Dear Family of Mary!
“…Because God is love and freedom, therefore, little children, when they want to put you in bonds and to use you, it is not from God…” (10/25/21)
In the October 25, 2021 message, Our Lady speaks about a topic I have never heard her speak of before. It has to do with social manipulation which seeks to dictate our moral choices and limit our freedom. She tells us that God is love and freedom! This is so true. God never forces us to do anything. He offers the way of truth and love, and invites us to follow it. But God never manipulates us or violates our conscience. That is how you can discern God’s voice. He speaks in our hearts, with respect and love, with an offer to show us the right way, but without manipulation. The enemy on the other hand loves to manipulate us and get us in a corner.
That corner is what Our Lady means when she says, “When they want to put you in bonds and to use you, it is not from God.” When we feel cornered we are in bonds. When we feel we must do what our conscience tells us we should not do, because of pressure from others, this is not from God.
So much can be said about this. St. John Paul II wrote several encyclicals that contained extensive discussion on the problem of human freedom and truth. I have included below a section of Veritatis Splendor, (The Splendor of the Truth) in which he discusses the conscience as the location where our freedom is lived out in our hearts through our conversations with God! It is really important to have the correct understanding of our conscience.
St. John Paul II
The judgment of conscience
57. The text of the Letter to the Romans which has helped us to grasp the essence of the natural law also indicates the biblical understanding of conscience, especially in its specific connection with the law: “When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law unto themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them” (Rom 2:14-15).
According to Saint Paul, conscience in a certain sense confronts man with the law, and thus becomes a “witness” for man: a witness of his own faithfulness or unfaithfulness with regard to the law, of his essential moral rectitude or iniquity. Conscience is the only witness, since what takes place in the heart of the person is hidden from the eyes of everyone outside. Conscience makes its witness known only to the person himself. And, in turn, only the person himself knows what his own response is to the voice of conscience.
58. The importance of this interior dialogue of man with himself can never be adequately appreciated. But it is also a dialogue of man with God, the author of the law, the primordial image and final end of man. Saint Bonaventure teaches that “conscience is like God’s herald and messenger; it does not command things on its own authority, but commands them as coming from God’s authority, like a herald when he proclaims the edict of the king. This is why conscience has binding force”. Thus it can be said that conscience bears witness to man’s own rectitude or iniquity to man himself but, together with this and indeed even beforehand, conscience is the witness of God himself, whose voice and judgment penetrate the depths of man’s soul, calling him fortiter et suaviter to obedience. “Moral conscience does not close man within an insurmountable and impenetrable solitude, but opens him to the call, to the voice of God. In this, and not in anything else, lies the entire mystery and the dignity of the moral conscience: in being the place, the sacred place where God speaks to man”
59. Saint Paul does not merely acknowledge that conscience acts as a “witness”; he also reveals the way in which conscience performs that function. He speaks of “conflicting thoughts” which accuse or excuse the Gentiles with regard to their behavior (cf. Rom 2:15). The term “conflicting thoughts” clarifies the precise nature of conscience: it is a moral judgment about man and his actions, a judgment either of acquittal or of condemnation, according as human acts are in conformity or not with the law of God written on the heart. In the same text the Apostle clearly speaks of the judgment of actions, the judgment of their author and the moment when that judgment will be definitively rendered: “(This will take place) on that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” (Rom 2:16).
The judgment of conscience is a practical judgment, a judgment which makes known what man must do or not do, or which assesses an act already performed by him. It is a judgment which applies to a concrete situation the rational conviction that one must love and do good and avoid evil. This first principle of practical reason is part of the natural law; indeed it constitutes the very foundation of the natural law, inasmuch as it expresses that primordial insight about good and evil, that reflection of God’s creative wisdom which, like an imperishable spark (scintilla animae), shines in the heart of every man. But whereas the natural law discloses the objective and universal demands of the moral good, conscience is the application of the law to a particular case; this application of the law thus becomes an inner dictate for the individual, a summons to do what is good in this particular situation. Conscience thus formulates moral obligation in the light of the natural law: it is the obligation to do what the individual, through the workings of his conscience, knows to be a good he is called to do here and now. The universality of the law and its obligation are acknowledged, not suppressed, once reason has established the law’s application in concrete present circumstances. The judgment of conscience states “in an ultimate way” whether a certain particular kind of behavior is in conformity with the law; it formulates the proximate norm of the morality of a voluntary act, “applying the objective law to a particular case”.
60. Like the natural law itself and all practical knowledge, the judgment of conscience also has an imperative character: man must act in accordance with it. If man acts against this judgment or, in a case where he lacks certainty about the rightness and goodness of a determined act, still performs that act, he stands condemned by his own conscience, the proximate norm of personal morality. The dignity of this rational forum and the authority of its voice and judgments derive from the truth about moral good and evil, which it is called to listen to and to express. This truth is indicated by the “divine law”, the universal and objective norm of morality. The judgment of conscience does not establish the law; rather it bears witness to the authority of the natural law and of the practical reason with reference to the supreme good, whose attractiveness the human person perceives and whose commandments he accepts. “Conscience is not an independent and exclusive capacity to decide what is good and what is evil. Rather there is profoundly imprinted upon it a principle of obedience vis-à-vis the objective norm which establishes and conditions the correspondence of its decisions with the commands and prohibitions which are at the basis of human behavior”.
61. The truth about moral good, as that truth is declared in the law of reason, is practically and concretely recognized by the judgment of conscience, which leads one to take responsibility for the good or the evil one has done. If man does evil, the just judgment of his conscience remains within him as a witness to the universal truth of the good, as well as to the malice of his particular choice. But the verdict of conscience remains in him also as a pledge of hope and mercy: while bearing witness to the evil he has done, it also reminds him of his need, with the help of God’s grace, to ask forgiveness, to do good and to cultivate virtue constantly.
Consequently in the practical judgment of conscience, which imposes on the person the obligation to perform a given act, the link between freedom and truth is made manifest. Precisely for this reason conscience expresses itself in acts of “judgment” which reflect the truth about the good, and not in arbitrary “decisions”. The maturity and responsibility of these judgments — and, when all is said and done, of the individual who is their subject — are not measured by the liberation of the conscience from objective truth, in favor of an alleged autonomy in personal decisions, but, on the contrary, by an insistent search for truth and by allowing oneself to be guided by that truth in one’s actions. (Veritatis Splendor. https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html )
I share this because St. John Paul had made it his aim to teach extensively on what makes us human, how we must live with our dignity and freedom in communion with God, etc. He knew that in our day our fundamental freedom would be under attack and we would have to understand how God made us in order to defend life, defend truth, defend freedom, and defend our faith.
God bless all of you! You might try to read Veritatis Splendor, and let St. John Paul II minister to your heart and mind with his great understanding of God and Man!
In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
Mary TV 2021