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

OBLIGATION

The moral power of law commanding obedience. Obligation is moral necessity, imposed on a free will, thus differing from physical necessity, which controls nonfree beings. Moral necessity arises from the final cause, which is from an end or good known by the intellect. This good, perceived by the mind, moves the will either to arouse or to restrain it. Since there is only one way to achieve one's last end, namely by morally good actions, a person is obliged to live what conscience tells him or her is the good life.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Introducing the Church Fathers 7 hours ago
Straws in the Wind July 25
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters July 25
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21