I am seeing this "Voting your conscience" thrown around quite a bit lately. What exactly does it mean though? It seems to me, it’s justifying why we do what we want, instead of what God wants. We probably are very well intentioned, but some of us seem think that our conscience is above the Church’s authority. Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You see, when we decide to vote our conscience instead of following what the Church’s dictates and instructs, we are going it alone. When we fail to use our reason and intellect and resort to our emotions, we are being guided by the wrong side. Voting our conscience can lead us astray. It might be okay if we act with a conscience that has been perfected and formed in Truth but, as humans, our conscience is flawed.
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have done out into the world."
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
I would imagine that ISIS militants are acting according to their consciences. For many years, I acted and lived my life according to my own conscience which justified contraception, the acceptance and tolerance of promiscuous sexual behavior, co-habitation as well as many other sins condemned by Church teaching and the moral law. A few years ago, I had an epiphany and realized that I didn’t even know and understand Catholic moral teaching, or why it was taught. I decided to find out.
What I found out blew me away. My conscience began to change. Once I understood what Church law was based on, my whole perspective shifted on many issues. You see, just about everything the Church teaches on social justice issues is based on one fundamental right, the right to life based on natural law.
Once there is no basis for the right to life, as we see in this country now, everything else begins to deteriorate. It is the foundation. Human cloning, gay marriage,, abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research, are all based on the principles of life and the natural law. That is why they are non-negotiable. See http://www.catholic365.com/article/4296/the-non-negotiables.html
As we rid ourselves of the responsibilities to uphold these sacred truths regarding life, evil begins to seep into every aspect of society. As we grow tolerant of these evils, they proliferate. That is where we are now. The only way to take our country back and begin to instill some value and morals concerning the issues that really matter, we must create a stage for life to be valued and sanctified. We must do this with love and charity, and not with hatred and vice, and not in the pursuit of power and self-service.
I find that a dedication to prayer and meditation, and quiet time with Christ at Mass and Adoration can help lead in these directions. It also can mold our hearts for charity and love, and the compassion necessary to initiate real change. We have the power to change the world, but it is a change that will require supernatural assistance. If Christ intended for us to follow our conscience, then His establishment of a universal Church for guidance wouldn’t have been necessary. The key is forming and molding our consciences according the Truth, and the Molder is Christ and His Church.
God gives us each the gift of inclusion in His plan of salvation. We just need to follow His blueprint outlined in Scripture and interpreted by the Church. He entrusted Peter with the Keys to the Kingdom, and those keys have been passed down to every generation of clergy since. Let’s follow that divine instruction, instead of our own personal and individual conscience. We must act as the Body of Christ in unison, not as individual parts working against each other. We all know, that when individual parts of our body work against each other they all die, right along with all the innocents when evil and corruption are allowed because of that death.