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The Natural Law And The Redemption Of America

March 16, 2023 Frontpage No Comments


America needs to return to the natural law and God in its individual and public life. America needs Christ. I was asked at the last minute unexpectedly to fill in for the teacher of a class on the Ten Commandments and the moral law before Sunday morning Mass. As I reviewed my teaching of the class and the ensuing debates in the class, I saw the answer to many of the questions on the Ten Commandments, morality, and law, both human and divine, was Christ. Christ is the answer. Live Christ.
At the beginning of his Summa Theologiae, the great saint and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas said that no philosopher, with all his efforts before the coming of Christ, can know as much about God and what is necessary for life as an older woman does through her faith.
No person or nation can deny who they are and the natural law and expect to grow, flourish, or survive. The natural law as the foundation of positive state laws points to the transcendence of God as the source of the rationally known moral order of good and evil, as revealed in the story of Genesis and the fall of our first parents with the loss of original justice, and the need for knowledge and strength to know and achieve personal good, the common good of all, and make positive state law. The founders of this blessed nation in the Declaration of Independence felt compelled to call on our “Creator,” “laws of nature and of nature’s God,” and the “reliance on Divine Providence.”
The natural law based on the nature of the person as a rational incommunicable substance is needed so that the positive laws of the state can exist as right laws that express the truth of the human person as a reasoning and knowing person who knows the truth and acts according to the truth and the good, rather than laws that are expressions of the political power of a pack of vicious snarling dogs attacking those who have the temerity to disagree with them.
Persons with their ability of self-reflection and the knowledge of ideal and universal justice to do right to others according to their conscience of right and wrong must rightly recognize themselves as part of the order of nature to see and achieve personal happiness, fulfillment, and the common good as our founders recognized.
This self-evident recognition of the truth of the natural law is well testified in the negative consequences of the lack of understanding and actions that are contrary to the natural law, as witnessed in the failure to protect the natural boundaries of a nation while recognizing the need for charity for those seeking immigration, the violence, crime, and chaos witnessed on streets and cities, the undermining and attacks on the responsibilities and rights of parents for their children, the propagandizing of the media and the news according to the principles of socialism, individualism, and relativism that deny any objective moral truth as known and lived according to the conscience of right and wrong that denies the nature of the human person and their dependence on their Creator.
The natural law is an analogical expression of the transcendent causality of the first immaterial unmoved first mover, God, as observed in the natural order around us with its material and physical goods that are experienced in facing the challenges of life by those who give to others their rightful due as all seek to fulfill their responsibilities while recognizing the conflicts of fallen nature as revealed in the Garden of Eden.
The early great medieval saints, philosophers, and theologians Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas were concerned about the connection between happiness and wise decisions, prudence. Aquinas wrote that the natural law is founded in the seeking of the objective truth and good according to emotionally healthy, rightly ordered inclinations and reasonable and practical judgments according to the nature of a human person in the fulfillment of those healthy and rightly ordered inclinations in the gifts of God’s redemptive and merciful love of Faith, Hope, and Charity.
The government can enact positive laws that further abortion in every way possible, carry out secret liberal policies of government employees that protect the secularism of a society with no God, further erroneous individualism of socialism based only on empirical materialism, and promote relativism based on a skeptical agnosticism and emotional sentimentalism. Still, no government law says a man should love a beautiful woman, that the woman sets the moral standard of the man’s attraction to her and their relationship, and that spiritual standards and eternal law safeguard and prevent the decline and sinking of morality to that level lower than that of a beast.
Not recognizing nature in our reasoning and emotions in making wise decisions and making positive state law based on natural law as coming from the eternal law of God shatters and disconnects the material from reason. Reason is the basis of law. The failure to know reality in the order of existence in law according to reason in the natural law, positive state law, and the eternal law of God destroy the person and the survival and flourishing of the common good. Christ in His Person in His soul, mind, and body in the Incarnation of God in His sacrificial suffering on the cross, suffering and death, and victorious resurrection from the grave of death is the establishment of the new law in the ordered unity of virtuous and right living in human nature that leads to the peace of the beautiful, the good, and the truth.
In the living of Christ as found in union with His Church that our Lord founded, God’s transcendent virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and in the descent of the Holy Spirit’s gifts of wisdom, science, understanding, and counsel, for the mind, and the gifts of fortitude, piety, and fear, for our desires and feelings further are added to us so the Christ can be lived in a person, and this nation’s laws and governing can exist, grow and flourish as a shining light in the darkness of a fallen world.
(George Angelich is a married permanent deacon in Atlanta, Ga., with an MSW from Atlanta University, and a master of pastoral studies from Loyola University, New Orleans, and he is a systematic philosophy post-master’s certificate student at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

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