MAKING CHOICES Once during my elementary days, our teacher in Literature asked us to read the poem entitled, “The

Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost with the reminder that as an assignment, we need to take note of the words of phrases that stuck us most, and be ready to explain why. I read the poem once, and as a little child, of course, I did not understand. Then there came a time which I glanced at the verses of the poem once again and I chose the words, “Two roads diverged in a yellowwood and sorry I could not travel both.” As I grew up, these words came with a deeper meaning. As time flies and passes by, it digs deeper in the heart and paints a bigger and brighter picture to see and gaze with. I did not realize then that these same words could guide us in our everyday journey in life. I know that as human beings, you have already encountered the situation where you have to make a choice. This is part of growing up and part of one’s life. This situation when we have to choose from among the choices is an inevitable reality which, most of the time, we cannot escape. We cannot take two roads at the time. We need to choose one where we could travel. And most of us would want to traverse the road which would be beneficial to us, give us wealth and fame, peace and glory, joy and success. The question is what should be our qualifications or criteria when faced with choices we have to make. Is it just pure luck in drawing of lots? DELAY. Do not decide or make a choice at the height of your passion, be it positive or negative. Always remember that superlative emotions of both kinds could deprive us of reasonable thinking. These temporary sentiments could bring us to the highest cliff and would push us forward and the result is injury or death. When you are angry, do not decide. When you are drowned in love, do not make a decision. When you are so jealous or proud, excited or amazed, mesmerized or animated, suspend your judgment. When these and other super feelings confront you face-to-face, just close your eyes and never entertain them. Try your best to let it pass and your feelings subside, and when you feel that you are at peace with clarity of mind, on your normal course so to speak, then the time comes for you to decide and choose what you think for you is the best possible choice. DISCERN. Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right.1 Conscience is the little small voice that speaks from within. When confronted with situations beyond the usual, there is something within that tells us to do a good thing or refrain from performing an evil act. Conscience is innate in human beings and from that, we could state that all human beings have this including the individuals whom history judged as the worst on earth. They did not just listen to their respective consciences and decided to pursue their own interests. But remember that conscience is only limited to do or to perform what is good and just and avoid evil. It is always pro- good and against evil. Beyond these two qualifications, conscience is not involved anymore. Since humanity attributes conscience with

Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 6 [1778].

influenced by thoughts of acceptance and rejection. and that has made all the difference. words. As human beings created for the purpose of eternal goodness. But remember what Robert Frost tells us. where many of our choices or decisions are made very quickly in the split of seconds. and just? We need to avoid the evil. and guided by the modern living and technology. right. If God Who destines all peoples and all nations will embrace the decision or choice we make. There are three questions to ask before making any choice or decision: First. “I took the one less traveled by. conscience could not and could never be attributed to evil. we must follow it because from it. we must kneel down in prayer and discern God’s will to us. A life without prayer will surely collapse. and actions to God Who is the origin of all things and the First among the rest. All decisions made must be a product of prayer. and the choice sealed with prayer. (2) is it good. And third. Prayer must seal our choice or decision.” . Conscience separates our understanding to what is right and just from the evil which we naturally avoid in making important decisions and choices. the conscience reminds us to choose or decide for the greater good. If we are at peace with clarity of mind with such choice being good. we are expected to do only the good. that choice or decision is the best for your life. and just. This may not be easy for us. right. it will surely have a fruitful. It is never a dictate. Before making any decision or choosing from among the choices. We must always dedicate our thinking. most especially during these days of the fast-changing world. as told by conscience. Second. So as human beings with a conscience that is innate or within us. or other great religions would say that this is innate with the soul. we could distinguish what would in effect be good to us from what is bad and evil.God the Creator. So when faced with temptations. fulfilling and joyful conclusion. (3) is this the will of God to me? Let us pray and discern to know God’s will. DEDICATE. (1) am I at peace to decide now? Let us delay our judgment if not.