Conscience is closely akin to consciousness. In fact, it could be called moral consciousness, as distinguished from psychological consciousness. Psychological consciousness makes us aware of what we do; it reports to us the action we perform. Moral consciousness or conscience "tells us not only that we act and how we act, but how well we act." Conscience goes beyond a simple awareness of what we have done to a judgment about the values or disvalues embodied in our actions.

William H. Shannon, Christine M. Bochen, Patrick F. O'Connell, The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia by William H. Shannon, editor, Christine M. Bochen, editor, Patrick F. O'Connell, editor