A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
In moral theology, a rational order or directive to do something. It may be given to oneself, whenever an act of the reason prompted by the will directs a person in some human activity or in carrying out one's decisions. Or it may be an act of the reason of a lawgiver or superior requiring those under legitimate authority to take some definite action for the common good. On rare occasion, it may be an order imposed by authority on a person for his or her own private good.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.