A Matter of Conscience

And before I end, just a few words about conscience.

In order to live integrity well, in order to possess a keen sense of what is morally right and to strictly adhere to it, in order to be honorable men and women, we must always make use of our conscience. We should never set it aside in any endeavor. We should make sure it is in good shape. Do not allow it to get rusty or dented. Do not allow it to get perverted and weird.


Without our conscience functioning well and always, we cannot see clearly the path God has pointed out to us that leads to genuine happiness. Do not allow anyone to murder your soul by destroying your ability to distinguish between good and evil. Bad example from our elders and even our peers could influence us the wrong way. A lot of popular culture could help pervert our conscience. Many times we allow ourselves to be deceived.


So surround yourselves with friends who help you to be good. Do not expose yourselves to environments that are amoral or even immoral. And practice self-discipline in all that you do, whether you eat, drink and engaged in merry-making, do all for the love of God.


Once when I lectured at the Securities and Exchange Commission in their EDSA headquarters, a participant came up to me and handed me a sheet of paper with the following printed words.


There is no witness

so Terrible;
No accuser
so Powerful,
as Conscience

which dwells in us.


Conscience warns us

as a friend

before it

punishes us as

a judge.


Its torture is

the Hell
of a living Soul!


Labor hard to keep alive

on your breast
that little spark
of celestial fire

called Conscience.


So if we want to nourish our spiritual lives with the healthy food of values and virtues, we must make sure we use our conscience always. We must make sure we strive hard to form our conscience well. And in this matter, it is important to have a good friend who could be our confidant. A friend whom we trust and whom we can share our inner thoughts and feelings. A friend who will not betray us and who will demand a lot from us in our struggle to be virtuous. Find a friend like that and your path to happiness, though narrow and hard, becomes easy and joyful.


The author finished his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Navarre. He has given hundreds of seminars on ethics and professional development to a wide range of audiences: students, teachers, government employees and company executives for the past 30 years. He is currently the Executive Director of the Institute for Values and Professional Development which provides seminars and training on values education to people of all walks of life. 

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