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Jane Smoot wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am trying to understand the concept values and discipleship as it relates to our faith.

  • Also, what do they have to do with our conscience?

Regards,

Jane Smoot

  { Can you explain 'values' and 'discipleship' as it relates to faith and where does conscience fit in? }

Mike replied:

Dear Jane,

You said:
I am trying to understand the concept values and discipleship as it relates to our faith.

  • Also, what do they have to do with our conscience?

I probably can't articulate an answer as well as my colleagues can, so allow me to give you a foundational source for my answer from the Catechism. These two back-to-back articles from the Catechism give you a good context for my reply and a good perspective of the ideal Christian world from the Church's view: (They may appear to be lengthy but they are worth reading!)

Chapter Two: The Human Community

Values (and virtues) are those Christian moral principles, Jesus taught us to follow; some are easier to follow than others; those others can be really hard. When practiced:

  • inwardly and outwardly
  • by words and deeds
  • Sunday through Saturday

the faith of that Christian shines. Remember being any type of Christian is not a part-time job; it is a 24/7 job!

The Catechism also states:

Moral Conscience

I. [Under] The Judgment of Conscience

1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:

Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.

John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk," V, in 
Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching
 II
(London: Longmans Green, 1885), 248.

So conscience is discerning the right thing to do, from the wrong thing, in a given situation. It is the obligation of the Christian to know basic Christian teaching so he or she can make informed Christian decisions throughout life.

Values, discipleship, our faith, and conscience.

  • Christian values and virtues are a critical part of our faith that we should all strive to practice regularly.
  • Discipleship (values, virtues, and teachings) consist of practicing these virtues while bringing the faith to others who have never heard about Jesus or the Catholic faith He founded.
  • A formed conscience is what the Christian uses to make solid, holy decisions in an array of worldly situations he or she will encounter in life.

My colleagues may have more to add.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Paul replied:

Jane,

To sum it up by using all three of your words in a sentence:

We must form our conscience according to Christian values by being His disciples.

Jesus said in John 8:31-32:

31 If you remain in my word you will be my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:31-32

Peace,

Paul

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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