Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A term used by non-Christian philosophers of religion to denote the essentially nonrational and nonmoral; it constitutes what people call "holy." It is composed of two kinds of feelings: awe and self-abasement at the Terrifying Unknown (Mysterium Tremendum) and enchantment (fascinatio), which the unknown induces in everyone who allows himself to be charmed. (Etym. Latin numen, the divine will, divine command.)