Musings on Morality and Conscience

Homily Series: Accountability

There are worse things than the sufferings of this life.

The Scriptures tell us clearly that we will end up in either heaven or hell. In our modernist times people believe that there are no absolutes. Everything is relative. (For example, the controversy over footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia.)

The law of God is hard and sometimes we can’t live up to it. But God does not want us to sin. Yes, life is difficult but Jesus conquered sin and death.

St. Ignatius presents to us two banners: the banner of Satan and that of God. We have to choose between them, since there are only two choices. Which banner will we serve under? The Church has teaching on difficult areas, for example, on access to the sacraments for those who are divorced and remarried, or on chastity for those who suffer from same sex attraction, or the teaching on contraception. But if we concede these points then there are no absolutes. It is true that each of us needs to follow his or her conscience, but we also have a duty to form our conscience well.

Fr. Steve quotes from the reading for the day from Jeremiah:

“More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds.” (Jer 17:9-10)

(The full text of this day’s readings can be found here.)

We are not called to live in sin because that’s the best we can do. That is why we need clear signposts to guide us. Let us pray that we do not dumb down the truth lest we be judged.

Fr. Steve grieves with couples who can’t risk getting pregnant for medical reasons, for example, because the baby would be placed in danger due to the medication that the mother is required to take. If they use contraception and therefore objectively sin, they do have recourse to confession. However, the latter is not a course of action that Fr. Steve recommends. It is true that there is substantial suffering in this life. But there are worse things than this life’s sufferings, are there not?

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