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Catholic Dictionary




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.