SKY VIEW-- ETERNITY FOR SKEPTICS AND NON-BELEIVERS
SKY VIEW -- ETERNITY FOR SKEPTICS AND NON-BELIEVERS EXCERPT-II. Conscience and Church:Just as God can reveal himself either indirectly through the design and beauty of his creation or directly by personally revealing himself, let’s say, in a vision or apparition, he can likewise make his law known through the human conscience or through the prophetic and infallible voice of the Catholic Church. Our conscience is that inner-voice from God (however faint) or that interior sense of right and wrong. It gives us peace when we do right and guilt when we do wrong. But it has one advantage and one disadvantage: The advantage is that it is immediate; it is always ready to be used. When we are forced to make a moral decision in the moment, obviously we don’t always have time to consult the Catholic Catechism. We must, therefore, in times of uncertainty, use the lights of our conscience. The disadvantage is that our conscience is fallible. It is prone to error because it can be diminished or deadened through sin, emotions or personal bias. As stated, the prophetic voice of the Catholic Church is infallible. We can always rely on it to be the truth coming from God. Jesus said to his Apostles, the first bishops, that those who hear you hear me and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven etc. But the disadvantage is, as mentioned, that access to the truth of Divine Revelation as taught by the Church is not always immediately available. If a Catholic simply does not know what the Church teaches when faced with a moral dilemma or if a person was never told that premarital sex, cohabitation, contraception or homosexuality was a sin, then he would have to rely on his conscience, however uninformed it might be. But being in the state of ignorance he would be less guilty when he comes to meet God face-to-face. After all, St. James says, “So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.” (James 4:17) To repeat, being guilty of sin presupposes that you know what the right thing to do is and you know what the wrong thing to do is- and then you do the wrong.