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Chapter 24. Life in Christ—Part Two • 327

Examples of offenses against human solidarity are slavery and rac-

ism. Slavery reduces a human being to an object to be bought and sold.

It is a failure to recognize the God-given dignity and rights of a human

being. Racism is an attitude that rejects the fundamental equality of all

human beings. It shows itself in discrimination and unjust actions against

people of other races. Both slavery and racism are gravely immoral.

God’s Law as Our Guide

We are assisted to know God’s plan for our salvation through his law

written in our human nature and revealed to us in his word. All things

come to be and find their purpose and goal in God’s plan. Thus we can

speak of the eternal law as the wisdom of God ordering all things rightly.

It is God who brings creation into being; thus the physical world

acts according to his plan found in the physical laws of nature. He also

made man and woman in his own image and likeness. Human beings,

then, are also directed according to God’s created plan, written in their

hearts and implanted in their human nature. “Man participates in the

wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his

acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the

good. The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables

man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie”

(CCC, no. 1954). We come to know it

through our human reason and

through its confirmation in Divine Revelation.

Through our human reason, we can come to understand the true

purpose of the created order. The natural law is thus our rational appre-

hension of the divine plan. It expresses our human dignity and is the

foundation of our basic human rights and duties. This law within us

leads us to choose the good that it reveals. Its most pronounced expres-

sion is found in the Ten Commandments, described as “the privileged

expression of the natural law” (CCC, no. 2070).

Because the natural law is rooted in God’s plan found in human

nature, it applies to all people in all places and at all times. While situa-

tions may vary greatly, the natural law is unchangeable. It abides at the

core of what makes us human and thus is not affected by the flow and

currents from cultural ideas and customs. While a given person, region,