Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

Man's capacity for knowing God by reason and apart from revelation. According to the First Vatican Council, "the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty by the light of human reason, from things that are made" (Denzinger 3004). Consequently human beings have the ability to know the one, true personal God who made the universe. The subjective means of obtaining this knowledge is human reason in the condition of fallen nature. The source of this knowledge is the world, bodily and spiritual, of created things. This knowledge can be certain and not merely probable.

The Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, also teaches that the existence of a personal God can be known from reflection on nature. Thus the Israelites were told, "Through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures, we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author" (Wisdom 13:5), and according to St. Paul, "ever since God created the world, His everlasting power and deity--however invisible--have been there for the mind to see in the things He has made" (Romans 1:20).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: The Other Greek Apologists April 19
Mysteries, again and again! April 17
Tips for getting comfortable with evangelization April 17
The Shroud of Turin on Display (and an odd canonical case against it) April 16
The Vatican says the LCWR is acting Catholic. And that's news. April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - 10 hours ago