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Persons who freely follow conscience and try to do what is right, are being drawn by God's Spirit, even if they do not know it.
The 'ground' in which we walk, in our spiritual lives, suffers from subsidence and becomes dangerously frail when the pure water-pipe of sound doctrine is broken by our disbelief. To have a weak faith, or to follow an erroneous conscience, is to walk along a road which is likely to collapse when tested by a heavy load.
With a peaceful heart, and a peaceful conscience, a happy friend of Christ can 'lean' on Him, in Holy Communion.
Christ told me, as we prayed together, that although I had just been looking at my picture of Hell, He was at that moment seeing the reality. He can see all those souls who refused to listen to Him as He spoke through their conscience, their good friends, and the Church. He gave them freedom; they chose to ignore Him.
The Lord asks us to persevere in prayer for atheists. When we do so, it's as if He lets down a rope from Heaven, into the hole in the ground where they choose to live. They have blinded themselves to His existence by ignoring the glory of the natural world, the weight of human testimony, and the call of conscience.
In permitting an evil such as the killing of unborn babies, society contributes to the depressed state of many women. If encouraged to love their babies, they could have flourished, even in difficult circumstances, but having done wrong, and knowing it, many women carry a burden of guilt, made worse at every reminder, or anniversary.
No theologian will do well if he only reads and reflects upon truth. He or she needs the Divine Light, which is given in prayer, when a person opens a door from the inside so to speak, and becomes illuminated - mind, heart and conscience - to 'see' truth in what is being studied, and to be of one mind with God and his Church.
Many Catholics like to appear strong, to fit in with the world. We must not do wrong, to please a secular or atheistic government. When there is confusion or near-panic amongst Catholics about dealing with the world and organising medical or surgical care, or schooling or Catechesis, in ways which fit in with the guidelines of a secular government, the Pope, and Christ Himself, serve as exemplars. If we do what is right, and do nothing wrong, willing to accept the consequences, we will please God and have peaceful consciences.
Each human being is a body-with-a-soul. It's as if, by having free-will, we can choose to open the door of our heart or soul to let in God's light, or we can keep the door shut, ignore our consciences, and live in spiritual darkness.
Christ wants everyone to know and serve Him, in His Church. Everyone who claims to know Christ's Will, and professes a desire to lead people to Christ, must examine his conscience. He must answer to God for what he sees in his own heart. Each of us knows if we are really urging people to turn to Christ, or are encouraging indifferentism, saying it doesn't really matter about commitment or Baptism.
Whether we are lay-persons, or Clergy - even Cardinals - every committed Christian should examine his or her conscience, to see whether, in a time of indifferentism, each is leading people to surrender to Christ: not to a Christ of the imagination, but to the only Christ, the One guiding His Church, sharing His life in her sacraments and wanting us all to obey and love Him.
We should all be aware that actions have consequences. Everyone deserves to be reminded of these truths: Life ends. There is either Heaven or Hell, in the end, for each of us. That is what every priest and Bishop should say, when he is asked to speak about salvation - even to children. Like adults, children who have reached the age of reason should be encouraged to recognise right and wrong actions, and to form their consciences in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
This is a picture of a mind, as someone wonders if he can avoid a moral obligation. Although we can freely make any one of several decisions, in following a good career, or choosing a spouse, for example; yet when we are reluctant to act, in moral issues, we often see that there is only one way - Christ's Way - by which we can please God, do good, help others, and gain or re-gain our peace of conscience. He can give us the courage to walk where He leads us. We can avoid our kaleidoscope of temptations, and call on Christ to lead us: to holiness and Heaven.
Some Catholics wonder why other Catholics look so light-hearted and joyful. There can be several reasons; but a main reason is because those who have had their sins forgiven have a peaceful conscience, and look forward to the joys of Heaven. Those who cannot be bothered to go to Confession, or who persuade themselves that they do not sin, do not receive such happiness and peace.
We all need the prayers and intercessions of others. There is only one Way across the gulf that separates earth from Heaven, and we shall not cross it when we die if we have wandered away, far from the bridge, looking for all sorts of distractions from our ordinary duties, or avoiding the call of conscience, or unwilling to suffer for Christ by remaining faithful. Perseverance is all-important, by the grace of God.
Some people ignore all God's warnings about sin. It is a terrible tragedy, that some people determinedly refuse to listen to God, and refuse to accept His gifts, refusing to obey His laws and His Church, as well as their own conscience, in order to fulfil selfish desires. There can be no change of direction, after death; and some find themselves trapped forever in Hell, without God, through their own fault.
An atheist might search for a sense of purpose, or create one for himself, giving himself to what attracts him; but he has no 'solid ground' beneath his feet as he makes day-to-day decisions, without belief in a Creator and the main purpose of leading a virtuous life, as a child of God. With fluctuating morals, or a malformed conscience, or mere pragmatism as a guide, an atheist has not the joy and hope of being on the Way to Heaven.
It is not irrational, to conclude from what we see and know, that there is a Divine Creator of all that exists. We can look at the order in the whole universe, and the wondrous development of an embryonic human being who becomes a fully-grown adult, who thinks and reasons - and who can choose, guided by his 'in-built' conscience, to do good or evil.
There are still many people who have not yet heard the Gospel preached. It is true, as the Church teaches, that it is possible for a person not baptised to be saved. However, this is far less likely than many people suppose, for the simple reason that many non-Christians have committed grave sins - as Christians have - but have never repented. Many have refused to join the Church, or mocked her, or mocked her priests; and of the rest, how many have followed the promptings of their conscience, for a life-time, until death, to do good and to avoid what everyone should know is evil? Only God knows.
There is a tremendous need for intercessary prayer. It is possible for the non-baptised to be saved, if they have never heard the Gospel but have persevered until death in doing good and avoiding evil; but many non-Christians have refused to believe in Christ. Others have committed grave sin and refused to repent. Others have mocked the Church or mocked her priests. Others have ignored the call of conscience, and followed selfish ways, knowing these were wrong. Thousands fall into Hell, everyday, alongside unrepentant Christians.
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