Eugene A. Hessel Bad conscience is a conscience doing its duty

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The story is told that Steinberg, the artist, struck with the beauty of a gypsy girl, took her to his studio and frequently had her sit for him. At the time he was at his masterpiece, “Christ on the Cross.” The girl used to watch him work on this painting. One day she said to him, “He must have been a very wicked man to be nailed to a cross like that.” “No,” said the painter. “On the contrary, he was a very good man, the best man that ever lived. He died for others.” The little girl looked up at him and asked, “Did he die for you?” Steinberg was not a Christian at the time, but the gypsy girl’s question touched his heart and awakened his conscience and he became a believer in Him whose dying passion he had so well portrayed. (Eugene A. Hessel)

Bad conscience is a conscience doing its duty. (George Macdonald)

At least a bad conscience can make life interesting. (Soren Kierkegaard)

A Catholic in good conscience cannot support a politician who supports the right to an abortion. Apparently, a vote for John Kerry might mean a trip to the confessional. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. Instead of voting for a president who launched a pre-emptive war against a nation that posed no immediate threat, killing thousands of people, a president who has shown little regard for the poor or elderly and whose version of faith holds no room for humility, I voted for a man who is personally opposed to abortion but who supports the Constitution of our land. (Tina Griego, in the Rocky Mountain News, October 14, 2004)

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. (Rocky Mountain News)

While helping my son with his spelling, I came to the words "conscious" and "conscience." Did he know their meaning? "Sure, Mom," he said. "Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren't." (Ellen Brown, in Reader's Digest)

A country free enough to examine its own conscience is a land worth living in, a nation to be envied. (Prince Charles, in a speech in Australia)

Evil is never done so thoroughly or so well as when it is done with a good conscience. (Blaise Pascal)
About 35 years ago, my mother-in-law and her daughter had difficulty finding a parking place while shopping. After a couple of trips around the block, my sister-in-law spotted an empty spot in a funeral home parking lot. Obviously, there was a funeral service in progress, but there was one empty spot, and my sister-in-law directed her mother into it. My mother-in-law was so stricken with conscience that she insisted on attending the service, where she mingled with the mourners and even gazed upon the coffin, despite the fact that she knew no one there. After the service, my mother-in-law felt it was all right to go shopping. My sister-in-law was simply thankful her mother hadn’t insisted on going to the cemetery, too! (Betty Jacobson, in Reminisce Extra magazine)
Conscience is God’s presence in man. (Emanuel Swedenborg)
Frank says to Ernest: “I don’t use my conscience as my guide – it’s more of a creative consultant. (Bob Thaves, in Frank & Ernest comic strip)
I've never had a guilty conscience. The only thing I ever did at night that I was sorry for in the morning was set the alarm clock. (Robert Orben, humorist)
Washing your hands of guilt: People with guilty consciences get a powerful urge to wash themselves – and the scrubbing actually helps ease their guilt, says New Scientist. Researchers call the urge of liars, cheats, and murderers to wash their hands “the Macbeth effect,” after Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, who shouts, “Out, damned spot,” while scrubbing away imaginary bloodstains. In the University of Toronto study, volunteers were asked to think of unethical acts from their past, such shoplifting or betraying a good friend; when later offered the chance to clean their hands, they jumped at the offer at twice the rate of study subjects who had not imagined past transgressions. The washing had an interesting effect. Guilty subjects were then offered a chance to sign up for a charity project to assuage their consciences. Those who had already literally washed their hands were far less likely to sign up than those who didn’t wash – indicating that the physical act of cleaning up had also cleansed them of guilt. Psychologist Philip Tetlock of the University of California, who was not involved in the study, said it had shown that “there is a deep psychological connection between morality and physical cleanliness.” (The Week magazine, September 29, 2006)
Let us look at our own conscience as we do our hands, to see if they be dirty. (Florence Nightingale)
There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts. (Mohatma Gandhi)
Conscience: The inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. (H. L. Mencken)
Your conscience is a little triangle in your heart. It acts like a pinwheel. When you're good it does not rotate. When you're bad, it turns around and the corners hurt a lot. If you keep on being bad, the corners eventually wear off, and when the little triangle spins around it doesn't hurt anymore. (Bits & Pieces)
There is no substitute for conscience, unless it's living in a small town. (Denmark, Wisconsin Press)
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience. (Doug Larson, United Feature Syndicate)
Conscience is the perfect interpreter of life. (Karl Barth)
There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience. (French proverb)
Mohandas K. Gandhi’s list of seven deadly sins: Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, business without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice and politics without principle.
Bill Clinton -- granted 456 pardons. President Ford granted Richard M. Nixon “a free, full and absolute pardon” for any criminal conduct during his presidency and Nixon responded with a statement of remorse at “my mistakes over Watergate.” Announcing the pardon at a surprise appearance before newsmen and photographers, Ford said “I feel that Richard Nixon and his loved ones have suffered enough.” He said, “My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book.” (Paul Lee Tan, in Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations)
The word scruple derives from the Latin for “small stone.” Having scruples refers to your conscience bothering you as would a pebble in your shoe. (Harry Bright & Jakob Anser, in Are You Kidding Me?, p. 30)
Conscience is a small inner voice that doesn't speak your language. (Merit Crossword Puzzles Plus)
Conscience is that still, small voice that is sometimes too loud for comfort. (Bert Murray, in The Wall Street Journal)
Sylvia: “You’re not fooling me, Mom. I know why you’re taking care of that baby. You’re trying to make me feel guilty for not giving you any more grandchildren.” Mom: “That’s ridiculous, Sylvia. Whether or not you have any more children is entirely up to you and Dan. And your conscience.” Sylvia: “Aha!” (Brian Crane, in Pickles comic strip)
An anonymous taxpayer wrote to the state comptroller confessing that he'd cheated on his income tax 10 years earlier and hadn't had a good night's sleep since. Enclosed was a check for $100 and this note: "If I still can't sleep, I'll send the balance." (Reminisce Extra magazine)
The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard. (Gaylord Nelson, in New York Times)
At church: "She won't listen to her conscience. She doesn't want advice from a total stranger." (Bob Goddard, in St. Louis Globe-Democrat)

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