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
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? 5 hours ago
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4