Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Crucible of Conscience... my latest column at Patheos

The news is filled with conscience discussions where religious freedom and conscience clauses are concerned. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council give us one of the most profound definitions of conscience, and from that we discern the reason we must defend its preciousness. My latest column at Patheos addresses the subject. Here's an excerpt:

The conscience is hidden deep, yet it defines us; it is our interior sanctuary where we meet God. The interior defines everything we are exteriorly. 
We find out how deeply we know this God when we are in the crucible: when our conscience, seared by the heat of painful circumstances, is tried for all we are worth. 
There comes a point when you must reach into the deepest part of you and make a decision for or against… or you have to survey the landscape and say this is as far as I go and no further
These are the moments when you admit that life isn’t just a random freefall or that everything is unrelated or of no consequence. But rather, it is more about connections and integrity and things holding together in an abundant web of life and time in eternity. 
These are the places where we ascend or descend to…  where the boundaries of truth, beauty, and goodness leave off… and falsehood, ugliness, and evil begin. Our conscience helps us find and run our fingers along the outer edges of precarious ledges. Otherwise we might slip and fall, hurtling into danger. Or worse.
 There's more here. 

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