What does it mean to form my conscience?
Faithful citizenship is about more than voting in elections. It requires ongoing participation in the continuing political and legislative process. And in order to do that, we need to do the hard work of forming our consciences.
A well-formed conscience that allows us make well-reasoned judgments about particular, real-life situations does not come to us overnight. It comes through prayer, learning, and conversation.
As the U.S. Bishops explain in their document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, "Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere 'feeling' about what we should or should not do.... Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil."
In the coming weeks, we hope to provide helpful resources and opportunities for prayer and reflection to form our consciences now and for years to come. To learn more, visit our Faithful Citizenship page at necatholic.org.
Do I have a good conscience?
We hear that a well-formed conscience should be our guide in life and in the voting booth, but how do we know if we have a good conscience? Fr. Mike Schmitz helps us explore that in this short video.
“A well-formed conscience is more preoccupied with the question ‘What does God want’ than ‘What do I want?’” - Fr. Mike Schmitz
Let us pray
Merciful Father, Thank you for inviting each of us to join in your work of building the kingdom of love, justice, and peace.
Draw us close to you in prayer as we discern you call in our families and communities.
Send us forth to encounter all whom you love: those not yet born, those in poverty, those in need of welcome.
Inspire us to respond to the call to faithful citizenship, during election season and beyond.
Help us to imitate your charity and compassion and to serve as models of loving dialogue.
Teach us to treat others with respect, even when we disagree and seek to share your love and mercy.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Words from the Saints
“…the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying ad making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.” – Pope St. Paul VI, Dignitatis Humanae
Oct. 5 – Nov. 2: Early voting period
Oct. 2: Request mail-in ballot by this date
Nov. 3: Election Day!
For more information and resources, visit necatholic.org.