A Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christians: anonymous

“Man’s conscience is like a spring,” the Fathers say, “which, the deeper you hollow it out, the more greatly you cleanse it. If, however, you cover it with soil, in little time it will be lost.”

The conscience is a delicate thing.  When I was growing up I observed all sorts of grown-ups from priests, nuns, teachers, adult friends of my parents, and of course, my parents, seemingly oblivious to things that made my tender heart break.

“It’s just the way the world is,” my mother would tell me.

I simply could not accept that.  It seemed to me that we humans could do better if we simply chose to do what is right. It is some fifty-five years since I have been inspired by the Beatitudes and if I am an idealist, I haven’t lost any steam.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to illumine our minds and have Her way in our hearts, our consciences will convict us to do the right thing. But we must feed our minds, hearts, and consciences with the good stuff. Our Bibles, prayers, shared worship, the company of like-minded people to encourage us when we falter.


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