Speaking of Conscience

● Whenever you want to subdue your high and proud thoughts, examine your conscience carefully: Have you kept all the commandments? Have you loved your enemies and been kind to them in their misfortunes?
– Abba Or (The Sayings of the Desert Fathers)

● Do not disregard your conscience, which always counsels you of the best. It puts before you divine and angelic advice; it frees you from the hidden stains of your heart...
– St. Maximus the Confessor (The Four Centuries on Charity)

● When God created man, He breathed into him something divine, as it were a hot and bright spark added to reason, which lit up the mind and showed him the difference between right and wrong. This is called the conscience, which is the law of his nature.... To this law of conscience adhered the patriarchs and all the holy men of old before the written law, and they were pleasing to God. But when this law was buried and trodden underfoot by men through the onset of sin, we needed a written law, we needed the holy prophets, we needed the instruction of our Master, Jesus Christ, to reveal it and raise it up and bring to life through the observance of the Commandments that buried spark.
– Dorotheos of Gaza (Discourses and Sayings)

● Conscience in men is nothing else but the voice of the omnipresent God moving in the hearts of men, as He Who alone Is and has created everything, the Lord knows all as Himself ... ‘His eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men’ (Jer 32:19). ‘Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?
– St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ, Part 1)

● Do not be double-tongued, saying one thing when your conscience says another. For Scripture places such people under a curse.
– St. Kosmas Aitolos (17th-century priest-monk)

● We come to the conclusion that it would be a mistake to defend the right of Christians to defend whatever political idea that pleases them. Christians do not have the right to ... be opposed to the Gospel spirit of love, mercy and the brotherhood of people.

– Nikolai Berdyaev
Journal Put’, No. 59, February-April 1939

Spring Issue IC 56/ PASCHA  2010