Conscience Formation

For Christian Catholics there is a formation of conscience that is a lifelong task.  This development of a moral sense of right and wrong starts in the family with your parents.  This conscience formation continues as you have contacts with Church leaders and teachers.  Finally, the role of peers leads to a personal synthesis.  What should I do in this particular case?  I will act based on what my conscience has decided.  If it is poorly formed, I must still follow it.  If I differ from the teachings of the Church, I must try to figure out why I differ from the group.  We always need an informed conscience.

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A sword upon the land (Ezek 14:17-14:18)

“‘Or if I bring a sword

Upon that land.

I will say.

‘Let a sword

Pass through the land.’

I cut off

Humans

With animals

From it.

Even though

These three men

Were in the land,

As I live,

They would save

Neither sons

Nor daughters.

But they alone

Would be saved.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh continued by talking about bringing a sword to the land, killing humans and animals. However, if these 3 great men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in that land, they would be able to save themselves alone, but they would not be able to save their sons or daughters. This was the same concept repeated again that individuals had limited power over the group.

They will obey Yahweh (Jer 42:5-42:6)

“They in turn said to Jeremiah.

‘May Yahweh be a true witness!

May Yahweh be a faithful witness

Against us,

If we do not act

According to everything

That Yahweh

Your God

Sends us through you.

Whether it is good or bad,

We will obey

The voice of Yahweh

Our God,

To whom we are sending you,

So that it may go well

With us

When we do obey

The voice of Yahweh

Our God.’”

The leaders and the group of those remaining from the land of Judah proclaimed to Jeremiah that Yahweh would be a true and faithful witness against them, if they did not act according to everything that Yahweh would say to Jeremiah. It did not matter whether it was good or bad, they would obey the voice of Yahweh as interpreted by Jeremiah. They wanted things to go well with them, so that they were willing to listen to the voice of Yahweh, their God. Yahweh was no longer Jeremiah’s God, but their God also.