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Armor of God for Immoral Times

Updated: May 17

The pressures of social and cultural conformity can wreak havoc on our consciences.

To jab or not to jab. To sleep in on Sunday after an exhausting week or to keep holy the Lord’s Day. To covet our neighbor’s goods or to give thanks to God for our blessings. To do as I will or to align my will with God’s. The list can go on and on.


The constant deliberations can weaken our souls, and the devil can push us to sin and despair. But, Our Lord in His infinite mercy has not left us without help — or hope.


In Episode Three of Right Reason, the late Dr. Charles Rice, former professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, discusses the “moral equipment” God has given His people to negotiate the temptations and traps.


Dr. Rice points to the teaching authority of the Catholic faith, i.e., the Magisterium. It can be easily dismissed as out-of-date by poorly catechized generations, but, he says, “conscience needs the magisterium.”


He reminds us that Pope John Paul II taught the Magisterium is “a great gift from God” to help us seek the good and to form our consciences toward it.


Rice also points to the address of Pope Benedict XVI, then Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger, to US bishops in 1991 about the moral magnet built into the soul of every human. Beyond the Decalogue being written on the heart of everyone, the pontiff explained that also built into us is a remembrance of the “ordered” way things were before the Fall.


Ratzinger called it “anamnesis” — the opposite of amnesia or forgetfulness — the deep recollection of things past that guides our conscience.


We need all the moral armament we can muster during this time of great spiritual uncertainty. Tuning in to this third episode of Right Reason gives us further counsel about how to form and deploy our consciences toward the serious business of getting to Heaven.


Dr. Barbara Toth has a doctorate in rhetoric and composition from Bowling Green State University. She has taught at universities in the US, China and Saudi Arabia. Her work in setting up a writing center at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahmen University, an all-women's university in Riyadh, has been cited in American journals. Toth has published academic and non-academic articles and poems internationally.

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