path to eternal blessedness…. Only the act in conformity with the good can be a path that leads to life…. If [an act is not good]…, the choice of that action makes our will and ourselves morally evil, thus putting us in conflict with our ultimate end, the supreme good, God himself. (Veritatis Splendor, 72, emphasis in the original)
The key to the moral life
Universal Children's Day
Universal Children's Day aims to create a day of international fraternity and understanding between children all over the globe. The holiday's secondary purpose is to promote the objectives and ideals of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child through activities and awareness. Children are the future of the planet but they are a vulnerable group exposed to abuse and exploitation on a daily basis. As young dependents, children rely on adults for everything from food to shelter to education and it is imperative that their rights be heard if they are to survive and develop into the next generation of world citizens. Universal Children's Day was declared on in 1954 by the United Nations General Assembly as a day to be celebrated on November 20, the anniversaries of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which protect the human rights of children.
Universal Children's Day Facts & Quotes
· The UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1989. The United States drafted and signed the treaty; however it is currently the only member county that has not ratified it, meaning that the US is not legally bound by the Convention. Ratifying the treaty would go against certain laws currently in place in the US, most notably, the treaty forbids life imprisonment without parole for children under 18.
· According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die every day as a result of poverty, often due to preventable diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
· As of 2013, 21.8 million children worldwide in their first year of life had not received adequate vaccine doses against diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty. - The World Food Programme
What is at stake is nothing less than the survival and well-being of a generation of innocents. - Antonia Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Universal Children's Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Read the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to learn more about how these treaties can impact your community.
· Spend the day playing with your children, your nieces and nephews, your grandchildren or other children that you know. Take them to the beach, a playground, a movie, or any other outing of their choosing.
· Donate your time to American organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America or UNICEF that constantly need volunteers to organize and execute activities for children in needy communities.
· Watch a movie that touches on children's rights. Our picks are In This World (2012), Arna's Children (2002) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
· Please pray for me and this ministry