DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     August 21-23, 1998     vol. 9, no. 164

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE


    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she takes issue with the mentality of looking the other way when moral wrong is obvious - especially when it concerns the man who holds the highest office of the land and who should be above reproach with her column HIS CONSCIENCE IS HIS GUIDE.

         Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


HIS CONSCIENCE IS HIS GUIDE

          Weíve all heard the saying: "Let your conscience be your guide." In light of that statement and what has been occurring regarding thePresident of the United States in the recent past, it may be well to think a bit about conscience and whether or not President Clintonís conscience should be any concern of ours.

          The Catholic Church teaches that there are three kinds of consciences: a LAX conscience, which doesnít think that certain acts are sins OR doesnít care; the SCRUPULOUS conscience, which thinks certain acts are sins that are not; and the RIGHT conscience that is formed correctly to know what truly offends God and what does not. We have the Ten Commandments as our major guide, thanks to our Good God Who gave them to us through Moses. And we have the teaching of the Church which explains the Commandments to us clearly. Every Christian has the obligation to work at forming a RIGHT or CORRECT conscience. That means studying and internalizing all of the moral rights and wrongs implied and given in the Ten Commandments.

          If we were fortunate, we would have had a very good Catholic education, either from our parents or Catholic school or CCD program. We would have been blessed to have learned right from wrong beginning at an early age.

          The reality must be faced, however, that good Catholic education has been wanting in the last 25 to 30 years. Instead of the basic truths of our Faith being taught, students were presented with an humanistic love, love, joy, joy approach to their religion.

          No Catholic can be against love and joy, but the truth is that those are fruits. One doesnít get fruit from a tree until he has first planted the seed. One does not put the roof on the house without first laying the foundation.

          All of these laxities in the teaching of the Catholic Faith are now bearing bad fruit in the adult conscience today which is so ready to excuse evil and accept "it" as: "Well, everybody else is doing it. Whatís the big deal?"

          Satan has succeeded in creating this confusion in our day. In a previous article, I had written that a person cannot have one conscience in private and a different one in his work place. Those who think that President Clintonís private life is none of our business must realize that if Clinton can repeatedly commit adultery (as he has done for years with Jennifer Flowers and now Monica Lewinsky, at least), and yet do a good job in leading our country, are badly misinformed. A human being brings the SAME conscience with him everywhere. If President Clinton is breaking Godís Laws in a BIG way in private, donít for a minute think he can make morally right decisions for this nation, which is OURS. It is no wonder, for example, that he cannot SEE the evil in partial birth abortion or any abortion for that matter. His conscience is a very LAX one and is very darkened.

          And dear reader, donít tell me "we canít judge." Thatís another tool of the evil one. We CAN and MUST make objective judgments about what is right and wrong. To do otherwise is to be like those who bury their heads in the sand. Thereís no "light" there.

          More about Clinton next week. In the meantime, letís pray hard for him. God bless you!


August 21-23, 1998       volume 9, no. 164
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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