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  #1  
Old Jun 17, '12, 1:08 am
starrygirl starrygirl is offline
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Default "Follow your conscience"

My confessor told me to "follow my conscience", probably because he sensed I was being scrupulous during my confession. Sometimes, I am scared whether that voice I have in my head is really conscience or that of the devil. I am trying to be rational and logical, but sometimes there is just so much doubt.

Another thing, what if while I am doubting myself, struggling between decisions but I do have some valid reasons to do the thing that I might feel is wrong, does that count as a mortal sin?
Such as before when I thought I can't cook on the Sabbath and I cooked it since I did remember think this was a necessary condition (under my very confused mind that even shopping isn't allowed or eating out is doubtful so I must cook to eat and I was starving) and I read somewhere about Catholics stir-frying on Sabbath so I cooked, while trying to avoid doing too much work during my cooking and avoiding to sin. Though I was so worried that I think I might have been, but I felt so helpless at that time, because I had no idea about the truth, does that count me as having the intention to sin? If that's so, does that count as a mortal sin in itself?
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  #2  
Old Jun 17, '12, 1:20 am
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Trishie Trishie is offline
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

Dear one, it is most certainly not a mortal sin, and not Catholic teaching.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church no mention is made of not cooking:



2184 Just as God "rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,"121 human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord's Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.122

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

[And your health includes eating food.]


2193 "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body" (CIC, can. 1247).To cook yourself a meal or pick up some necessary shopping, does not "impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body."

2194 The institution of Sunday helps all "to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives" (GS 67 3).

The Catechism teaching when we need to work:

The Catechism. Church teaching, even takes into account those who have to work on Sundays In paragraph 2187 we are informed that "Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. .

This paragraph alone can tell you that the Church is charitable in how it requires Catholics to live on Sundays
So you see, it is a time for worshiping God, and a day of rest, but the Church does not lay heavy burdens of what you must and must not do as you enjoy Sunday.
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Last edited by Trishie; Jun 17, '12 at 1:39 am.
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  #3  
Old Jun 17, '12, 1:21 am
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LilyM LilyM is online now
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

A very simple rule of thumb - if you don't KNOW, with 100% certainty or near as, that something is a grave sin at the time you are doing it, then it cannot possibly be a mortal sin.

It seems like you had nothing approaching certainty, simply a heck of a lot of confusion. So no mortal sin. Be at peace.

For future reference, cooking is absolutely not forbidden on Sundays. As hou havr roghtky discerned, it is a necessary rather than superfluous type of work. And for many it is a recreation and enjoyment rather than a chore.

In fact it is a tradition in many families, Catholic ones included, to get together for an extra special family meal on that day. Involving more cooking than a simple weekday meal. Hardly possible if cooking on Sundays was a sin, no?

In fact I remember as a child that our priest would often be invited along to our sumptuous Sunday spreads. Again, never a word about it being a sin!
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  #4  
Old Jun 17, '12, 2:23 am
starrygirl starrygirl is offline
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

Thanks!

I know there is something called Errenous judgement. Since there is not really a
Literal voice inside our heads, how can we know the judgement which we follow is right? The best solution is to hand everything to God, but are there any types of 'symptoms' that you are listening to the wrong one?








(just to clear things up, though I have asked about cooking on the Sabbath, I am not duplicating threads as though they both involve the same incident, the types of questions are not the same)
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  #5  
Old Jun 17, '12, 4:10 am
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

Quote:
Originally Posted by starrygirl View Post
My confessor told me to "follow my conscience", probably because he sensed I was being scrupulous during my confession. Sometimes, I am scared whether that voice I have in my head is really conscience or that of the devil. I am trying to be rational and logical, but sometimes there is just so much doubt.
Your confessor, who I am sure knows you well, told you to "follow your conscience".
What does this mean???
It means that your confessor has great confidence in that your judgement.
So trust your confessor and move forward in confidence.

Quote:
Another thing, what if while I am doubting myself, struggling between decisions but I do have some valid reasons to do the thing that I might feel is wrong, does that count as a mortal sin?
Such as before when I thought I can't cook on the Sabbath and I cooked it since I did remember think this was a necessary condition (under my very confused mind that even shopping isn't allowed or eating out is doubtful so I must cook to eat and I was starving) and I read somewhere about Catholics stir-frying on Sabbath so I cooked, while trying to avoid doing too much work during my cooking and avoiding to sin. Though I was so worried that I think I might have been, but I felt so helpless at that time, because I had no idea about the truth, does that count me as having the intention to sin? If that's so, does that count as a mortal sin in itself?
These things do not count as mortal sins....The most important point above is where you say this..."I felt so helpless at that time, because I had no idea about the truth...". One cannot commit mortal sin without sufficient knowledge.

In the matter of doing things on the Sabbath, Jesus spoke firmly against getting too anal about this. As he and the apostles were walking through a field the Apostles were pulling grain heads and eating them because they were hungry.
"FORBIDDEN", cried the Pharisees!!!
Jesus reply?? "The Sabbath was made for man not man for the sabbath"...
In other words. The sabbath is for "rest" and whatever is not work is fine - so if you "feel like" doing something (cooking or whatever) go right ahead.

Hope some of this helps.

Peace
James
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  #6  
Old Jun 17, '12, 9:17 am
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

Sounds like you need a regular confessor....to assist you.
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  #7  
Old Jun 17, '12, 9:53 am
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyM View Post
A very simple rule of thumb - if you don't KNOW, with 100% certainty or near as, that something is a grave sin at the time you are doing it, then it cannot possibly be a mortal sin.
I would not put it quite that way...at least as a general statement for all.

------------------------------------

Also I would note that if one say has good reason to think something may be a mortal sin -they ought not do it but first find out --via study or advice etc etc.

Granted though a person who struggles with scruples can be in a different boat than others....due to their scruples. They can have all sorts of fears etc that they mistake for their conscience (which as with everyone needs to be well formed)..seeing sin where it is not and mortal sin where it is venial. They can get quite "paralysied" in action due to their unfounded fears (scruples!).

They need to have a regular confessor and follow his direction (unless of course it is clearly sinful --like go murder my secretary or use contraception) and he can give the person some general principles to follow to help them act against scruples and avoid being paralysed (which are not for others with a normal conscience-or perhaps even for others with scruples --some are often given historically ...others may be more particular for a person).

-------------------

Regarding Mortal Sin -- here is a nice summary from the compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

395. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

396. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.
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  #8  
Old Jun 17, '12, 9:58 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: "Follow your conscience"

Scruples or those who are even of higher degrees of scrupulosity take venial sin to be mortal...or non sins to be sins....or are plagued by doubts...unreasonable fears/anxieties about sins..seeing them or fearing them where they need not...etc etc

The french call it the doubting disease (though it is not a disease) for one has lot of problems knowing one knows...thus with "doubt" (or more often rather "apparent doubt")

Of course there are degrees and it is possible for a person to have generally a delicate conscience or a normal conscience and still have a struggle with scruples in certain areas.....or to have very transient scruples at the time of their conversion ...

and a person may go from one to the other....

one combats scruples with a good regular confessor....

by forming ones conscience...(with such as the Catechism etc)

and with the confessors guidance acting against ones scruples...

possibly by general principles given often historically by confessors to deal with scruples

by prayer.....

by trust and joy in living the Christian life....(not necessarily "emotional" by the way)

With the help of your confessor:

Contra scruplos agendum est, et fixo operis pede certandum

(Act contrary to scruples and with a firm foot overcome them)

Overcoming ones scruples..ones fears with a "firm foot". Learning to act against them under the guidance of your confessor. Dismiss them. Not argue with them. (for example the regular confessor says..."unless you are certain you have committed a mortal sin..go to communion"...and you feel the fear and the doubts and the worries at the time of communion "but perhaps I committed one...?" you tell yourself "I am not certain of any mortal sins and my confessor told me to go" and you act against your fears and go to Communion! or ones confessor says regarding old past sins "only confess old sins if you are certain it was a mortal sin and certain you have not confessed it...(such is often the advice for those who are scrupulous)" one does just that) etc

(in a way one needs be "scrupulous" about attending to ones scruples...)

When scruples arise --turn to God and let them pass by.

Scruples are to be treated like a barking dog or a hissing goose..one does not stop to argue with a barking dog or a hissing goose does one? (image borrowed from a 15th cent. Carthusian).

They are to be "despised"..."dismissed"....

And again a regular confessor is very important here..in even coming to know what ones scruples are...and then what to dismiss... It is he who can particularly guide a person with these difficulties.
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