Jesus Christ, End of the Natural Law
101. Grace does not destroy nature but heals it, comforts it, and leads it to its full realization. Therefore, even if the natural law is an expression of reason common to all men and can be presented in a consistent and true manner on the philosophical level, it is not outside the order of grace. Its requirements are present and operative in the different theological states that reach through to a humanity affected by the history of the salvation.
102. The design of salvation, of which the eternal Father has the initiative, was realized with the mission of the Son Who gave to men a new Law, the law of the Gospel. This Law of the Gospel consists principally in the grace of the Holy Spirit operating in the hearts of the faithful to sanctify them. The new Law aims above all to induct men into participating in the Trinitarian community of the divine persons, but, at the same time, it assumes and realizes in an eminent manner the natural law. In a certain way, it clearly recalls the requirements which can be obscured by sin or ignorance. In another way, freeing him from the law of sin--on account of which “there is in me the desire of the good, but not the capacity to carry it out" (Rom 7:18)—it gives to men the real capacity of surpassing their selfishness so as to carry out fully the humanizing requirements of the natural law.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009