[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.
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.
“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,
I-II, 90, 4).
Christ is the end of the law (cf.
10:4); only he
teaches and bestows the justice of God.
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
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.
The Old Law is the first stage of revealed law. Its mor
al prescriptions are summed up in the Ten
The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally
accessible to reason. God has revealed them because
men did not read them in their hearts.
The Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel.
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