People throw around the word "conscience" these days using it to justify all kinds of immorality. Nancy Pelosi claims a conscience right to call abortion "sacred ground." Many a cafeteria Catholic justifies contraceptive use saying she's "following her conscience." How many Catholics have abandoned their marriage vows following their consciences? In all these cases the definition of conscience seems to be, "whatever sin I want to enjoy I can choose as long as I claim to be doing it with a good conscience" -- which is actually a bad conscience. Give me an honest sinner any day, one like St. Augustine who asked the Lord to make him chaste...but not yet. Yes, it's hard to set aside our sinful desires to follow God's will. Why else would Jesus call it the narrow way that's hard to follow? St. John Bosco saw the path to heaven in a dream. It was filled with rocks and thorns. How easy can we expect the journey to be when we see the uphill road to Golgotha and the God-Man nailed to the cross there?
Pope Francis spoke about conscience last Sunday speaking to tourists in St. Peter's square. Here's a bit of what he said (Unfortunately the full text is not yet on the Vatican website. I got this from -- hmmm -- the Huffington Post):
“We must learn to listen more to our conscience,” said Francis, speaking from a window of the Apostolic Palace to the crowd in the square below.
“This doesn’t mean following one’s own ego, doing whatever interests us, whatever suits us, whatever pleases us,” the pope said. Instead, “conscience is an interior space for listening to the truth, to good” and to God who “speaks to my heart and helps me to discern, to understand the path I must follow, and once the decision is taken, to go forward, to remain faithful.”
“We have had a recent marvelous example of this relationship with God in our conscience,” Francis said, citing his predecessor’s resignation. “Pope Benedict XVI has given us a great example in this sense, when the Lord made him understand , in prayer, what step he had to take. He followed, with a great sense of discernment and courage, his conscience, that is, the will of God who was speaking to his heart.”Note that conscience discerns the "will of God." And the will of God cannot conflict with the doctrine that Christ teaches through his Church. If someone claims, in good conscience, he can ignore the LAWS set down by God, he is either fooling himself or lying. God is not bi-polar or schizophrenic. He does not give us laws only to break them. We may not commit contraception; we may not commit abortion. If someone claims a conscience right to do these things, he is illustrating a badly formed conscience that is in line, not with the God of the universe, but with the prince of this world.
Pray for Nancy Pelosi and others of her mindset. She blasphemes God every time she claims her conscience allows her to endorse child killing, because that means abortion is the will of God. And that, indeed, is blasphemous!
In fact, abortion is the will of many gods described in the Old Testament among the idol worshipers of Cana. His name is legion: Moloch, Baal, Astarte, Ashtaroth, etc. Nancy Pelosi would have fit quite well among the pro-aborts at the Texas capitol chanting, "Hail, Satan" or among Jezebel's priests whirling and slashing themselves as they called on their idols. No wonder Joe Sobran called democrats the evil party. Most party leaders conform their consciences, not to God, but to the one who was a murderer and liar from the beginning. And, as they say, "birds of a feather flock together."