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FEAST OF OUR HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS Psalm 91, verse 5-6 5 You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies ...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

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.[1]

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.[2]


Darkness of the Soul[3]

Understanding conscience is essential for the life of faith. A solid grasp of Catholic teaching about conscience makes it possible to live a moral life. And sadly……a defective understanding can destroy your moral life. This is true darkness! For the beginning Catholic, this is an essential issue to understand properly. And conscience may be the single most misunderstood issue among Catholics today! This topic is important so carefully study the Catechism’s section on conscience.




A natural facility to judge

Conscience is a natural facility of our reason that does three things:


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.)

Conscience is a powerful and remarkable facility that is distinctly human. Understand that conscience is a judgment of reason. It uses the objective principles of the moral law to judge the morality of acts in specific circumstances. Conscience is not itself the source of the moral law.


·         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.

Everyone has a duty to form their conscience. Formation of conscience simply means educating and training it. We do this by learning and taking to heart the objective moral law, as found in Scripture and the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church. This forms conscience in objective moral truth as taught by Christ and his Church. Practicing the virtues is another aspect of forming the conscience. This not only lets us do good acts, but it trains the will to desire to do good. In particular, the virtue of prudence affects the ability of conscience to judge rightly.


You must follow your conscience

A fundamental principle of Catholic morality is that you must follow your conscience. But be careful: there’s a strong tendency for all of us to distort the full meaning of that principle! We tend to use it as a giant loophole for doing any old thing that we’d like. A well-formed conscience will never contradict the objective moral law, as taught by Christ and his Church. (Catechism, 1783-5, 1792, 2039) A safe way to read this principle is: if your conscience is well-formed, and you are being careful to reason clearly and objectively from true moral principles, then you must follow the reasoned judgment of your conscience about the morality of a specific act. Otherwise, seek reliable guidance in forming your conscience. The principle that we must follow our conscience derives from…
The dignity of conscience

The authority of conscience, and our need to follow it, come from its dignity. Pope John Paul II tells us that conscience is an “interior dialog of man with himself” about right and wrong. It “is also a dialog of man with God”: it is “the witness of God himself” calling him to obey the moral law, and is a person’s “witness of his own faithfulness or unfaithfulness.” This is the basis of the great dignity of the conscience: it derives from its witness to objective moral truth. (Veritatis Splendor, 57-58, 60) Conscience is the means God has given us to make moral decisions. Our freedom demands that we use it: “When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.” (Catechism, 1777) But we compromise this dignity of conscience if we haven’t formed our conscience well, or when we do not take care to reason clearly and objectively. Again, Pope John Paul II teaches: Jesus alludes to the danger of the conscience being deformed when he warns: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mt 6:22-23). (Veritatis Splendor, 63)
Erroneous judgment

Conscience does not always judge properly. Out of ignorance or bad reasoning, it can judge wrongly. Erroneous judgment is often our own fault, and can have many causes (from Catechism, 1791-2):


·         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

If our conscience errs and we’re responsible for the error, then we are guilty of the evil committed. We are not guilty for the evil if we’re not responsible for the error. But even if the guilt is not imputable to us, it’s still an evil act. This greatly hinders our ability to advance in the moral life and live in union with God. As Pope John Paul II puts it:


…[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

The good or evil of specific acts shapes our whole life. We choose God or reject him specifically in the morality of our actions. We must choose to do good in order to choose God, grow in freedom, sanctify ourselves, and let God’s grace work in us to make us “children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” (Catechism, 1996) Moral conscience is the key that makes this moral life possible: it is exactly how we know what the good is in specific cases, and it beckons us to always choose the good. And even when we choose wrongly, conscience calls us to seek God’s merciful forgiveness so that we can begin again.

Universal Children's Day[4]

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)


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry





[2]https://www.thoughtco.com/plagues-of-egypt-ancient-jewish-history-118238
[3] http://www.beginningcatholic.com/conscience
[4]https://www.wincalendar.com/Universal-Childrens-Day

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