Natural Law, Revelation and Objective Truth

From nature and from revelation we can know something about God and His ways, but ultimately, much is mysterious and we face the problem of evil in the knowledge of God and of His infinite goodness. Faith with complete trust in God is the only way to bridge the gap between our temporal world and the eternal life of God.

Our Saviour Jesus Christ provides us with the complete answer to the problem raised by Job. He teaches us to call God Our Father. He also revealed very clearly that the human person is immortal and that after this life there are two possibilities: the wicked who reject God’s love will be damned in hell for all eternity, while those who love God in return, and who do His will in this life, will attain eternal life in the loving embrace of the most Holy Trinity. The basis for the judgment that will determine our eternal destiny is not an arbitrary judgment but one based on the truth and the law: both the eternal law and the natural law.

Our human laws are based on concepts like justice and truth. When laws do not express these truths they are unjust and we are not bound to follow them. In fact, we have a duty to oppose them. Objections to laws and truths however, are only valid when informed by reason. This is why not every opinion is necessarily valid. While it may be true that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, we are not entitled to our own facts. In a sane world facts are based on truth. “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:1). The question posed by God may help us to understand the necessity for clarity especially as we engage a culture that is increasingly hostile to the Christian faith and quite simply mad, since it sometimes denies empirical truth itself. We are, it seems, more and more often at odds with the greater culture. When opinions are not informed by truth, they are indeed “words without knowledge” and consequently not worthy of consideration or even of debate. This is not the case with a statement of truth. We believe in objective truth.

People of our time have emptied each thing of its true meaning. He who commits a fault does not recognize that he did wrong.” This is how Marie Claire responded to Our Lady’s words: “We are weak, without strength. Give us the strength to recognize our faults and to ask forgiveness for them.” There is only one way to recognize our faults. We must confess our sins and admit our errors, and we must believe again in what is self-evidently true—that the nature of things cannot be artificially altered. If we do this then we will be truly humble because humility is truth; and if we are humble, we will in turn be gentle and merciful. We must adhere with all our strength to the word of truth that God has revealed to us and we must speak that word with all boldness because our salvation and that of the world depends on it. Only God knows the anguish that is suffered by those deceived and victimized by erroneous and deceptive opinions. 

Though we may not think of it in this manner, for sadly we tend to take too much for granted, we Catholics are privileged: every Sunday, especially in the lessons read at Holy Mass, God our Father enlightens us with the truth of His saving Word. In faithfulness to this Word, at the Saviour’s command and formed by divine teaching, we must endeavor to be attentive to the truth that has been revealed to us, and with constant devotion we must revere and love God’s holy name all the more in our confused and confusing world; in the sure knowledge that our Heavenly Father never deprives of guidance those He has set firm on the foundation of His love (Collect, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, The Roman Missal). Our counsels are His own counsels and because the Father’s word is truth we are sanctified by the truth (Cf. Jn 17:17).

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