"Without conscience, freedom never knows what to do with itself". - Thomas Merton
This is an excerpt written by Thomas Merton in his book called No Man Is an Island. The passage is written from Chapter 3. CONSCIENCE, FREEDOM AND PRAYER.
Without conscience, freedom never knows what to do with itself…
I cannot make good choices unless I develop a mature and prudent conscience that gives me an accurate account of my motives, my intentions and my moral acts.
The immature conscience is not it’s own master.
It is merely the delegate of the conscience of another person, or group or of a party, or of a social class, or of a nation, or of a race.
Therefore, it does not make real moral decisions of its own, it simply parrots the decisions of others.
Conscience is the indication of hidden things.
It is the mirror of a man’s depth’s. We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.
The reality of a person is a deep and hidden thing, buried not only in the invisible... but in the Secrecy of God Himself.
We do not have to create a conscience for ourselves.
We are born with one, and no matter how much we may ignore it, we cannot silence it's insistent demand that we do good and avoid evil.
No matter how much we may deny our freedom and our moral responsibility, our intellectual soul cries out for a morality and a spiritual freedom without which it knows it cannot be happy.
[Therefore] The first duty of every man is to seek the enlightenment and discipline without which his conscience cannot solve the problems of life.
This is an excerpt written by Thomas Merton in his book No Man Is an Island.