Chapter 15: Measure Twice, Cut Once: Conscience and Moral Decision Making {Lawn Chair Catechism}


Welcome to this summer’s Lawn Chair Catechism! We’re reading Joe Paprocki’s best-selling book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe. We’re taking it one chapter at a time all summer long.

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When we have difficulty seeing, we benefit from the aid of eyeglasses. Those things that are blurry and unclear to us snap into focus when corrective eyeglasses are placed on. In our day-to-day living, moral issues are sometimes blurry and unclear. We cannot always clearly see what is right and what is wrong. Our moral eyesight can benefit through the aid of a well-formed conscience. Like a pair of corrective lenses, a well-formed conscience can help us to gain focus and to see clearly what our course of action should be.

Using Luke 10:27, fill in this passage:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your __________, and with all your __________, and with all your __________, and with all your __________; and your neighbor as yourself.

Love of God and neighbor involves our minds—our ability to think. Thinking plays a huge role in Catholic morality and conscience formation.

Sometimes we tend to think that all moral choices are black or white—wrong or right. I think we all realize that moral choices are more complex than simple black and white answers. Just as a crayon box labels all of the different shades of colors, the Church helps us to recognize different shades of moral rightness and wrongness.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion:

  1. What does it mean to say that a conscience is less like a voice and more like a pair of eyeglasses?
  2. Who has been a major influence in your life in terms of forming your conscience?
  3. How can guilt be a healthy thing when it comes to forming a conscience?
  4. What steps do you try to follow when making an important moral decision?
  5. What three principles must be considered when making a moral decision?
  6. What do you do to continue learning about your Catholic faith? What would you like to do?

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week’s reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions. You can also share your blog post by linking up below.

Next week, we begin our fourth and final part of the book, Prayer: Praying Faith, and we’ll cover Chapter 16: Excavators and Cranes: Prayer. For the complete reading schedule and information about this summer’s Lawn Chair Catechism, visit the Lawn Chair Catechism page.


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Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.

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