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Bs 970 Part 1 1983 Pdf 31
41. The moral law is like a hidden, first-created harmony, the source and point of reference for all human acts. It will be seen as a guide for individual and collective life; for the Church, as the community of believers; and for society at large, as a whole. The moral law, in its universality, takes on a particular character as a law of reason and love, that is to say, a law understood in a theological sense. 74 In fact, the natural moral law, as the expression of the free acts of God on the one hand, and as the teaching of those acts to man on the other, simultaneously involves the whole of human thought and action. To him who loves God, and wants to love him, the moral law presents itself first of all as a summons to purity and goodness: love makes him as it were see God, having the possibility of seeing God, in him, whence God is called the image and likeness of God and, through God himself, the Creator of all that exists. In this way, the natural moral law is also a point of reference for all the human acts of worship. The nature of God is practically manifest in the person of Christ, who revealed it in the beginning and who remains the supreme example for man, the master of his own freedom: for him the truth about God is the first principle of free act and of personal unity.
43. The moral law, however, is not just a universal reason for human acts whose fulfilment in each individual’s freedom is traced back to God: it has also an immediate object and a particular objective, namely, the good will of the one who loves God. Human love prescribes a particular kind of good will, the exercise of which by all men draws all of them to salvation. 75 The good will of a person of rational creature is called rational: it is a deliberate movement of the reason and a generous gift to God. Human reason has an immediate knowledge of the good, which prescribes what man can do and enjoins him not to do. But the moral law is not simply a norm of the rational will: it also bears on the will of the will to do what is good. 76 The law in its universality, which demands certain actions, is oriented towards God; in particular, the law of the good will, which has its own particular expression in the human will itself, is directed towards God himself and prescribes him as the good of the human creature.
thus the universal norms of natural law are universal because, transcending the particular differences of people, they give the full meaning to the freedom of each person, so that each one is able to find within himself the place of true unity with all others. at the same time, they provide the condition for the perfection of the universal communion of all men in christ, as they foster in us a willingness to follow the way of christ and to strive for the common good of all.
it is therefore an act of charity to respect this natural law, which is the good law from which all other human laws are derived. but charity also means to submit to this law and to live in conformity with it, just as the divine law is the law of the church. this submission to god’s law does not mean to deny that others have the right to govern themselves as they see fit; on the contrary, it means to recognize that the government of the human person is the supreme good of human society. it is the good of society, not only because it is the natural law of social life, but also because it consists in the free and responsible participation of every member in the good of others. thus it is in the interest of the common good that every human person be considered to be the temple of god, a participation in the divine life, an image of the trinitarian one. it is the good of society that every human person should be able to recognize his dignity as a child of god and that he be able to receive the gifts of the holy spirit and to sanctify himself so as to be able to offer himself to god as a living sacrifice.