In this lesson we explore the value of a good conscience in "Imitation of Christ."Preview This Lesson
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Mosaic in the South Gallery, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Let’s read each paragraph of Chapter VI and break them down as we go.
The testimony of a good conscience is the glory of a good man. Have a good conscience and thou shalt ever have joy. A good conscience is able to bear exceeding much, and is exceeding joyful in the midst of adversities; an evil conscience is ever fearful and unquiet. Thou shalt rest sweetly if thy heart condemn thee not. Never rejoice unless when thou hast done well. The wicked have never true joy, nor feel internal peace, for there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.(1) And if they say "we are in peace, there shall no harm happen unto us, and who shall dare to do us hurt?" believe them not, for suddenly shall the wrath of God rise up against them, and their deeds shall be brought to nought, and their thoughts shall perish.
To have a good conscience means to have a firm grasp of the Truth. And because Truth never changes, a good conscience leads to joy and peace. Difficult times are seen for what they really are: temporary and unable to change what God has promised. Those with a weak or evil conscience don’t have a firm grasp on the Truth, and therefore are tossed about like a ship in a storm. They follow every worldly “truth” that comes along. And while these persons may appear to be happy, and say that they are happy, they do not have any one place to stop and be still, like we do in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
2. To glory in tribulation is not grievous to him who loveth; for such glorying is glorying in the Cross of Christ. Brief is the glory which is given and received of men. Sadness always goeth hand in hand with the glory of the world. The glory of the good is in their conscience, and not in the report of men. The joy of the upright is from God and in God, and their joy is in the truth. He who desireth true and eternal glory careth not for that which is temporal; and he who seeketh temporal glory, or who despiseth it from his heart, is proved to bear little love for that which is heavenly. He who careth for neither praises nor reproaches hath great tranquillity of heart.
It is nice to be praised, to be noticed for the good things we do. But the people who praise us can just as easily become critical of us and make us feel bad. This doesn’t lessen the goodness of the good things we do, but the temporary nature of worldly praise should encourage us to keep in mind how much more praise we ... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
7th Grade: Morality: Lesson 14: The "Imitation of Christ," Book II, Chapter VI is part of the following course(s):