Conscience must be informed and moral judgment en-
lightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It
formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with
the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education
of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected
to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own
judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.
The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the
earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice
of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education
teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride,
resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born
of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience
guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.
In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light
for our path;
we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it
into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the
Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided
by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative
teaching of the Church.
Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either
a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or,
on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.
Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make
moral judgments less assured and decision difficult. But he must
always seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will
of God expressed in divine law.
To this purpose, man strives to interpret the data of expe-
rience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence,
by the advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy
Spirit and his gifts.