Choose a topic from Part 2B:

57. Right

1. Right means what is just. A right is what isowed. Subjectively, a right is a moral power in a person to do, topossess, or to demand something. Now, right is the object of thevirtue of justice. Justice is the virtue that requiresthat right be done, and that rights in persons be observed and notviolated.

2. Right is founded on law. Natural right restson the natural law, which, as we have seen, is the eternal morallaw as knowable by sound human reason without the aid of divinerevelation. Thus an innocent man's right to life is a naturalright. Positive right rests on positive law, that is, lawenacted and set down in positive ordinance. Positive law isdivine (as in the Ten Commandments) or human, asin the written code of a nation. Human law is civil orecclesiastical according as it is the written code ofstate or Church; Church law is canon law ordiocesan law according as it is for the whole Church orfor a diocese.

3. International law or the law of nationsexpresses the rights of nations towards one another; it restsultimately, as all laws do, on the eternal law of God. It isdistinct from the natural law, for it has a different and morerestricted field of application.

4. The right of dominion is the right ofownership, whether of goods, or of jurisdiction,that is, of justly controlling the activities of others andrequiring obedience. There is a special right of control orjurisdiction called paternal right; this belongs to afather with reference to his children. In husband and wife, thereis domestic right. In citizens, by reason of civil law,there is civic right.

"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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