by Anthony Egan SJ
Deep within a person’s conscience one discovers a law which one has not laid upon one’s self but which one must obey. Its voice, ever calling the person to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in that person’s heart at the right moment…. For one has in his or her heart a law inscribed by God…. – Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 16, 1965
It’s always worth coming back to conscience, that wonderful divine gift each of us has in our selves. Conscience is what distinguishes us from animals, from a herd. It challenges us in our communities to stop for a moment and step back from a dangerous ‘group think’ mentality. It asks: is this decision really serving the common good? Is this consensus really true? And it challenges me, as I go about my daily life, to reconsider my personal decisions and choices: Is this really good for me? For others? Is this really right?
Lord God, give all of us a deeper sense of conscience and a willingness to question the assumptions we make as individuals or a group, so that our actions that follow such reflection may be good for us, good for all, and serve your greater glory.