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FollowJesus1. What Is the Moral Law?We call humanity’s common, shared understanding of right and wrong the moral law. It exists among all people of all different times and places. Everyone’s God-given conscience is based on this law. In addition, Godhas revealed much of the moral law in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. That is why studying our Catholic faith is one way of deepening our knowledge of the moral law.God gave all of us the gift of free will. This means that we are free to choose between right and wrong. We are responsible for our own actions. But because Original Sin has wounded us, we tend to make bad choices. We do wrong even when we know better.Sometimes, we cannot be held fully responsible for our sins. A sinner with a sick mind, for example, is less to blame than another who commits the same sin but has a healthy mind. A boy who sins because a bully threatens to hurt him if he doesn’t is less to blame for the sin than the bully is. Other factors may also lessen a person’s responsibility for sinful behavior.There are some acts, however, that are seriously wrong no matter what the sinner’s circumstances are. Murder is always a sin. So is doing something bad in order to get something good out of it. It is wrong to steal money so you can buy something you want.2. What Makes a Well-Formed Conscience?Conscience is a judgment of whatis right and wrong. Sometimes your conscience tells you not only that an act was evil, but also that you must try to make up for it. You must try to return to God.Everyone is born with a desire for happiness. This desire is fulfilled by making good choices and becoming closer to God. Because the judgment of conscience is necessary to making good choices, each of us is called to form a correct conscience.Conscience is formed by taking time alone to think and pray. It is also strengthened by reading Scripture, seeking advice about right andwrong from others, and learning the teachings of the Church. Each of us is called to form a good conscience by using these helps. Then we are called to follow our conscience.3. What Is Virtue?When you choose to do what is right over and over, you are on your way to developing the habit of doing good. The habit of doing good is called virtue. Moral virtues are developed by choosing good acts and, at the same time, moral virtues make choosing good acts and living a moral life easier. God’s grace helps us to develop the moral virtues.30

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