Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Beginning of NLN

After the enthusiatic response to yesterday's red alert, I thought it fitting a further consideration of the Natural Law, in the form of Natural Law Notes (NLN) be included. So as I can run across helpful notes and ideas I will bring them here and to Apologize and Don't Be Sorry.

Today's selection comes from Fr. John Hardon, S. J. (don't flinch; there are good Jesuits out there) as found in The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism(pgs. 119-120).

526. What is the Natural Law?
The natural law is the law by which man comes to know the eternal law from
created nature through the light of his native reason.

527. Where does the natural law manifest itself?
Natural law manifests itself to each person's conscience in the world of
natural creation. It is knowable by the light of man's reason. Thus
we know that lying is wrong because it tends to break down the mutual confidence
between human beings, and that obedience to just authority is good because
otherwise society would be impossible. "For instance, pagans who never
heard of the Law but are led by reason to do what the Law commands, may not
actually 'possess' the Law, but they can be said to 'be' the Law. They can
point to the substance of the Law engraved on their hearts -- they can call a
witness, that is, their own conscience."

528. What are the marks of the natural law?
Natural law is universal because it applies to all human beings. Thus
we are all obliged to be honest and chaste. It is immutable because it is
not subject to basic change. So we cannot say that adultery might have
been wrong in former days but is now permissible; or the murder of unborn
children is allowed where legalized by the State. It is absolute because
it must be observed at all costs; so that I may not lie, no matter how
embarassing I may find it to tell the truth.

No comments: