Picture, courtesy of http://stevelummer.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/yank-the-plank/
Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
The thing I like the most about this passage is the reassurance that I am not responsible to pass judgment on my neighbor. God has commanded that we leave that up to him. I have enough of a charge in examining my own life and repenting for the sins that I can identify (that's not the tough part) and then ask for forgiveness.
I think the clergy of the Catholic church is to help us see the true and virtuous path. But I am not ordained to this office. I can listen to a sermon, find a website that discusses these matters, and ponder them at length. However, I feel that I cannot hear confession and cannot know all of the circumstances of others actions, omissions, or misadventures. I do, as a Catholic, seek to believe in sin, to learn the ones that are mortal sins, the ones that are not. By applying them to myself and being an example, as well as moments of appropriate teaching of those to whom I am a position of authority, I can foster the goals of virtue in our Christian community.
Throughout my life I have made choices based on my sense of right and wrong. There are biblical passages that suggest our conscience, our moral value system is God given. I did not originate it. Through the growth and maturation process I have determined the things that I think are the most serious, in terms of hurting my relationship with God. I do make the most effort to avoid these. I pray now that I continue to seek God's will, to be a good example to my family and friends, and to pray for the souls of the lost and the fallen away.