This lesson explores conscience formation in light of the Ten Commandments, beginning with the first three commandments.Preview This Lesson
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The Ten Commandments are an important first step in conscience formation because they tell us the most important things we should and should not do. They also teach us how to prioritize our knowledge of right and wrong. Primary consideration always belongs to God, with man following. This is why the first three of the Ten Commandments are:
Benediction of God the Father, Luca Cambiaso (c. 1565)
The moral qualities of these three commandments are fidelity, honor, and obedience. Fidelity to God is supremely important; nothing else should come before our relationship with God. Honoring God combines things like respect, giving due attention, and protection from harm. Obedience is accepting and following God’s commands. All three of these moral qualities fall under the virtue of justice. Fidelity, honor, and obedience to God is just because they rightfully belong to He who created all things.
To weigh our actions against the moral qualities of the first three commandments, our conscience should determine whether the act 1) puts something else before God, 2) does not honor God, and/or 3) disobeys God’s Law.
Under the influence of concupiscence, these are not always answered easily or correctly. Most often we have a hard time ordering our life properly. We choose to read or watch TV instead of praying. We confide in our friends, but not God. We are more worried about what is for lunch than what the priest says in his homily. Being at the championship game is more important than being at Mass. It is very easy to put other things and people before God, but these things lose their true value because they don’t move you closer to God—they move around Him.
A serious offense against the moral qualities of the first three commandments is fully, and/or frequently, participating in the worship of false religions. For reasons that we will explore in a later lesson, the idea that it is ok to actively worship at the services of false religions is a dangerous one. Participating in false worship services shows that we believe it has equal value to the Catholic Liturgy. If there appears to be no more value in the Catholic Liturgy over any other kind of worship, then it also appears that no religion has more value over any other. Participating in false religions, quite simply, is infidelity to God. And this would b... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
7th Grade: Morality: Lesson 4: Conscience Formation and the Ten Commandments 1-3 is part of the following course(s):