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Catholic Dictionary




The essence or nature of something intelligible to the mind. It is therefore the intelligibility of any essence. In ecclesiastical language it is the ground or reason or rationale of a thing, especially as pertaining to an organized body of knowledge, legislation, or method of performing an activity. Thus the Code of Canon Law has a fundamental ratio or set of principles on which it is based. (Etym. Latin ratio, reason; intelligence, mind, act of reasoning, knowledge, plan, motive, argumentation, account.)