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480

Part Three

[God] does not want each person to keep all the counsels,

but only those appropriate to the diversity of persons, times,

opportunities, and strengths, as charity requires; for it is

charity, as queen of all virtues, all commandments, all coun­

sels, and, in short, of all laws and all Christian actions, that

gives to all of them their rank, order, time, and value.

33

IN BRIEF

1975

According to Scripture the Law is a fatherly instruc­

tion by God which prescribes for man the ways that

lead to the promised beatitude, and proscribes the

ways of evil.

1976

“Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good,

promulgated by the one who is in charge of the com­

munity” (St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

I-II, 90, 4).

1977

Christ is the end of the law (cf.

Rom

10:4); only he

teaches and bestows the justice of God.

1978

The natural law is a participation in God’s wisdom

and goodness by man formed in the image of his

Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person

and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and

duties.

1979

The natural law is immutable, permanent throughout

history. The rules that express it remain substantially

valid. It is a necessary foundation for the erection of

moral rules and civil law.

1980

The Old Law is the first stage of revealed law. Its mor­

al prescriptions are summed up in the Ten

Commandments.

1981

The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally

accessible to reason. God has revealed them because

men did not read them in their hearts.

1982

The Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel.

1983

The New Law is the grace of the Holy Spirit received by

faith in Christ, operating through charity. It finds ex­

pression above all in the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount

and uses the sacraments to communicate grace to us.

33 St. Francis de Sales,

Love of God

8, 6.