religion

(Latin: religere, to recover, or religare, to bind)

In its widest sense the union of man with God. Objectively, it consists in doctrines and precepts by which man seeks to bring about this union. Religion is true when its doctrines and precepts are either dictated by right reason or revealed by God; if the former, it is called natural religion, if the latter, supernatural religion. Religion is false if, when claiming to be revealed, it is unable to show a divine guarantee, or when its dogmas and practises sin against right reason and conscience. Subjectively, religion is the attitude of the man who rules his thoughts, words, and actions according to right reason and revelation. In this latter sense religion is a special virtue allied to justice, because it prompts man to render to God what is due Him by strict right from His rational creatures. As such, religion is a strict obligation incumbent on every man. It is also the means by which man is to work out his final destiny.

New Catholic Dictionary

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