Sunday, March 5, 2017

Faith Resources Newsletter - Number 68 - February 2017




Faith Resources Newsletter
Number 68
February 2017
J'avise le bon Dieu et le bon Dieu m'avise. (I look at the good God and the good God looks at me.)
Response given to the Cure of Ars by a farmer when asked
what he did during visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

Message from the Manager
A warm welcome to all our readers to the February 2017 Newsletter. This year has flown and Lent is fast approaching. It is a time of prayer, penance and sacrifice for 40 Days. These are special days which God uses to prepare the hearts and minds of parishes, families and individuals for the greatest feast of the year, Easter Sunday.
Biblical history teaches us that 40 is a significant number when God needs to cleanse and prepare us for a new beginning.  After Noah and his family entered the Ark, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt Sinai and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before entering the Promised Land. Recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus fasted for forty days and nights in the desert. During this time, Satan appeared to Him and tried to tempt Him. After Jesus refused each temptation, the devil departed and Jesus returned to Galilee where he began His ministry of preaching and teaching. Christ showed us, through His forty days in the wilderness, that prayer, fasting and sacrifices will give us many graces to overcome sin.
We must be vigilant, as the attack on the family by members of the media and many of our Politicians intensifies. Through our prayers, acceptance of suffering and sacrifices God can soften their hearts and minds. The message that Our Lady of the Rosary gave the three young children at Fatima was that we must say the rosary and suffer much to save souls from the fires of hell. Mother Teresa exhorted us to pray for our Church leaders, especially our bishops and priests, who are very much under attack from Satan. They need our prayers to have the courage to speak out against the culture of death that has engulfed our society.
We have a beautiful selection of Spiritual Reading, CDs and Lenten colouring and activity books for children to help keep us focused on the true meaning of Lent as we prepare for Easter.
A very sincere thank you is offered to all our readers who help us through prayer and financial sacrifice. May God grant you a Blessed Lent.

Gai Smith
Manager

Featured items

Brother Francis 10: He is Risen DVD produced by Herald Entertainment $14.50
Steeped in Scripture and instruction, Brother Francis 10: He is Risen is a wonderful reminder of God's goodness and power. This episode includes an animated presentation of key points in the life of Jesus, His death on the cross, triumph over death and ascension to the Father. Children love Brother Francis' joyful demeanour and will learn much about Christ's life when they listen to him. The corresponding, Brother Francis 10: He is Risen Colouring and Activity Book ($4.25), has illustrations to colour and activities to do that reinforce the beautiful message about the Resurrection depicted in the DVD. Other books for Lent and Easter in the range from Herald Entertainment include Brother Francis presents The Scriptural Stations of the Cross - A Colouring Storybook, The Resurrection - A Reader and Colouring Book and Brother Francis: What is Lent? - Colouring Book. All are $4.25 each.

 
Stations of The Cross Colouring Book from St Joseph’s Colouring Books $3.00
Easter Colouring Book from St Joseph’s Colouring Books $3.00
Colouring Book about Lent from St Joseph’s Colouring Books $3.00
My First Easter Colouring Book from Warner Press Kids $3.50
Easter Sticker Book by Karen Williamson $9.95
My Look and Point Easter Sticker Book by Christina Goodings $9.95
Lenten Adventure Set from Holy Heroes 2 Books for only $20.00
Celebrating Lent by Rev Jude Winkler OFM Conv $3.00
The Stations of the Cross by Rev L Lovasik SVD $3.00
The Easter Story by Rev L Lovasik SVD $3.00
The Way of the Cross for Children by Rev Jude Winkler OFM Conv $3.00
The Story of Easter by George Brundage (Carry-Me-Along Board Book) $8.95
The Way of the Cross by Juliette Levivier $9.95

The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Archbishop Alban Goodier SJ $24.95
Archbishop Alban Goodier SJ fills in the many blanks in the historical narratives about the Passion of Jesus Christ with a riveting account based on history, culture and his own deep spiritual insights.

The Sadness of Christ by Saint Thomas More $23.95
This book was the last that St. Thomas More wrote in the Tower of London before he was executed for standing firm in his Catholic faith. In it, he explores the Gospel passages that depict the agony of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. He depicts Christ as a model of virtue in the face of suffering and persecution. He includes valuable and eternally relevant reflections on prayer, courage, friendship, statesmanship, and more. It is an excellent resource for Lent.

 
Spiritual reading for Lent:
Christ is Passing By Homilies by Josemaria Escriva $19.95
The Way of the Cross by St Josemaria Escriva $14.95
The Way of the Cross with Bl. Mother Teresa $6.00
Saints and Sinners of Calvary by Fr Christopher Rengers OFM Cap. $13.20
Lenten Reflections by Scott Hahn $19.95
Lent and Easter by Joanna Bogle $7.00
Love Hurts The Truth Behind Redemptive Suffering CD by Matthew Leonard $5.00
The Cross and the Beatitudes by Fulton J Sheen $12.50
The Seven Words of Jesus and Mary by Fulton J Sheen $12.50

Further spiritual reading for Lent:
A Blessed Lent by Fr Philip. G. Bochanski $8.00
Lent: The Journey to Easter Joy By Benedict XVI $5.00
Meditations on the Stations of the Cross by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman $7.00
New Companion to Lent from Catholic Truth Society $5.00
The Sermons of St Francis de Sales for Lent by St Francis de Sales $24.95
The Seven Last Words by Fulton J Sheen $9.95
The Way of the Cross by St Alphonsus Ligouri $3.30
The Glory of These Forty Days by James Tolhurst $15.00
Lent at Ephesus CD by Benedictines of Mary/ Queen of Apostles $24.95

 
The End of the Present World and The Mysteries of the Future Life by Fr Charles Arminjon $34.95
This was no less true in the late nineteenth century, when Father Charles Arminjon, a priest from the mountains of south-eastern France, assembled his flock in the town cathedral to preach a series of conferences to help them turn their thoughts away from this life's mean material affairs-and toward the next life's glorious spiritual reward. His wise and uncompromising words deepened in them the spirit of recollection that all Christians must have: the abiding conviction that heavenly aims, not temporal enthusiasms, must guide everything we think, say, and do.

Absolute Relativism by Chris Stefanic $6.00
With a forward by Cardinal Raymond Burke Absolute Relativism by Chris Stefanic is an important book for every household. It shows how the attitude that if it feels good then do it inhibits our freedom and abolishes real tolerance. This book is short and easy to read exposing the myth that in living according to our own rules we are free but in fact we ruin our lives and those of others.
The Healing Peace of Christ by Archbishop Anthony Fisher $8.00
Struck down by Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome, Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher has, over the past year, experienced the anguish occasioned by human frailty and illness. In this book, he reflects on this experience and on the healing peace of Christ that is only appreciated when we are most vulnerable.

 



Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants — 11th February, 2017 — HANDOUTS n. 141
“Clear, brief and easily assimilated by all”
Enthusing the Wayward Adolescent
See earlier Handouts n. 65 “Honour thy father and thy mother” and n. 132 Growing-up, the Great Adventure
Download as a PDF
“LIFE IS WORTH LIVING”
    Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
    The Lord Jesus, John 15:13-15
Friend, go up higher!
    The Lord Jesus, Luke 14:10
PURPOSE IN LIFE
Damien paper was a heroic news-reporter with the Australian army in World War II and killed in New Guinea in 1944. His job was to keep up morale of the soldiers and their folks at home. When he joined up, the army had just discovered psychology, and he was quizzed, “What’s your purpose in life?” At once he quoted the Old Green Catechism: “God made me to know, love and serve Him here on earth and to see and enjoy Him for ever in Heaven.” He had made Christian ideas and ideals his own — the Three Ds: the Dignity, Duty and Destiny of man made in God’s image. Gen. 1:26-27; Deut. 10:i2; 11:13.
THE SPIRITUAL WAR
Satan has special departments in Hell working overtime, always concocting new plans to ensnare souls to live and die in mortal sin.
Further, Satan — at least as alleged by C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters — assigns other fallen angels, that is, demons, to individual human souls, to promote these evils.
ONGOING CHRISTIAN FORMATION
Informal TALK while doing things together helps adolescents (and children): e.g. gardening, household repairs, preparing vegetables, washing & pegging out clothes. Then adolescent son or daughter might “open up” to either mother and father, separately or together.
Avoid confrontations, avoid prying questions. Rather, try this bit of wise and witty ironic sarcasm — just leave it lying around:-
“WHY I DON’T WASH”
1.    I was forced to wash as a child.
2.    People who wash are hypocrites — they think they are cleaner than everyone else.
3.    There are many different kinds of soap. I can’t decide which one is best.
4.    I used to wash, but 1 got bored and stopped.
5.    None of my friends wash.
6.    I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
7.    1 can’t spare the time to wash.
8.    The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer.
9.    People who make soap are only after your money.
    John Bohan, Geelong West, in Into the Deep, December 2016.
SPIRITUAL LIFE
Enthuse by parental good example of living a life in good standing with God — praying daily, morning and night, on one’s knees; Sunday Mass, and perhaps weekday Mass for special intentions.
Do you go to Confession regularly? To a regular confessor? Have you they ever been on a retreat?
The worst scenario is an adolescent having nothing to live for, and whining like a curmudgeon, “I didn’t ask to be born”! It’s worth remembering that:- It’s a privilege to have lived.
    John L. Tierney, casual remark
THE HOLY CHILD Samuel was given encouragement by old Eli the priest (who foster-fathered him):
Samuel did not yet know the Lord…
And he said, Speak, Lord, Thy servant is listening.
    1 Samuel 3:7 and 3:10
WHAT DOES HE READ? What do you?
Is he reading the Bible? Do you? Try the Didache Bible (see Handouts n. 138) with its helpful notes and articles and cross-references to the CCC).
And do they ever see yon checking things in the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church)?
Is it feasible to have Bible Discussion Group for family and even others? It helps if each has a different version, which brings out the difficulties of translating an ancient language and culture into modernity.
Then there’s The Book of Virtues with its inspiring snippets in a constructive counter-attack on schooling which despises heroes and saints. Try taking turns reading bits aloud during the main meal.
If the adolescent does not read, it’s still not too late to help him enter into his full literacy potential and to read books for pleasure and improvement.
Some families regularly read adventure fiction or travel, saints or biography, taking turns at the main meal. N.B. It’s character formation to eat together.
Reading helps all present to escape addiction to TV, mobile phones, or lost in cyber space in computer games. Reading books transcends the shallow relationships of a virtual presence. Also, Face Book, U-tube and Twittering have lots of “stranger danger” and bad company, as well as wasting much time.
BAD COMPANIONS
The internet is a grievous temptation even to those old enough to know better. Yet deliberately entering an occasion of sin can sometimes be justifiable. But more than half of it’s pornography — an electronic brothel and propaganda for promiscuity. It’s worse than being trapped in an underwater cave by an octopus, or sinking into bottomless quicksand:
But I say to you that every one who looks lustfully has already committed adultery. If your TV or mobile causes you to sin, cast it out; better to forego electronic entertainment, or education than be thrown into hell.
    Adapted from Matthew 5:28-32)
SELF-RESTRAINT in Bedroom & at School
Does the adolescent have a TV or mobile phone in bed? It’s a symptom of a serious malaise. What’s more, the whole electronic entourage is a lure for wasting time, missing opportunities and squandering life itself. Computers on every desk in school rewire the brain to its detriment; they impair intellect occasion moral weakness. They can become a false religion! They weaken concentration, mental alertness and memory power, which are all empirically observable.
See REMOTELY CONTROLLED, How Television is damaging our lives and what we can do about it, by Dr Aric Sigman, 2005, 356 pp. (see Handouts n. 125).
HUMILITY
Aim for it indirectly, by honesty and generosity. We need humility to admit when we are wrong. We need humility to be right, to know it and to say so, especially courageous humility to be good when mocked as a “goody-goody” by those who spread, teach and practise the evils of worldliness.
WAKING UP
There ARE two kinds, closely related:-
1.    “Waking up”, to get up each morning, either “cranked up” by someone else or on one’s own selfstarter, and consciously, deliberately getting up to give glory to God as pledged in the Baptismal Covenant — with all its myriad details in the small print.
2.    “Waking up” and taking one’s place in the Church and in society, with personal commitment to the Lord Jesus and embracing the Christian adult mindset, the Christian “word-view” — in other words, completing a successful Christian adolescence.
DISCIPLINED LIFE-STYLE?
Most folk need some encouragement to embrace a life-style with a set time of rising and rising with a definite purpose. We need to conquer our laziness and impose on ourselves a timetable to put ourselves to bed at night at an hour early enough for rising for a better day on the morrow — the basic program for reforming dissolute youth in boot camps!
We all need a program of balanced activities: others can make suggestions, but we must impose it on ourselves. With this is the good habit of being able to say “NO!” to self — instead of reserving our ‘no’ for parents and other authorities in life.
What needs doing? “Needs!” We all need to be needed! There are people everywhere in need of help: friendship, spirituality, hunger, thirst, clothing, housing, tutoring the young, reading to old people. There are the Missions crying out for volunteers: the rewards are out of this world:-
That they cannot repay you means you are blessed, because recompense will be made to you when the dead rise again.    Luke 14:14
Family Life International and Parish Conferences of St Vincent de Paul need helpers.
Parishes needs readers, servers, wardens, counters...
Our world is diving deeper into a gutter,: we can turn it back to the Light, Life and Love of God.
THE CANCER OF SELF-PITY
An ADOLESCENT needs friends of his own sex to talk to. It’s not homosexual to have non-sexual same-sex friendships — it’s an extension of siblings.
Non-sexual opposite sex friendships are essential too — better in company, not pairing off or dating before they’ve grown in self-control and self-forgetfulness in a group of young men and women. And tactful chaperoning is more necessary than ever.
The greatest therapy is simply talking with ordinary people: only severe cases need a psychologist. Talking keeps us going through the purple patches of life. Good friends can lift us out of ourselves and reduce depression, folly and self-pity.
It’s good for youth to blow their minds in sport, and not just watching it. There’s “healing in the bush”, growing in virtues through camping and bushwalks.
MATERIAL PROSPERITY?
Responsibility breeds maturity. But much money, gadgets, luxury, idleness, often breed spiritual poverty:-
But Jeshunin (i.e. Israel, the Chosen People) waxed fat, and kicked; then he forsook God who made him, and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
    Deuteronomy 32:15
SUCCESSFUL ADOLESCENCE
Many youngsters suffer an “involutional regression”. Instead of spiralling upward and outward to manhood and womanhood, they spiral inwards and down, back into childish immaturities. On life’s freeway they’re “going the wrong way”, or like a whirlpool plunging into its own gloomy depths.
They need extra help, as also do those who missed out on the pre-adolescent stage of “adult childhood” (.Handouts n. 132), for it’s tough facing up to that personal effort required to conquer self, selfishness, sin and Satan. Though they must do it themselves, they can be helped.
It is highly desirable to spiral upwards and outwards — going clockwise, too — heading for maturity, adulthood, marriage and parenthood.
MANHOOD, WOMANHOOD, SAINTHOOD
An eager adolescent keeps aflame his faith, hope and charity, despite stumbling and rekindlings. Confusion, uncertainty, gloom and darkness of the tunnel-syndrome in adolescence are a training course for young adults to emerge into the light of day.
After more or less completing the adventure of adolescence, getting married is an entry into a greater adventure, as also are priesthood and Religious Life.
There is also the single state of secular life lay apostles as unmarried men or women who sublimate their natural appetites in spiritual counterparts.
The culmination of all four holy states of life is in fatherhood and motherhood, or exercising spiritual parenthood in the priesthood or as Religious.
The celibate priest, of course, is spiritually married to the Church and like Our Lord, the Bridegroom.
Father James Tierney

© The Rev. B.J.H. Tierney. Handouts are free and may be copied for any non-profit teaching purpose. However, donations to defray costs are welcome and should be made to the publisher and distributor, the Cardinal Newman Faith Resources Inc. PO Box 359, St Marys NSW 1790; phone 02 9673 2235; fax 02 9623 3181 email <fr@eardinalnewman.com.au>

Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants — 22nd February, 2017 — HANDOUTS n. 142
“Clear, brief and easily assimilated by all”
Family    Faith    Freedom
depends on marriage    binds us to God    links with Conscience
Download as a PDF
ATHEISTIC BRAINWASHING
THE CHURCH, its beliefs and practices and personnel, are a puzzle to unbelievers. For many, God and our souls are unscientific superstition; marriage is out-of-date; free will is humbug for determinism; and life is an unsolvable riddle:-
Since man by evolution, descending from the ape,
Acquired what may perhaps be called,
A more developed shape,
No fouler superstition,
No loathlier pretence,
Has dogged him than the vain belief
That he was talking sense.
    Pi in the High by Dr E.L. Mascall 1959
At times, non-believer brand us Christians as dupes or hypocrites. Yet belief in God is far more scientific than believing that chaos and chance produced us.
They are baffled by the Church’s world-wide spread and continuity across twenty centuries (see Handouts n. 64), with a multitude of priests and lay faithful, detailed doctrines and moral prescriptions, its rituals and ceremonies, and subsidiary institutions like universities and schools, hospitals, lots of buildings and real estate. They reduce the Church to what they see, its present personnel of hierarchy, laity and buildings, with no idea of their transcendent union with the 1st century Church of the Apostles with most members in Heaven.
The incomprehension is due to:
* ignorance, from years of Godless secular schooling;
* falsehoods and concealments by the media.
The atheists firmly accept the witness of social and mass media that the Church is a fraudulent institution of dupes and child-abusers. The media highlight any wickedness and are deceitfully silent on the Church’s vast activity to the contrary.
Our failures and traitors do not represent us or what we believe and achieve, no more than Jesus was a failure because of Judas Iscariot and his ilk down the centuries.
Catholic school products of the past 45 years, often lost in fads and fashions, often swallow most of the falsification.
Behaviour is purposive. Those who “go with the flow” fail to see that evolution is a quasi-religion. It’s blind faith in chaos. It’s unscientific and intellectual suicide for daily living. Ironically, their chaotic thinking mirrors the evolution they espouse — it’s mental chaos produced by faith in chaos.
THE REAL CHURCH
The Church’s purpose is to populate Heaven with saints, to turn sinners into saints. Likewise the purpose of marriage is to populate Heaven with saints. Husbands & wives sanctify each other, and together sanctify their children. (CCC n. 1534).
MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS
Personal freedom is fundamental for a free society. As well as intellectual power, we have the power to choose the moral or immoral, our “will power”.
The God-given powers of intellect and will interact as conscience, a moral consciousness, freedom, the “still, small voice” of God which Elijah heard in the cave on Mt Horeb in the Sinai Range (1 Kings 19:12 kj & rsv only).
THOSE SHADES OF GREY
MANY THINGS in life really are shades of grey — and many things are not.
Moreover, there would be no shades of grey if there were nothing black and white.
Talk of “shades of grey” can be a deceit, depending on the topic. Beware of it in moral matters like “pastoral solutions” for divorce and remarriage which negate Our Lord (Handouts n. 138, p. 2, col. 1).
Shades of grey can get you out of anything! If everything were shades of grey, martyrdom would be foolishness. If there’s nothing worth dying for, life is not worth living. It is the promoter's of “shades of grey” who reject Veritatis Splendor, the encyclical of St John Paul II on morality.
There are no shades of grey in Our Lord’s words recorded in the Gospels. Claims made for “Shades of grey” can be a ploy to evade the Scriptures.
THE SECULAR INQUISITIONS
Are tribunals for Anti-discrimination and Equal Opportunity set up deliberately to promote immorality like homosexual acts and gender mainstreaming? The latter means that there is no difference between male and female, so it is now politically incorrect to ask if a new baby is a boy or a girl. Also, the baby can be registered without its sex being stated — which itself is an admission there is a difference.
Sensitivity Training
Sensitivity is a refinements of charity to others. Men, even priests sometimes, could improve a deal.
Sensitivity Training is practical psychology. It should make a student more sensitive, like Christian formation as a school of charity, life in the Spirit.
Boys & girls should be brought up to be considerate, that is, to be sensitive to the feelings of other.
For better or for worse, they will imitate the mutual sensitivity they see between their fathers and mothers — or the lack of it. They will also copy even unconsciously how their fathers and mothers treat people outside the family.
In practice, sensitivity training is often caught up in the ego-philosophy, in Godless self-centredness:
* increased sensitivity towards self;
* lower sensitivity to the feelings of others.
SELF-ESTEEM
Another half-truth is the term “self-esteem”. It used to mean self-respect since we are made in the image of God. That aspect is good and true.
There is a false aspect, whether intended or not: self-esteem becomes a lying lure for self-worship. It can become the road to suicide, says its original promoter, William Coulson. See the old Newman Newsletters nn. 115 (23-1-95 & 144 (10-1-96), and Handouts nn. 59 (23-12-2008) and 89 (8-10-2013): copies posted on request.

No Conscience and no Commandments? No virtuous Life!
Without a moral Compass and a moral Map, where am I? I am LOST !
ATHEIST DOES (1) NOT BELIEVE IN GOD
He might say he believes in nothing. And he is proud of it. Yet he certainly believes in himself, and probably in organic evolution — especially a militant atheist, a relativist, a deconstructionist. And yet:-
The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.
    Psalm 14 [ 13]: 1
The atheist ignores the facts:-
Scientists firmly believe in unseen realities, from electrons to gravity. God-fearing men believe in the unseen Being Who is the reason for it all. Science finds “how it works”, religion reveals “why”.
(2) NOR IN CONSCIENCE
Conscience requires us, including atheists, to discern right from wrong, to choose the good and avoid evil.
Rejection of conscience leaves him defenceless against Satan. Then Satan can directly tempt him to sin by the World, the Flesh and Devilish Pride.
Or Satan can use trickery with less direct lures. He distracts us all from thoughts of growing in virtue, so we slither backwards downhill towards vice.
Another indirect bait is to emphasize one virtue to the neglect of others. For example, to claim faith and forget charity. Or to claim philanthropy is the only real practice of religion and forget (or even deride) its essential foundations in faith.
NOR IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
“Commandments are an outdated superstition of ‘a backward tribe’ of Hebrews” — it sounds racist!
The atheist ignores the facts:-
Our freedoms in Australian democracy come from Ten Commandments of rights and duties, the Manufacturer’s Instructions. Our laws are based on them.
While he rejects the Sermon on the Mount against adultery and lust, he likes the Golden Rule:-
So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
    Matthew 7:12 and other texts like 19:19; 22:39
Note the logical order in the Ten: CFCDE pp. 102-103
The Ten Commandment (called Ten Words Exodus 34:28 JB)
The Eight Beatitudes (begin the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-7)
1. God (full text of Commandments: Exodus 20:1-17; Deut. 5:1-21)
1. Humble before Creator — Matthew 5:3
2. Name (see Holy Name Pledge in CFC DE p. 97)
2. Mourn for sins — all sins dishonours the Name of God
3. Day for worship and rest from work
3. Meekly adore God on Sundays and rest from work
4. Honour parents (thereby learn rights & duties hi mi. 5-10)
4. Hunger for righteousness — for virtues and holiness
5. No murder
5. Merciful — it’s compulsory: cf. James 2:13
6. No adultery
6. Pure in heart — something more than chastity
7. No stealing
7. Peacemakers — bringing out the best hi others
8. No lying
8. Persecuted for true beliefs; also 7. Peacemakers
9. No lust (Hammurabi’s Code lucked morality of thoughts)
6. Pure hi heart — cf. Matthew 5:28
10. No greed (ditto: only the Hebrews had Commandments 9&.10)
7. Peacemakers — links with a right intention or attitude)

TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE
we need Conscience as a Moral Compass, and the Ten Commandments as a Map for virtuous living:- Conscience is the well-formed interplay of mind & will, and neither lax nor scrupulous, but sensitive. Like bodily muscles, it gets better if often used properly.
Conscience needs clear knowledge of good and evil to assess personal situations. Animals have instinct & conditioning but not conscience or commandments.
Parable of compass and map:-
Proper formation of a conscience is akin to tuning a compass reading; other-wise conscience and compass lack accuracy and can be deceptive:-
A Compass is a magnetized needle, with NSEW marked to give magnetic directions; adjusted for
1. geographical variation from true north,
2. deviation from bias near the compass (e.g. iron objects);
3. and junking bearings taken near magnetic islands.
A Map requires essential items:-
its name, to ensure it’s the relevant map;
north, marked to match it with the landscape; the scale, for working out distances;
a ‘legend’ to read the icons for roads & rivers etc. N.B.
Usually a compass and a map need each other, and so do conscience and Commandments of natural morality.
Applying the parable of compass and map:-
Commandments from God are natural moral laws knowable from human reason when free from bias, and reinforced by God’s revelation in both OT and NT. and overriding any government laws to the contrary:-
We must obey God rather than men.
    Acts 5:29
Conscience, the interaction of mind and will, can’t change true and false, or good and evil. Therefore it can’t modify the Ten Commandments to suit a whim, no more than a compass can rewrite a map.
Prayer for a good conscience
Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart... to discern between good and evil...
    (1 Kings 3:9)
Father James Tierney

© The Rev. B.J.H. Tierney. Handouts are free and may be copied for any non-profit teaching purpose. However, donations to defray costs are welcome and should be made to the publisher and distributor, the Cardinal Newman Faith Resources Inc. PO Box 359, St Marys NSW 1790; phone 02 9673 2235; fax 02 9623 3181 email <fr@eardinalnewman.com.au>



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