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,