YOUCAT*: Conscience is the inner voice in a man that moves him to do good under any circumstance and to avoid evil by all means. At the same time it is the ability to distinguish the one from the other. In the conscience God speaks to man. [1776-1779]
Deep down within us we sense God’s voice teaching us that we should always do good and avoid what’s evil. That “deep down feeling” is our conscience.
God gave us a conscience to help us live like Christ. Our conscience helps us discern between good and bad, whether an action is part of God’s plan for us or not. We’re not perfect and oftentimes we sin (choose evil). When we do this, we feel guilty — AKA “guilty conscience.” Our conscience also calls us to ask forgiveness for our sin.
“Anything that is done against conscience is a sin.” —St. Thomas Aquinas
*Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church
Lisa Gomes is the director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry