29 September 2019

The Catechism of the Summa - The Second Part: XIX. OF THE DIVINE LAW -- THE DECALOGUE (A)

What is meant by the divine law?

By the divine law is meant the law given to men by God who manifests Himself supernaturally (XCI. 4,5).
When did God give this law to men?

God gave this law to men in the first place in a very simple way before their fall in the Garden of Eden; but He also gave it in a much more elaborate way, later on, through the medium of Moses and the Prophets, and in a way much more perfect by Jesus Christ and the Apostles (XCI. 5).
What is the divine law given by God to men through Moses called?

It is called the Old Law (XCVIII. 6).
And what is the divine law called that was given by God to men through Jesus Christ and the Apostles?

It is called the New Law (CVI. 3, 4).
Was the Old Law made for all men?

No, the Old Law was made for the Jewish people only (XCVIII. 4, 5).
Why did God give a special law to the Jewish people?

Because this people was destined to prepare in the old world the coming of the Saviour of men who was to be born of the Jewish nation (XCVIII. 4).
What were the precepts called that were given to the Jewish people and that regarded them only?

They were called the "judiciary" precepts, and the "ceremonial precepts" (XCIX. 3, 4).
Are there not also in the Old Law certain precepts which have remained in the New Law?

Yes, and they are called the "moral" precepts (XCIX. 1, 2).
Why have these precepts of the Old Law been kept in the New Law?

Because they constitute what is essential and absolutely obligatory concerning the conduct of every man, from the very fact that he is man (C. 1).
These moral precepts then have always been and always will be the same for all men?

Yes, these moral precepts have always been and always will be the same for all men (C. 8).
Are they identified with the natural law?

Yes, these moral precepts are identified with the natural law.
How then are they part of the divine law?

They are part of the divine law because in order to give them more force and to hinder the human reason from forgetting or corrupting them, God Himself promulgated them solemnly when He manifested Himself to His chosen people at the time of Moses; and also because God promulgated them in view of the super-natural end to which every man is called by Him (C. 3).

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