Monday, 25 March 2019

3rd Sunday of Lent Year C 2019

Have you heard the maxim that “karma is a rabid dog”? (I am being politically correct here). Karma seems to be this democratic force of cosmic justice in the sense that you get what you deserve. (Padan muka, as they say colloquially). For the Jews and many of us, cataclysms, catastrophes or calamities are curses or consequences of sin. If one follows this line of reasoning, the Galileans or the eighteen in the Gospel must be sinners.

Is such a correlation justifiable? For example, the former deputy prime minister claimed that the 2018 quake and tsunami in Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island was God’s retribution against LGBT. What about those who were innocent?

The connexion between sin and tragedy is not directly causal in the sense that bad things will happen to bad people as a result of sin. As scripture says, “God makes His rain to fall on the just and unjust”. In fact, physical evil (earthquakes, broken dams, poor health) or moral evil (murder, theft, corruption) affects those who are good or innocent. In the case of famine, natural disaster or war, those who suffer most are innocent children.[1]

Sin does have a deadly effect but when tragedies strike the innocent, we cannot assume that the cause for their misfortunes is sin. Whilst sin does have an effect on us all, the point is, it does not matter how, where or when one dies. It only matters that we will die. Notwithstanding any all-out attempt to prolong our life, the day will come for us to draw our last breath.

The inevitability of death highlights this Sunday’s theme of sin, grace and repentance, thus, giving us food for thought on how we ought to respond to God’s grace.

Firstly, the Burning Bush unfolds how grace comes to us in the form of a covenant. God made a promise to be with Abraham and His descendants forever. The implication of this covenant is cosmic. God’s choice to enter into relationship with Israel does not end with the Jews. Through Jesus, that covenant is extended to those who are baptised and through the Church, it is to embrace the world. The responsibility is truly heavy to be witnesses of this invitation. However, in the second reading, the outcome of not choosing God is not His punishment or retribution. It is not like if you refuse to be baptised, you are therefore a kafir. Rather the result of wilfully refusing to choose[2] God is to cut oneself from eternal life.

Secondly, God revealed Himself as “I Am who I Am”. This “I Am” is the proper name of God. As in John’s Gospel, the Jews who approached Jesus to apprehend Him fell backward when He answered, “I Am” because they recognised that “I Am” is the proper name of God. In other words, this encounter not only affirmed the divinity of Jesus Christ but also showed how God’s covenant with Abraham remains in play.

If we dwell on God’s proper name, we can draw some implications for the life of grace that He has invited us to.

“I Am” means that God is existence. We are not. Yes, we exist but we are not existence. A particular thing is something because it has the characteristics that makes it what it is. For example, a bird is a bird because it has all the attributes of what makes it a bird—wings, beak, feathers. Hence, essence defines being (or existence). Think of essence as a mould and existence is a flattened piece of dough. What essence does is it cuts out a piece of existence. All created reality is both essence and existence. You can never point to pure existence and say “This is existence”. You can only point to an entity which exists. However, for God both His essence and existence are the same. As St Thomas Aquinas pointed out, God’s essence is to exist.

When we recite the Nicene Creed later, “… Creator of all things visible and invisible…”, it means that a reality, visible or invisible, is able to exist only because God exists and He shares His existence with it. Imagine holding up an object on the palm of your hand and quickly withdrawing your hand, the object will fall onto the ground. The hand is another symbol of existence. Everything exists because God’s hand is holding it up. But, if God chooses to withdraw it, a being ceases to exist.

Is this important?

Yes, it is. How can we not have time and space for the Creator whose chooses to share His existence with us? Visualise this. A criminal who is committing a crime now. Put aside the outrage we feel for his actions, considering that one deplorable ranking that we live in one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the Asia.[3] That criminal, whilst in the process of committing his crime, still breathes because God has not withdrawn His existence from him. We breathe not because we are alive but because God has not revoked our share in His existence. In fact, even as you breathe, God is closer to you than you are to your breath. His proximity reveals the depth of His patience in dealing with us even if we were criminals.

His covenantal faithfulness is reflected in both the Responsorial Psalms and the Gospel. The Psalms’ compassionate love is mirrored in the parable of the fig tree. “For three years now, I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none”. The parable does suggest a limited time-frame for the bearing of fruits but in reality, God’s kindness is immeasurable. He does not “punish” because He is God. Instead, He gives us enough time, and again, despite our failures to make amends. “Unless you repent, you will all perish” is not a threat of punishment but rather the consequence of our wilful choice of remaining in our sins.

The God who makes His rain fall on the just and unjust is remarkable in His forbearance when dealing with sinners. It is not as if God does not want to do anything about “bad” people, like the criminal who hurt his victims. For example, in my head, I am fantasising about a snatch thief who drags his victim clutching to her handbag. It would be nice that he crashes his motorbike into a tree. He does not die but breaks his neck and is paralysed neck down—a quadriplegic is just about the right retribution for such a low-life cretin, no? He deserves to die whereas we, not as despicable as he is, deserves better. The questions to ask are, “How come we are not holier? How come the Church is not pulsating with warm welcome? Why are there many who are lukewarm in living their faith? How come we are not that attractive to others?” The answer is pretty clear. Our personal history is a tapestry of failures and broken promises to God. We ourselves are pretty hard-headed and our conversion takes a long time—longer than we have patience for and quite frustrating too. For, one can come out of confession and immediately commits the same sin. If we who deserve better are that slow in conversion, how much more difficult for a despised criminal?

In summary, God gives us time to turn back to Him. Our challenge is forgetfulness. We need reminders that time is not under our control for we can never predict when our time is up for the Lord is truly mysterious in His allocation of time. According to St Paul, “where sin abounds, grace abounds more” for repentance. Do not delay. God waits to take up residence in our hearts but if we tarry, we might just miss the chance of a lifetime for Him to save us.


[1] It remains a mystery why bad things happen to good people. The heart of the conundrum is really shrouded in the mystery of our redemption and that only God has the answers we long for. Our faith will not shield us from unanswered questions but it does help us to hold on, with hope, that in the fullness of time, the answer that makes sense will come, if not in this world, then in the afterlife.

[2] Here the choice has to be wilful. We are not addressing invincible ignorance, that is, people who, through no fault of theirs are unable to accept God’s invitation.

[3] According to this same ranking, Malaysia hosts 4 of these cities, JB 10th, Klang 5th, PJ 3rd and KL 2nd placing. A humiliation indication of Malaysia Boleh!

Monday, 18 March 2019

2nd Sunday of Lent Year C 2019

Last week, I mentioned that Lent would not be Lent if there were no temptations and how acutely we feel their pull during this penitential season. In the midst of this battle for our souls, we are granted the honour of catching a glimpse of Christ’s glory. Even as we travail the valley of tears, the Transfiguration is a foretaste of our destiny. The second reading which is echoed in the EPIII gives the assurance that when the time comes, “He will raise up in the flesh those who have died and transform the lowly body after the pattern of His own glorious body”.

However, as they descended the mountain, St Peter was tempted to remain where they were. It is a good to feel good. Many of us can resonate with that because we too wish to feel God’s closeness.[1] Whichever the reasons we adduce for our euphoria, it is “unreal” because no one can be ecstatic forever without being crazy; a condition associated with mania. In short, an encounter with the Divine should lead down from the mountain in order that life, ordinary life can go on. In fact, we read further on in the Gospel that Jesus, after this mountain experience, set his face like flint towards Jerusalem. He did not remain up the mountain but stiffen His resolve to complete His mission.

We are, according to St Paul, citizens of two cities—one of heaven and the other of earth. We live both now and for the future. This makes us valuable players in the temporal field and because of our engagement in this temporal arena, we secure our place in heaven. Vatican II laid out a blueprint for immersion. The Church, in particular, through the laity is to reform or renew the temporal order, which according to Gaudium et spes, “The Christian who neglects his temporal duties, neglects his duties toward his neighbour and even God, and jeopardises his eternal salvation… They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation”. (GS43)

In this respect, I like what the Opus Dei stands for. They may not be viewed positively by some Catholics but I think they do have their purpose in the right place. They take very seriously the here and now of what a person is, meaning that through one’s vocation, one becomes the light of Christ and of His grace. In other words, excel at who you are and what you do.

In that way, no matter how small a role a person plays, he or she is working for the betterment of the world. The unfortunate reality is, we are often mesmerised by rank, hypnotised by status and enthralled by prestige. In working for our salvation, what a person does may be important but it is not the measure of one’s importance. For example, since rank, status or prestige are important, it would be logical for people to attain a reasonable position in order to be able to command others. What happens when everyone is a manager? Not a lot can be achieved simply because everyone is in command and certain duties may be considered as beneath the dignity of one’s position. We do not expect a manager to be sweeping simple because he is too “important” to be engaged in so menial a task that should be left to the “coolies” [2].

As Hegel says, “There are no masters without slaves”. Rank, title or position only make sense when we have a cadre of servants who support the system. I am not advocating slavery; just making a point that it is not what you do that makes you important but you are important to what you do[3]. It matters not your rank but your devotion to the task at hand. Hence, even the rubbish collector or anyone who takes up any 3-D work—dirty, dangerous and demeaning—they give dignity to what they are doing by the very fact that they do it well. That is how the Opus Dei looks at vocation. You excel in your vocation by being professional at it and you are the dignity of your work.

The way we approach secular life is crucial to the mission of the Lord. We decry the culture of corruption in this country but we are no angels for the very moment we are caught, we bribe without batting an eyelid and then justify it by saying that it is the culture here. How about not giving bribe? Or in submitting a proposal to a government department, work through the system trusting that God will provide? It is easy to be active in Church but definitely and infinitely more challenging to live the Gospel values in the workplace. And in world which no longer knows God, this mission is even more urgent.

There is a quotation attributed to St Teresa of Avila which is relevant for us. “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours”.

Scripture asserts that man is made in the image and likeness of God. In reality, not only man. We enliven the world by reforming the temporal order so that in becoming more humane, the universe also reflects more the image of the heavenly Jerusalem. The Transfiguration is both an epiphany of our divine destiny as well as a revelation that Jesus’ mission continues through us all. In so doing, we are preparing the world for Christ’s rule to take root. It is not an easy task but we know that Calvary must come before the Resurrection. Are we up to the challenge?


[1] But sadly, our yearning to feel good is generated by an outlook known to some as a moralistic therapeutic deism. It is moral because it accepts an innate principle of good conduct but therapeutic because God is no more than a divine butler or a cosmic therapist. He exists to make us feel good for being good or moral. Our feeling good is quite unlike that of Peter, James and John.

[2] The word “coolie” is now listed in Cambridge Dictionary as offensive and it does feel outrageous that we should even dare suggest a person embrace such a low status by proposing that they give dignity to work that is demeaning. This could be because we all breathe a certain fiction that everyone is entitled to have his dreams fulfilled; a myth probably derived from a philosophy that promises the “equality of outcome”.

[3] The Last Judgement is therefore crucial to this disparity and inequality we face. Those who are endowed materially have a grave responsibility to care for those who have no voice and no access to justice.

Monday, 11 March 2019

1st Sunday of Lent Year C 2019

We are a few days into Lent. It is a curious observation that apart from Easter and Christmas, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, two days which are non-obligatory, also attract a huge crowd of Catholics.

One of the features of Lent you would notice is that the choral arrangement is rather subdued. Apart from this, the music is muted and floral display simplified. Furthermore, we generally try to avoid conducting weddings these days. The question is, why do we submit ourselves to these penitential practices or restrictions? The answer is perhaps clarified by Diana Ross’ famous song: “Do you know where you are going to?”. Where do you think we are going to and how does Lent fit into it? To be clear, Lent is more than 40 days of not eating meat, not going to parties, not eating one’s favourite dish or any of the self-denials, self-deprivations you can come up with. Instead, these rigours of Lent are tied to salvation. God intends our salvation as we hear in the second reading—so by confessing with our lips, we are saved. But, salvation is not the end. What are we saved for? There is more to salvation and our Lenten practices are designed to keep us disciplined with our eyes focused on the finishing line: heaven.

Indeed, unless we know where we are going, then Lent will not make sense and penitential practices will remain as empty rituals we go through annually. To have a destination, it presumes that we have also a starting point. The Gospel unfolds for us where we have come from and to where we are heading. We read of how Jesus after the baptism was led by the Holy Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days. What we do not hear in this Sunday’s passage is how after His baptism, a voice was heard: “You are my beloved Son. In you, I am well pleased”—a voice which establishes the provenance/pedigree of Jesus—where He came from. Like Jesus, we too have come from God and through baptism, we have become beloved of the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus and Like Him, we are going back to the Father. In the context of this journey home, the Devil tempted Jesus to self-reliance, power and self-interest—in other words, the Devil wants Him to forget where He came from and where He is going. In overcoming the Devil, Jesus reversed the sins of Adam in Paradise and Israel in the desert by establishing complete trust in His Father. He never lost sight of heaven.

If heaven is our destination, then temptations are to be expected—as suggested by the Gospel’s ending—the Devil returning at the opportune time. He will do his utmost best to make us forget our destination. An important question is, “Are we convinced that heaven is our destination?”. Do we want it in the first place or are we so enamoured by our capabilities in transforming the world that heaven is almost redundant? Let us give an example of how irrelevant heaven is. Gandhi had a quote pertinent for our consideration. “There is enough on earth for everybody’s need but not enough for everybody’s greed”. Let us say that greed can be regulated in the sense that we are able to control it through legislation. In fact, an opinion editorial piece in the New York Times suggested the banning of billionaires as a possible means of balancing our tech-driven inequality.[1] Absence of greed, what is to prevent mankind from producing enough food for to fulfil everyone’s need? Indeed, mankind has come a long way in terms of food production where technology can do so much more with so little. Given our technological prowess, it would be spitting into the face of God if we did not attempt to solve the hunger problem.

If everyone’s hunger is assuaged or satisfied, what is that condition called? Without hunger, without strife and without hatred can this be heaven? Jesus was tempted by the Devil to believe that when all needs were satisfied, that would be heaven. If He were to possess absolute power so that He could kick the Romans out, that would be heaven for the Jews. If He were acclaimed a superstar, since jumping off the parapet would be a public performance. Celebrity status would be heaven. The truth is, no matter how perfect life is, still it is not heaven because everything we know of this side of death is infused or soaked through with temporality—everything will pass, for nothing can escape the corruption of time. Heaven does not exist here. The original word to describe this condition is utopia—which literally means nowhere—as in no such place exists. Interestingly, our current understanding of the word utopia is exactly the opposite as it prescribes the possibility of a “perfect” place. The numerous attempts to create heaven on earth (utopia) highlight that mankind has consistently succumbed to the temptation to settle for less and to confuse earth for heaven.

Why? It is not our disbelief in heaven as our notion of heaven has become so vague that there might as well not be. When Mariah Carey and Boyz to Men sang “One Sweet Day”—it appears that life here does not matter at all because one sweet day, willy-nilly, we will all be heaven. A seemingly merciful idea of heaven that admits all, where it does not matter how one had lived his life renders heaven somewhat worthless. When a prize is obtained through no effort on our part, it will not be something we appreciate. Like the free Tupperware container you get from buying detergent—you pack food for a potluck and it matters not if the contains returns to you. Or, your break the free plate from the purchase of two tubes of toothpaste. It does not bother you.

The challenge of Lent is therefore to clarify for ourselves what sort of heaven we believe in and what steps we are taking to get there. Scripture is replete with many imageries of heaven. As Saint Paul in the letter to the Corinthian describes: “We know that when the earthly tent in which we dwell is destroyed, we have a dwelling provided for us by God, a dwelling in the heavens, not made by hands but to last forever” (2nd Corinthians 5:1). This is the beatific vision promised to us—to see God face to face without any mediation. But, what is perhaps closer to our reality is that heaven can wait as suggested by the eponymous movie starring Warren Beatty—expressing the same reticence when St Augustine prayed, “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet”. Fortunately, this aspiration of the son of so many tears, was expressed at a time when he was not fully converted.

Fully turned to Christ, St Augustine, like so many of our saints are our celestial compasses. They all live for heaven like St Paul in the Letter to the Philippians who “yearned to be freed from this life and to be with Christ, for that is the far better thing” (Ph 1:23). Our lack of enthusiasm is understandable. Earthly life is so much more excitable and exhilarating. Our pleasurable world promises us a lifetime of adrenalin rushes. Even our Mass is supposed to be more animated, the homily impressive and the singing rousing. In short uplifting. It does not help that caricatures of heaven abound and each of them portraying a lifeless kind of heaven—floating on white clouds, dressed in white gowns and doing nothing the whole day whilst aimlessly plucking the harp.

According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen the proper appreciation heaven must be understood in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity: “It is not a place where there is the mere vocal repetition of alleluias or the monotonous fingering of harps. Instead, heaven is where we find the fullness of all the fine things we enjoy on this earth.  Heaven is where we find in its plenitude those things which slake the thirst of hearts, satisfy the hunger of starving minds, and give rest to unrequited love.  Heaven is the communion with perfect Life, perfect Truth, and perfect Love” (The Divine Romance). In short, the fullness of life you have here pales in comparison to heaven.

The deprivations of Lent are meant to instil a perspective proper to deepest longings of the human heart. We deny ourselves so that we can appreciate better where we are intended for—the perfect communion of life and love with the Blessed Trinity, with Mary, all the angels and saints. Otherwise, Christ coming to us makes no sense at all. He saved us from death eternal so that we might enjoy life everlasting with Him. If you know that, God be praised. Carry on living for heaven. But, if like St Augustine before his total conversion, you find yourself not fully convinced by it, then pray that God will increase your hunger for heaven.

Mind you, all temptations you face are nothing but attempts by the Devil to thwart your desire for heaven. Lent would not be Lent if there were no allurements. Through lies, deception and pride, in other words, capitalising on your weaknesses, the Devil promises various forms of counterfeit heavens as fulfilling you, albeit temporarily. If you intend on taking the road less travelled, that is when you will feel even more acutely the seductions. Jesus Himself sweated blood in Gethsemane as He resisted the Devil's baiting. Do not be fooled because the nature of temptations is that it will always make you feel as if God were far and He has abandoned you. Realise that this itself is a suggestion from the Devil because the contrary is true. God is near for He accompanies you because you are His beloved. Hold firm. Trust in the Lord.

[1] According to the author, “A billion dollars is wildly more than anyone needs, even accounting for life’s most excessive lavishes. It’s far more than anyone might reasonably claim to deserve, however much he believes he has contributed to society”.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C 2019

I used to live in a farm where the rental was paid for using unmilled rice—800 catties, if my memory serves me right—8 gunny sacks. We had one of those winnowing contraptions—rice is poured into a large funnel and turning the fan, the wind separates the grains into three different categories. The first is the heavy grains, the second the lighter grains and finally the husks and chaff.

We paid our rent with the second category of lighter grains. In other words, we were dishonest and we cheated. At that time, I thought it was clever because we paid the rent cunningly. It was rice with a lot more husks. Just recalling what we had done, I feel ashamed even to share this.

Today, the first reading and the Gospel touch on the area which we are familiar with—conscience or maybe the lack of it. Many of us act as if our conscience were fully formed. And we commonly identify a clear conscience with good feelings.

Our therapeutic society—where we have a pill for every ill—makes conscience a difficult subject to deal with. Why? Firstly, we just want to feel good. It explains why we turn to drugs, stimulants, alcohol, sex, food or entertainment. We are gluttons for endorphin rushes. Secondly, since feeling high is an important criterion, it follows that nobody likes to be judged. Those of us who are employers will testify to how much more sensitive our younger employees are when they are “corrected”.

From these two—feeling good and not wanting to be judged, we generally take a respectful distance so that we do not come across as judgmental. Thus, the famous “who am I to judge?” of Pope Francis.

Our so-called informed society values integrity and it frowns upon a person who preaches one thing but behaves contrary to what he affirms. In short, a person who does not walk his talk has no right to pontificate. Imagine a man who has mistresses stashed away in different condo units in the city, telling his son who is about to be married how to be a good husband to his soon to be wife. The normal response, if the son has a sense of right and wrong, would be “Yeah, right! That’s rich coming from a serial adulteror”.

In this age of accountability, this credibility gap or deficit is merely a proof, not excuse, of who we are—fallen human being. Many of us are hypocrites—Cakap tak serupa bikin. In the noble quest of endorsing integrity or trustworthiness, what we may miss out is that inauthentic behaviour does not invalidate the reality of an objective moral content for an action. For example, the adulterous father may be an unfaithful husband but his advice remains good and true. Thus, conscience is dependent on what is objectively true. Something is wrong because it is objectively wrong and not because I am virtuous and therefore I have the moral high ground to label it as wrong. Of the self-righteous Pharisees, Jesus Himself told the disciples: “Do what they tell you but do not follow what they do”. If “virtuousity” is the measure of morality, then good or bad becomes relative.

Hence, not judging does not make for good ethics and conscience. Instead, it lowers our accountability and to wait until we are “credible enough” to judge, it will not be long before we sink into the morass of immorality. In other words, when we defer due to our inauthenticity, basically, our poor moral sense has become the subjective measure for behaviour. It is a form of relativism. When nobody dares to “judge” for fear of being called a hypocrite, we have, in effect, become the hypocrites we fear to be.

One may be a hypocrite but still recognises an objective moral truth. Our so-called hypocrisy actually gets us to the heart of the matter. It is true that the blind cannot lead the blind. And for those who set themselves up as the arbitrator of good behaviour, it is crucial that they should not have skeletons in the closet. All these criteria are good but they are not even close to the heart of the matter, that is, the formation of a good conscience.

The Catechism says that our conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. 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. (CCC1783)

The claim that one’s conscience is clear is based on the consideration that it is well formed and also enlightened. It means diligence on our part and not just being content with “feeling good”. For example, if one were to measure conscience by “clarity”, a murderer can kill and still believes he has a clear conscience. Our immediate reaction will be “there must be something wrong with his clear conscience”. This aversion is proof that conscience is not a subjective matter but that its referent is objective and that one’s action should be measured against it.

But, sadly, at the present, the Church finds herself “defensive” in the sense that her moral credibility has been weakened by the sins and failures of her children. If anything, this failure is an opportunity for us to clarify and form our conscience, aware that the failure of the members is not the failure of the Church—for she alone, in her magisterium, has the guarantee of the Holy Spirit in the interpretation of faith and morals. As we realise, we  are really not the best interpreters of what is right and wrong. Left to ourselves, our conscience can be erroneous. But, we are not entirely lost because we can look to the saints—they are the magisterium or conscience in blood, sweat and tears. They walked the path of conscience with no hesitation. In desiring to form our conscience it helps to look to those who have succeeded. The challenge is we possibly know St Faustina (for Divine Mercy), St Francis Assisi (he is famous) or St John (because we celebrate his beheading). Ask a youth if she knows who St Simon Stylite and you probably get a blank stare. Or St Joseph Moscati? If the Church moral teachings are our theory, then the saint are our practice.

Without the saints, the only witnesses we have are Christians behaving badly. Our individual and collective failures do make a mockery of the Church’s moral teaching and without it what remains is for people to “follow their conscience” which usually translates as a freedom of or right to self-expression—in short, a justification to do what we feel or want. To be fair, the Church herself does say “follow your conscience” because she knows that if you truly listen to God in your conscience, then what you hear will be no different from what she teaches, for the Church teaches only what God has revealed to her. There is no conflict between following your conscience and following the Church.

Unfortunately, many of us buy into this notion that everyone should know the moral injunction to do good and to avoid evil. It is true that we all know because the Prophet Jeremiah tells us that God will put His law in our minds and inscribed it on our hearts. What we may fail to understand is that the human heart has been perverted by Original Sin.—a condition St Paul described as “I do what I should not and I do not do what I should”. This perversion highlights how crucial the Church is to the shaping of the human heart.

Finally, forming our conscience is not a once and for all process—that one will have a formed conscience and it is enough. Firstly, it requires an adequate and accurate understanding of what the Church teaches. Secondly, the process is life long and like a child learning how to walk, small acts of choosing good and avoiding evil become the bricks in the building up of our conscience. Do not wait until the future but begin now with small steps and soon your conscience will be your habit, a second nature in choosing good and avoiding evil.