My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
"STRIVING TO HAVE A CONSCIENCE (συνείδησιν) WITHOUT
OFFENSE TOWARD GOD AND MEN" (Acts 24:16).
It is a good thing for all to have a healthy and sensitive conscience. A conscience that is vibrant, chaste, prudent, pure, loving, righteous, discerning, compassionate, and open to God’s grace. A good conscience is obedient to her Creator, reverent, faithful, grace-filled, and virtuous. It is a conduit between the person and the Lord Who through it communicates with us and guides us.
Man has a tendency to ignore and neglect his soul. Although it is the soul which gives life to the body, a soul which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" [Matthew 16:26]. A good conscience serves and gives voice to the soul. It is referred to as the "inner voice." A voice acting as a guide to righteousness as well as righteousness and/or wrongness of one’s behavior and conduct.
A faithful and pure conscience is essential to man’s salvation. A good Christian relies on his conscience while striving to have a strong spiritual life, a life in Christ. By and through the grace of the Holy Spirit, the conscience is energized and vivified. Spiritually speaking the conscience has the potential to develop and grow in Christ. It becomes a type of compass for man to follow his true path that leads to God’s Kingdom and Eternal life.
The conscience just like man’s soul and body needs constant nourishment and to be nurtured. Our conscience is fed and nourished by the grace of the Holy Spirit, a virtuous and holy life. A life of humility, repentance, obedience to God’s commandments, faithful prayer, and sacramental life. By receiving forgiveness and cleansing through the Mysterion of Repentance and Confession. With the reception of the Divine Eucharist, the Most Precious and Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. And by helping our fellow man and those who are suffering and neglected.
The Orthodox Christians believer strengthens his/her communion with God when the conscience is sensitive and open to God’s word. It is in this unique and special place that man and woman strengthen his/her communion with God Who speaks to our heart and helps us to discern right from wrong, from good or evil, and to understand what path to take which leads to salvation. It is the voice of our conscience that leads us to come to our senses when we have lost our way and are sinful and remorseful and feeling unworthy before the Lord. and repenting of our evil actions.
A good conscience serves as our teacher and as our best friend. A friend that always has good intentions and desires only what is good for us. A conscience that adheres to Christian morals and spiritual precepts and strives to do good and avoid doing evil. A conscience that is dependable to cry out and renders judgment about the goodness or evil of a specific act or choice in a circumstance of the moment. A conscience that evaluates the various choices we make and determines with certainty if it is contrary to God’s law.
There is, however, another kind of conscience, a conscience is known as a petrofied or hardened conscience. In Greek it is called peporomene syneidesis. A conscince in other words which is dead. A conscience that has been corrupted and has become obsolete and useless. A conscience which not leads to destruction but hell itself. It is, therefore, extremely important that all of us remain alert and vigilant, that we maintain our communion with God and that our conscience is fed constantly by the Life-Giving grace of the Holy Spirit. That the believer must have a consistent and powerful prayer life, a sacramental lilfe, that our faith and commitment to God is undiminished, that we free our conscience and soul from the passions, that there is not even a hint of hatred towards anyone, that our heart is filled with love for all, and that we avoid completely pride and vanity.
Another word for sin in Greek is englema which it means crime. The Christian who commits sin against ansyone is a spiritual criminal. He or she becomes a lawbreaker, a person who intentionally breaks God’s law. It shows arrogance, unbelief, lack of fear of God, open defiance and disobedience. In so doing we bring demnation and condemnation upon ourselves. It is perhaps a spiritual suiside. That kind of attitude is insane and evil. In the Lord’s Prayer, our Lord taught us to ask God the Father to "deliver us from the evil one." No Christian could ever be so foolish or not undertand the outcome of such a rebelion against the Almighty God. Remember what happened to Lucifer, the angel of light and the conequences of his evil and rebelious actions against His Creator and God.
Pray always for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to protect and guide you and your conscience so that it will remain good, pure and holy. Amen.
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God