It is well known that our conscience not only decides whether our actions are good or bad but also approves or disapproves of us. When it disapproves it chastises and torments us with pangs of remorse. And this is the fundamental temporal punishment within the purifying function willed by God. Our pangs of conscience are a form of suffering that purifies. They are more far-reaching in their inward effect than any temporal chastisement; for not only does a man really experience within himself the malice of sin, crime, injustice, injury, but he is also able to set himself free from it again -- an inner liberation but nonetheless a real one.