Monday, March 23, 2009

How to act when doubtful as to whether something is a sin or not

4. The doubtful conscience.

A doubtful conscience is one which is, as it were, hanging in a balance, and being in suspense, uncertain whether a thing is lawful or not, whether an action is forbidden or, allowed. On both sides it sees plausible reasons, which make an impression, but amongst these reasons there is none that draws down the weight, and is sufficient to ground a determination. Thus wavering between these different and opposite reasons, it remains undetermined, and dares not make a decision for fear of being deceived, and of falling into sin. Now, it is never allowed to act with a doubtful conscience. When we do something, we must be morally sure that what we are doing is lawful. To do something, and have, at the same time, a reasonable doubt about the lawfulness of our action, is to commit sin, because we expose, ourselves to the danger of sin; If we act in such a doubt about the lawfulness of our action, we show ourselves indifferent as to whether we break a law or not, and consequently make ourselves guilty of the sin to the danger of which we expose ourselves. Hence St. Paul says: "Anything that is not according to conscience, is a sin." (Rom. xiv. 13.)

We must, then, seek for light and instruction, if we can; or, if it is necessary to act without delay, and we have neither means nor time to consult and procure information to clear the doubt and settle our conscience, after begging God to enlighten us, we must consider and examine what seems most expedient in his sight under the present circumstances, then take our determination and proceed; yet always reserving the intention of procuring information, and correcting the mistake afterwards, if anything was not according to law. This is no longer acting in doubt, as the prospect of doing what seems most expedient takes away the doubt: we may, it is true, be deceived, but we cannot sin.

Now, doubts may arise in our mind as to whether we have complied with a certain law that must be complied with. It is a law, for instance, to be validly baptized. Now, if there arises a reasonable doubt about the validity of a person's baptism, that person must be baptized again to make sure of the compliance with the law. It is a certain law that, in order to be saved, a man must profess the true faith, live up to it, and die in it. Now if a non-Catholic for good reasons doubts the truth of his religion, he is not allowed to continue to live and die in this doubt. He must, to the best of his ability, inquire about the true religion, and after having found it, he is obliged to embrace it, in order to comply with the law of professing the true divine faith and worship. It is a law that we must confess all our mortal sins which we do remember after a careful examination of conscience. Now, if after confession we have a reasonable doubt as to whether we have confessed a certain mortal sin, we are bound to confess that sin, in order to make sure of having complied with the law of confessing all our mortal sins. If we have borrowed money from our neighbor and afterwards have a reasonable doubt as to whether we have returned it, we are still bound to pay it. In the time of war, an officer, or soldier, who doubts as to whether the war is just, is bound to obey his general, because it is a certain law that no one, much less a superior, is to be accused of unjust commands and actions, as long as there are not quite evident reasons to prove the contrary.

There is a law which says, "Thou shalt not kill." If a hunter, then, seeing something stir in a brush-wood, doubts whether it is a man or an animal, he is not allowed to fire before he is sure that it is not a man. Or should a physician, when prescribing medicine, reasonably doubt that the medicine might kill his patient, he is not allowed to prescribe such a medicine.

Whenever, then, a law exists for certain, and we doubt whether we have complied with it, we can remove the doubt only by doing what is commanded; and if the law forbids something, and we reasonably doubt that what we are about to do might violate the law, we are bound not to perform such an action; for every certain law requires a positively certain obedience.

But there may also arise in our minds doubts about the real existence of a law, that is, about its promulgation or its obligation in a certain case. There is one: he doubts whether a certain war is just. This doubt (called a speculative doubt) brings on another, whether it is lawful to take part in such a war. This last doubt is called a practical doubt, because there is question about doing something that may be against a certain law. To act under such a practical doubt is, as we have said above, to become guilty of sin.

In order not to expose ourselves to the danger of committing sin, we must be morally certain that what we are doing is lawful. This certainty, however need not be such as to exclude even every speculative doubt. For instance, one doubts whether the dish which is placed before him on a Friday is not flesh-meat. So far, this doubt is but a speculative doubt, suggesting the question as to whether or not this particular case comes under the law of abstinence. But should he before whom the dish is placed not wish to order another dish, the practical doubt arises whether it is lawful for him to eat a dish which may be forbidden by the law of abstinence. It is evident that this person, if he is conscientious, is not allowed to eat the dish before he is morally sure that the eating of it is not forbidden by the law of abstinence.

What, then, is he to do if he cannot find out whether the dish is real flesh-meat or not? whether the law of abstinence in this case is binding on him or not? Many such cases may occur, in which we entertain speculative doubts whether a law exists for such a case, or such a person, or under such a circumstance of time or place, and we may not be able to decide whether the law exists or not. But from the fact that such a speculative doubt continues, it does not follow that we can leave the matter alone and act as we please. Such conduct would, no doubt, expose us to the danger of violating a law that may really exist. To acquire moral certainty for the lawfulness of our action, we must see whether there are reasons which prove that a law really exists, or does not exist, in this or that case.

Now, in trying to find out such reasons, we may find some that may seem to prove the real existence of the law, whilst others may seem to prove that the law does not exist. It may happen that the reasons pro and con. are equally or almost equally strong, and it may also happen that the reasons pro are considerably stronger than the reasons con., or vice versa. Those reasons which are considerably stronger may increase in strength and weight (become so strong and weighty) so much as to make those opposed to them sink in weight and strength. Now the question arises, how weighty these reasons must be to induce us to judge with moral certainty that the law is uncertain and, consequently, is not binding. If the reasons proving that the law does not exist are as strong or nearly as strong as those which prove the existence of the law, then we have moral certainty, says St. Alphonsus, to believe that the law does not exist; but if the reasons proving the existence of the law are considerably stronger than those proving the contrary, then we ought to believe that the law exists.

This teaching is undoubtedly quite reasonable. In business matters, every sensible man adheres to that one of two opinions which is best grounded. In scientific matters, those opinions which are but little grounded are also but little cared for.

From what has been said, it is easy to understand what rigorism and laxism is. It is rigorism to pronounce in favor of the existence of the law in spite of very weighty reasons proving the contrary. This doctrine was condemned by Alexander VIII. Those who teach such a doctrine are called strict Tutiorists. It is still rigorism, though not quite so bad, to maintain that we must pronounce in favor of the existence of the law, even if the opinion that the law does not exist is better grounded. Those adhering to this opinion are called less strict Tutiorists. Finally, it is still rigorism to maintain that the reasons proving that the law does not exist must be considerably stronger than those proving the contrary, in order to pronounce in favor of liberty or the non-existence of the law. Those adhering to this opinion are called Probabiliorists. But each of these three opinions must be rejected. No sensible man adopts and goes by such opinions in his daily business transactions and social intercourse. No man of learning rejects, in scientific questions, the best grounded opinions and arguments. Why should we not act in the same way in discussing and deciding moral cases? What more unreasonable than the contrary?

Laxism is to maintain that the law does not exist, even if the reasons to prove the contrary should be considerably stronger and much weightier. It is self-evident that such an opinion is very lax, as it favors liberty beyond what is reasonable. It is true, those adhering to this opinion say, that in theory they only teach that the law does not exist, when there is a solid reason for its non-existence. They forget, however, that a real solid reason is no longer such, when considerably more solid reasons are opposed to it. They only care for having a solid reason for the non-existence of the law, and leave alone the more solid reasons which prove its existence. It is clear that, in discussing the question of the existence or non-existence of the law, the reasons pro and con. must be carefully weighed and compared, and if the reasons proving the existence of the law, are considerably weightier than the reasons proving its non-existence, the latter are no longer solid reasons.

Such is the doctrine of St. Alphonsus. "Those," he says, "who defend and adhere to the contrary opinion are called laxists. Their lax opinion is to be rejected in practice. Auctores elapsi saeculi quasi communiter tenuere opinionem: `Ut quis possit licite sequi opinionem etiam minus probabilem pro libertate (stantem), licet opinio pro lege sit certe probabilior.' Hane sententiam nos dicimus esse laxam et licite amplecti non posse." (In Apologia, 1769, et Homo Apost. de consc. n. 31.) In a letter, dated July 8, 1768, St. Alphonsus writes: "Librorum censor D. Delegatum adiit ipsique retulit, se opus Meum Morale legisse ejusque sententias sanas invenisse, et quod attinet systema circa probabilem, me non sequi systema Jesuitarum, sed ipsis adversari; Jesuitae enim admittunt minus probabilem, sed ego eam reprobo." And in another letter, dated May 25, 1767, St. Alphonsus writes: "Formidarem confessiones excipiendi licentiam concedere alicui ex nostris, qui sequi vellet opinionem certo cognitam ut minus probabilem."

The more ignorant or the more stupid people are, the less doubts they have. What a happiness, never to be tormented by a doubtful conscience!

[edit]5. The lax conscience.

A lax conscience is one which, for a light reason, judges to be lawful what is very unlawful, or considers a sin which is grievous only as a venial sin; in other words, a lax conscience is one which without sufficient reason favors liberty, either in order to escape the law, or to diminish the gravity of guilt. A lax conscience is generally the consequence of the neglect of prayer, of lukewarmness of the soul, of too much care and anxiety about temporal things, of familiar intercourse with the wicked, of the habit of sinning which destroys horror of sin, of a soft, tepid life, which enervates the heart and makes it quite worldly. Such a conscience is most dangerous, for it leads the soul to the broad road to hell.

The remedies for such a conscience are: frequent recourse to prayer, spiritual exercises, pious reading and meditation, frequent confession, conversation with the pious, and avoiding the company of the wicked.

But why speak here of a lax conscience and indicate the means to correct it? Is it not very imprudent to do so? Is it not to suggest indirectly the idea that we allude to S. O. and to the Rev. Editor of the B. U. and T.? But who could even dream of such nonsense.

[edit]6. The perplexed conscience.

A man's conscience is said to be perplexed, when he is placed between two actions which appear bad. There is a person: She is bound to wait upon a sick neighbor on Sunday: she thinks that it is a sin to leave that sick person, in order to go and hear Mass, and, at the same time, it appears to her that it is also a sin to stay away from Mass, in order to wait upon her sick friend. Now, if the conscience, of a person is thus perplexed, he must, as far as possible, take counsel of prudent men. If he cannot consult such, and is still under necessity of acting, he must choose what appears the lesser evil, and in so doing, he will not commit sin.

Self sufficient teachers of Catholic theology never suffer from a perplexed conscience. They say

"I am S. O., And when I open my lips, let no dog bark."

[edit]7. The scrupulous conscience.

"A scruple," says St. Alphonsus, "is a vain fear of sinning, which arises from false, groundless reasons." There is a person: for frivolous reasons he imagines that something is forbidden that is not forbidden, or that something is commanded which is not commanded. So he is disturbed, and runs into doubts without any just foundation and reasonable motives. He sinks into the state of a scrupulous conscience, which is a continual torment to the soul itself, and often also to her spiritual director. Any one who has read the Queer Explanation will be convinced that neither the most prominent priest of the U. S., nor the Rev. Editor of the B. U. and T. ever caused any annoyance and torment to his spiritual director. Would, they were the spiritual directors of all scrupulous persons! What a blessing would not this be for them; by a few words of such unscrupulous directors they would be entirely delivered from their unspeakable torment! What a blessing for all Catholic and Protestant readers of the B. U. and T. to know that the Rev. Editor has never any scruples to print articles like the Queer Explanation. They feel that they can read them without scruples, because they are written and printed without scruples, and are calculated to confirm Catholics as well as Protestants in their faith!

[edit]8. The erroneous or false conscience.

A conscience is erroneous or false when it represents to us an action as good which is really bad. For instance: every one knows that a wilful lie is a sin. Now, there is one who sees his neighbor in danger of death, and knows that by telling a lie he can save the life of his neighbor. He feels certain that such a lie cannot be a sin, and that he would sin against charity if he were not to tell it.

A conscience is also erroneous when it represents what is really good as something really bad. For example: what can be better and holier than the Catholic religion? And yet there may be found a non-Catholic who, from having been brought up in heresy, is fully persuaded from boyhood that we Catholics impugn and attack the word of God, that we are idolaters, pestilent deceivers, and, therefore are to be shunned as pestilences.

Another instance: The conscience of S. O. represented to him his own explanation of Father Muller's explanation, which is really bad for many reasons, as a good action, and it represented to him Father Muller's explanation, which is really good, as something that is really bad, and so, from his erroneous conscience, he declared publicly that Father Muller had misrepresented Catholic Theology, and dishonored the Holy Name of God!

Now, such errors of conscience are either culpable or inculpable. They are culpable, if they spring from voluntary ignorance, and they are inculpable, if they spring from involuntary ignorance.

Ignorance is voluntary or vincible, when one in doing something has certain doubts about the moral goodness or badness of his action, and about the obligation of examining whether his action is really good or bad, and, nevertheless, does not take the necessary means to find out whether what he is about to do is right or wrong. It is, for instance, a law to profess the true religion in order to be saved. Now, suppose there is a non-Catholic. A sermon on the true religion, which he heard, or a book which he read, or a conversation which he had with a friend on this subject, or the conversion of a wealthy or learned man from Protestantism to the Catholic faith, or any other good reason whatever, makes him doubt about the truth of his religion.

Such a one is obliged in conscience to seek for light and instruction, if he can. If he cannot do so immediately, he must firmly purpose to procure information, as soon as he can, from those who can give it in a satisfactory manner, and must be determined to renounce his error, if he finds out that he is living in a false religion. Meanwhile, he must beg of God to enlighten him and enable him to do what seems best to him in the present circumstances. If he, however, neglects to seek instruction when he can and ought to do so; if he continues not to heed his religious scruples about his salvation in Protestantism; if he is even afraid of learning the truth, or, if he knows it, contradicts it against his conscience and obscures it every day by unnatural crimes,— ah! then the signs are not hard to read! Such a Protestant sins against his conscience, against the Holy Ghost. He is a tree, black and dead in the middle of summer. He is fit only for the fire. If he is lost, he is lost through his own fault.

Ignorance is involuntary, or invincible, if one, in doing something, has not the least reasonable doubt about the goodness of the action. To illustrate: an heir enters upon an estate which formerly was acquired unjustly by his ancestors; but at the time when he took possession of it, he had not the least doubt about the just and lawful acquisition of the estate. In this he is in error, but the error is involuntary, and, therefore, not culpable. After some years, however, he discovers the flaw in his title, and still continues in the possession of the estate. From that time, his conscience becomes voluntarily and criminally erroneous, contrary to good faith and the dictates of a good conscience.

"If your error is voluntary," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "and you do not do all you can to find out the truth, you are answerable for your conduct in following a false conscience." Such was the conscience of the persecutors of the Church, of whom Jesus Christ says: "Yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God." (John, xvi. 2. ) When, in arguing about something, one of the premises is false, the conclusion must necessarily be false. In like manner, all the acts of a conscience, whose error is voluntary or vincible, are bad and partake in the evil result of voluntary ignorance. If you are willfully ignorant of what you are bound in conscience to know, you are responsible for all your actions. Such is the conscience of many sinners, who wish to be ignorant of their duties in order to live without restraint. "They say to God," says Job, "depart from us, we do not desire the knowledge of thy ways." (Job, xxi. 14.) A conscience continuing thus is to act in a known voluntary error, becomes quite criminal in the sight of God. This is the most lamentable and most unhappy state into which a soul can fall; for this kind of conscience drives the sinner into all kinds of crimes, disorders, and excesses, and becomes to him the source of blindness of the understanding, of hardness of heart, and finally, of eternal reprobation, if he perseveres in this state to the end of his life.

Witness the writer of the infidel Press. With him it has become fashionable to get rid of religion and conscience. A man who wishes to gratify his evil desires, without shame, without remorse, says: "There is no God; there is no hell; there is no hereafter; there is only this present life, and all in it is good." He looks upon conscience as a creation of man. He calls its dictates an imagination. He says that the notion of guiltiness, which that dictate enforces, is simply irrational.

When he advocates the rights of conscience, he, of course, in no sense means the rights of the Creator, nor the duty to him, in thought and deed, of the creature; he means only the right of thinking, speaking, writing, and eating according to his judgment or his humor, without any thought of God at all. He does not even pretend to go by any moral rule, but he demands what he thinks is an American's prerogative, to be his own master in all things, and to profess what he pleases, asking no one's leave, and accounting any one unutterably impertinent who dares to say a word against his going to perdition, if he likes it, in his own way. With such a man the right of conscience means the very right and freedom of conscience to dispense with conscience, to ignore a Law-giver and Judge, to be independent of unseen obligations; to be free to take up any or no religion, to take up this or that, and let it go again, to boast of being above all religions, and to be an impartial critic of each of them; in a word, conscience is, with that man, nothing else than the right of self-will. Such is the idea which the men of the infidel Press have of conscience. Their rule and measure of right and wrong is utility, or expedience, or the happiness of the greatest number, or State convenience, or fitness, order, a long-sighted selfishness, a desire to be consistent with one's self.

But all these false conceptions of conscience will be no excuse before God for not having known better. The idea that there is no law or rule over our thoughts, desires, words and actions, and that, without sin or error, we may think, desire, say, and do what we please, especially in matters of religion is a downright absurdity.

"When God gave to man a free will," says St. Thomas, "he intended that man should freely choose what is good and reject what is evil, in order thus to gain merit — a privilege which is denied to beasts, for they blindly follow their instincts. Who can be foolish enough to think that God, in giving man a free will dispensed him from the observance of his laws? God is infinite goodness, justice, wisdom, mercy, and purity, and he impressed on man the notion of goodness, justice, mercy, purity, in order that, as he himself hates all wickedness, injustice, errors, and impurity, so man also should do the same. Hence it is impossible that God can concede to man a license to commit acts utterly repugnant to the divine nature, and also repugnant to the nature of man, who is made in the likeness and image of God.

"Our use of liberty, therefore, must be consistent with reason; it must be based upon a hatred of all that is evil, unjust, unkind, false, or impure; and upon a strong desire to attain to all that is good, true, and perfect.

"Who, then, are the worst enemies of the liberty of man? First, that ignorance and error which prevent him from distinguishing clearly that which is just and right from that which is evil and false. Secondly, his passions, which keep him from embracing the good which he knows and sees, and induce him to desire that which he knows to be bad. Thirdly, any powers or authorities external to man, which prevent him from doing that which he knows to be good and which he desires to do, or force him to do that which he sees to be unlawful, and which he shrinks from doing. Fourthly, all those who deny and pervert religious and moral truths. What wickedness, what impiety to sneer at what is good, in the present and in the future, for the intellect and will of man! How detestable are they who entangle men in the subtle webs of sophisms, and expel religion and morality from the hearts of men, who instil doubts and disputes about social truth, which is the only stable foundation on which nations and empires can tranquilly repose! Most execrable men, those who assume the right to insult the Lord and to destroy man."

After the devil has used these men for his own diabolical purposes, he will cast the vile wretches, like worn-out brooms, into the fire of hell.

The privilege that bad men have in evil, Is that they go unpunished to the devil."

The hell of the wicked begins even in this world, and it continues throughout all eternity in the next. Hence St. Paul says: "Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil." (Rom. ii. 9.) "By what things," says Holy Scripture, "a man sinneth, by the same he is also tormented." (Wisd. xi. 17.) "He who speaks (against his conscience) whatever he pleases, will hear in his heart what he does not like to hear," says Comicus.

"He that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts, Benighted walks under the midday-sun, Himself is his own dungeon."

In order to avoid such great evils, we must rectify our conscience when it is vincibly erroneous — that is, when we are confused with doubts and suspicions about the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action which we are about to perform; we must try, by examination, consultation, and employing the ordinary means, to find out whether we are right or wrong in what we are about to undertake.

But as long as a man's conscience is invincibly erroneous, he must follow it. "His will is then not in fault," says St. Thomas. No doubt, a person who, from an invincibly erroneous conscience, believes that charity obliges him to tell a lie, if thereby he can save the life of his neighbor, performs a meritorious act, and he would sin against charity if he did not tell the lie.

Conscience, then, is that faithful inward monitor, that warns every man when he is about to offend God and leave the right road to heaven. Whenever we are on the point of desiring, saying, or doing something that is against God's law, conscience says to us on the part of God: "It is not lawful for thee." (Matt. xiv. 4.) No, thou art not allowed to perform that action, to speak that word, to entertain that desire, to read that book, to frequent that company, to go to that place of sin, to make that unlawful bargain.

If, in spite of these remonstrances of conscience, we still proceed, it rises up against us and cries out: "What hast thou done?" (Kings, iii. 24.) Thou hast sinned; thou hast offended God, by transgressing his law and going against his voice, which warned thee not to do so; thou art guilty in his sight, and deserving to be punished according to the law of his justice. It was his conscience that made David say: "My sin is always before me." (Ps. lxxx. 5.) It was his conscience that made Judas cry out: "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." (Matt. xxvii. 4.)

Thus every sinner is accountable for his conduct to his conscience, which, as Menander says, is his God. It is by means of conscience that God judges man. Conscience, as the organ and instrument of God, pronounces, in his name, the sentence of condemnation; it passes, under his sovereign authority, the decree of his divine justice. In this sense it is said that we ourselves are our first judges, and that the first tribunal to which we are cited is our own conscience, without being able to escape from its decree. Yes, this judgement is just, it is dreadful, it is without appeal. In pronouncing sentence, conscience is at the same time witness against us and its deposition is so much the more dreadful as it is interior, clear, and personal to us.

Ah! how unfortunate is it to be condemned by ourselves, and to have nothing to oppose to the condemnation! And what, indeed, can be opposed when our own conscience is the accuser, witness, and judge? Therefore, it only remains for conscience to assume the character of executioner, and to exercise its vengeance upon us. Dreadful charge, which is more terrible than all the rest! It punishes us. God intrusts the interest of his justice and revenge in the hands of conscience; and in how many ways does it not discharge this dreadful office against the sinner after his sin? — By those racking remorses which tear him, as it were, to pieces; by the gnawing worm which eats him up; by the constant remembrance of his guilt, which follows him everywhere; by the fears, terrors, and continual alarms in which he lives. If he is visited by illness, if the least infirmity attacks him, death incessantly presents itself to his eyes. If thunders roar, if the earth quakes, if any unexpected accident happens, he believes that the hand of God is lifted up against him, fearing every instant to be swallowed up. Alas! can there be any more dreadful torturer, any more cruel executioner, any more severe minister of vengeance for the sinner than his own conscience! What more torturing for Cain than the bloody spectre of his brother Abel which presented itself continually to him? What more frightful for the impious Balthasar than the sight of the hand which appeared on the wall and wrote the sentence of condemnation upon it? What more horrifying for Antiochus than the picture of the temple of Jerusalem which he had profaned? What more alarming and terrifying for Henry VIII., King of England, than to behold, on his death-bed, the legions of monks whom he had so cruelly treated?

And why were these men thus tortured? It was because conscience, whose rights they had trampled upon, sought atonement by setting the remembrance of their crimes continually before them.

"Thus conscience pleads her cause within the breast; Though long rebelled against, not yet suppressed."

No wonder that men sometimes commit suicide. They cannot bear the remorse of conscience, and so they try to find rest in death.

Now, such a remorse of conscience, though a punishment, is at the same time a grace for the sinner. It warns him to enter into himself, by sincere repentance, to ask pardon of God, and promise amendment of life, and be saved. But if a sinner does not experience such a remorse he is, no doubt, in a most lamentable condition. The want of this grace forbodes a certain reprobation for all eternity. Now, this voice of conscience, which strikes terror into the souls of the wicked, fill the just with peace and happiness.

There is a great sinner: he is very sorry for all his sins. He firmly purposes amendment of life; he makes a good confession. See him after confession. His countenance is radiant with beauty. His step has become again light. His soul reflects upon his features the holy joy with which it is inebriated. He smiles upon those whom he meets, and every one sees that he is happy. He trembles now no longer when he lifts his eyes to heaven. He hopes, he loves. A supernatural strength animates him. He feels himself burning with zeal to do good. A new sun has risen upon his life, and every thing in him puts on the freshness of youth. And why? Because his conscience has thrown off a load that bent him to the earth. It tells him that now he is once more the companion of angels; that he has again entered that sweet alliance with God, whom he can now justly call his Father; that he is reinstated in his dignity of a child of God. He is no longer afraid of God's justice, of death, and of hell.

We must, then, always follow the voice or dictates of conscience, for "this is the keeping of the commandments," says the Holy Scripture; but "whatever is contrary to conscience, is sinful." (Rom. xiv. 23.)

"What rule," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "can a man follow, unless reason, which is the imperative voice of conscience? He who does not appeal to his conscience on all occasions can have no rule of conduct. He is always in doubt and perplexity, wavering between vice and virtue, not knowing to which side to turn. He is like a vessel whose helm is lost in a violent storm."

Sacred and Immaculate Hearts

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Pillar of Scourging of Our Lord JESUS

Pillar of Scourging of Our Lord JESUS

Shroud of Turin

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