Down to the Wire: Just $4,822 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
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

NORM OF MORALITY

A standard to which human acts are compared to determine their goodness or badness. A proximate norm is immediately applicable to the acts; the ultimate norm guarantees the validity of the proximate norm.

Human nature is the proximate norm of morality because it is common to everyone, and the rules derived from it will be applicable to all human beings. Moreover, human nature, while essentially unchangeable, is flexible enough to admit of varying applications according to circumstances. It is also constantly present and manifest to all humankind.

The ultimate norm of morality is the divine nature. this assumes that God is the Creator of the universe and the pattern of all things, that he is Being by essence and the source of all things, so that whatever either exists or can exist is a reflection and participation of Infinite Being. This resemblance between God and creatures--including human beings--should be not only in nature (who God is) but also in action (how God acts). Consequently, the ultimate norm of human morality is the nature and activity of God. A person is as good as his or her character approximates the perfections of God; and his or her conduct is as good as it imitates the activity of God.

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

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The gift of orthodoxy: A mercy and a challenge to mercy November 26
Getting Marriage Right November 25
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. November 25
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg November 25
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25