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The Observer
Rockford, Illinois
December 15, 1961     The Observer
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December 15, 1961
 

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PAGE 12 THE OBSERVER FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1961 ITHEOLOGY FOR EVERYMAN MARY AUSTIN MARY AUSTIN, Sterling, and Sharon Hill, Rock Falls, are participating in the Lumen Christi program of Loretto Heights College, Loretto, Colo. Miss Austin, junior class presi- dent, will receive the symbolic light of charity. Miss Hill will open the ceremony by reciting the Taper poem which she com- posed for this year's' program. Both students formerly attend- ed Newman Central High School in Sterling. SHARON HILL Advocates of freethinking and[with correct understanding. In order other "soDhlsticated" commentators to explain properly the meaning of constantly make reference to indi-[conscience and its relationship to vidual conscience as the only valid[duly constituted authority, ecclesi- arbiter of all human conduct. In tastical and civil, the following corn- many cases, however, the deflinitons mentary was prepared at St. John's of conscience upon which their the-] Seminary, Brighton, Mass. It is re- pries are based, do not correspond pr2nted from The (Boston) Pilot. Q. WHAT PART DOES CONSCIENCE PLAY IN THE DEVELOP- MENT OF OUR MORAL JUDGMENTS? A. Conscience has been well described as the herald of the law. It is the means by which the individual, who discovers the law as the norm to which his actions are to be conformed, determines the appli, cation of the law in the particular circumstances of his own life. Con- science is thus the subjective source of moral goodness. It enables one to discover his own dignity as a moral person, and the conse- quences for his own life of willful disregard of the moral law. Con- science creates increasing awareness of our relation with God through Christ. Under the influence of divine grace conscience be- comes more and more the voice of Christ, inviting us to perfect union with Him through observance of His taw and imitation of His ex- ample. ' CONSCIENCE HAS AN IMPORTANT PART to play in our moral life because mere knowledge of the moral law is not sufficient to make us morally good. Of its nature the moral law expresses the face of its obligation. Conscience enables us to respond to the im- perative of the moral law. It develops and sustains the conviction that the moral law has significance for the individual, and that one's attitude towards it will determine his status for all eternity. The word conscience may refer either to the permanent power or disposition which moves us to act in accordance with the law, or to the judgment which represents a particular application of the moral law. Conscience may also signify recognition, in a given situation, of one's success or failure to conform to the moral law. the individual is enabled to participate in the eternal law by which God directs universe. Christian theologians, developing this Stoic concept, think of con- science as bringing us into relation not with an impersonal divine power of design and order, but with the living, personal God, Who illumines the depths of man's soul, and moves him to desire what is good as the means of achieving union with Himself. The Greek word "Syneidesis," which has the same literal meaning as the Latin word "conscientia," designates for Christta~ theologians, the innate dis- position which urges a person to preserve his spiritual dignity by acting in accordance with right reason. Syneidesis, sometimes writ- ten synderesis, is thus the permanent treasury of basic and irreduci- ble moral principles which the mind grasps immediately in the very fact of conscious experience THE MOST BASIC PRINCIPLE OF SYNDERESIS is that good ,| [ought to be done and evil avoided. This proposition is the starting Vc~nier [Jr~s[p int which leads, through processes of reasoning, to the judgments v ~.-- l of conscience in which the morally obligatory character of particular Family Study WINDSOR, "Ont. (NC)--Canadi- an Gov. Gen. George P, Vanier urged here that universities study successful families to find out what makes them tick. "Families are the bricks from which all human societies are built. If the bricks ere sound, the edifice will endure," he said at Assumption University here. Vanier received an honorary doctorate of laws from the uni- versity and presided at the offi- cial opening of its new $1.6 mil- lion student center. At that ceremony he noted that the lmiversity is formed by the af: filiation of three colleges -- one Catholic, one Anglican and one nonsectarian. He said such coop- eration is important because it demonstrates how people of differ- ent faiths can find unity. Later, et'a convocation, Vanier stressed the need for family re- search. BEER--WINES--LIQUEURS JACK HITCHCOX'S 'n Bottle THE HOUSE OF GOOD SPIRITS Complete Line of Package Goods Free Parking Lot 323 E. LOCUST DEKALR (Mike P[esa, Prop.) Complete Line of Package Goods 317 East Lincoln Highway DEKALB Equipment McCulloch Chain Saws Knipco Space Heaters 802 S. Fourth St. DeKalb Phone 6-5722 Over 2000 In Stock To $ P95 THE UNIVERSITY SHOP acts is expressed. It would be wrong, however, to think of synderesis, and the judgments of moral obligation to which it leads, as related entirely to the mind. Judgments of right reason receive Compelling force from the will, whose nature it is to love what is good, and to follow in the direction of morally good acts towards union with God. The concept of conscience includes, therefore, both the searching of the mind for truth and the yearning of the will for moral goodness. Intellect and will, distinct as faculties of the soul, become coordinated in the dynamic functioniilg of conscience. When knowledge of moral goodness, as the path marked out by right reason, becomes separated from the wilt to do what is right, there is profound conflict which gives rise, in those who commit sin, to what is known as the remorse of conscience. When the will chooses what is morally evil, the intel- ATTENTION: ALL ILLINOIS Your NON-PROFIT OF THE U.S.A. IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT iii!iiiiiii For only $3.00 a month Catholic men under 61 can now receive $100.00 each week while hospitalized for any ac- cident or sickness covered by the insurance of our non-profit Society. Payments can continue for as long as you are in the hospital. LIFE- TIME BENEFITS. Catholic women and men 61 through 80 get an identical policy at a slightly higher cost. You are paid in addition to any other insurance, includ- ing Workmen's Compensa- tion. Your benefits begin the first day in the hospital. all at low non-profit ratez I I I I I I I I II II il I I Ill is ~lil aliliilit alliil| H| It It It n |lilllllll|ll | i For Free i NO OBLIGATION It You Are a Catholic and Live in lllinoi~ (PR 1~-19.6~) To: Holy Family Society, 231 Ruby Street, Joliet, Ill. i Please rush me FREE FACTS about the Society's NON- PROFIT health protection ~or Illinois Catholics ONLY. ! s I am interested in: i [] Adding to My Present Plon [] Family Group Protection s II [] individual Protection [] Income Protection s S [] LOW Cost Life Insursnce II " "~" I I c I I """ I DOWNTOWN DE KALB Geno Clark Phone 6-5614 II |ect is disturbed, and the will itself becomes agonized as it succumbs I While it is true that authoritative decisions, to the extent that they to the fascination of sin. tare human may fall short of prudence and justice, it is no less true CONSCIENCE, THEREFORE, MAY BE CONSIDERED as a kind!t hat individuals cannot claim objective infallibility for their judg- of spiritual instinct which seeks self-pi~eservation in conformity with' - i "ividuals houN be extremel the law of God. A good conscience requires that the mind be open men~s ottconsetent;e?~gaS:,in::ecclesia~icalaauthorit" ThYe to the truth and that the will .be dedicated .to.pflrsuit of the moral nesttant o press . . ~ :~; . ~n ~idne~Svi:hl~it~eb~rutnhr~l~aPl~eS'wFt~r tho~iS' ~th~SSneCeSeSa~y:ht~t atl~n~ sP;~StT~ nals ::darYe~ignoIu:V;;s~n~s~bil~:yel~;:::int ;aSw~:~r~Ss::smo: goodness. Man must become one with God by the following in the di- of his office. 0nly for the most serious and convincing reasons will rection pointed out by reasonable reflection on the truth of God's this presumption y~eld. Even then. tt may ,be necessary to obey one law, and by correspondence with the impulses of God's grace which who seems to be exceeding his authorny wnen remsal to ao so woulo strengthen his natural yearning for virtue 1 have harmful consequences within the larger community of the ," . Church. Q. WHEN CONFLICTS ARISE BETWEEN coNSCIENCE AND CONSCIENCE FINDS ITS RELATION THROUGH the natural law, LAWFUL AUIrHORITY, WHAT COURSE SHOULD BE TAKEN? according to which society is necessary for the welfare of individual A. In disciplinary matters there may be conflict between the de- men. A serious problem arises, however, when the secular authority cisions of ecclesiastical authority and the individual conscience, declares its independence of the moral law and claims for determin- ing what is morally right and wrong. In such a situation it becomeg necessary to examine the laws and commandments of the secular au- thority with definite misgivings, and to be prepared for the possibility that they may violate dictates of conscience which have been arrived at in accordance with the principles of Christian philosophy. State laws oblige only when they do not contradict the higher laws of God as interpreted by the higher law of God and the Church. The authority of the state must of its very nature stop short of command, i ing what the law of God forbids. Here too, of course, it would be highly imprudent as a general rule for individuals to refuse com- pliance with state laws on the ground of conscientious objection. Here too, compliance with state laws which exceed the competence of state authorities, but which do not involve essentially any violation of higher laws, may be dictated for the reason that failure to ob- serve them may lead to serious disturbance of public order. ' ~ .':. ~." 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