Reflection on Article 1802 of the Catechism

My dear parishioners,
Peace! Under headings of Judgment, Formation, Choice in Accord, Erroneous Judgment and In Brief, the Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses “conscience” in twenty-nine passages. Here we consider CCC, 1802.
The Catechism highlights three key aspects to the formation of the moral conscience: when we accept the Word of God as a light for our path; assimilate the Word of God in faith and prayer; put the Word of God into practice.
The Word of God is a light for our path (cf. Psalm 119:105). Earlier in Psalm 119 (verse1) calls blessed those who walk according to the Law of the Lord. The Law of the Lord is not just the Ten Commandments (Decalogue) but even the “Books of Moses” (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). When we walk along the path spelled out in Sacred Scripture, turning our back on sin, Satan, and the glamour of evil, we are walking with the Lord and toward the Lord, like Enoch before us (cf. Genesis 5:24; Ephesians 4:1; 1 John 2:6). We are to walk humbly with God as He directs (cf. Micah 6:8). As a light for our path Sacred Scripture not only teaches us to do good and avoid evil, giving various examples, but also calls us to repentance and to receive God’s mercy in the here and now. Apart from the Word of God we stumble and fall and fail.
We must assimilate the Word of God in faith, prayer. How is it that we assimilate the Word of God? Revelation 10:10 has the Word of God as a little scroll sweet as honey in the mouth but sour in the stomach, echoing Ezekiel 3:3. Jeremiah 15:16 also has the Word of God as a joy and delight upon being devoured. It is safe to say that if we never read the Sacred Text or listen to it proclaimed we will never assimilate the Word of God. To read or listen to Sacred Scripture is a privileged form of prayer. Part of assimilating the Word of God in faith is to believe that Sacred Scripture is God speaking to us in human language through the inspired human authors.
We must put the Word of God into practice. It is one thing for us to “know” Sacred Scripture and another for us to live accordingly. While every word of Sacred Scripture is on the hard-drive of my computer and on-line, neither the computer nor internet “know” anything. They are only tools. To put the Word of God into practice means we are not to slander anyone (cf. Proverbs 30:10; Ephesians 4:31-32; James 4:11). Putting the Word of God into practice means we will be chaste not lustful (cf. Matthew 5:28; Romans 13:13; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7; 1 John 2:16). Greed, similarly is contrary to the practice of the Word of God in our lives (cf. Proverbs 15:27; Romans 1:29; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 2 Peter 2:3, 14)…
God bless you!
Father John Arthur Orr

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