The Morality of the Human Act
The HUMAN ACT is any action done by a human being and it can only proceed from the deliberate will of a human being.
Human Acts are in three dimensions:
The Object: What is the act itself.
The Intention: Why the person performs the act.
The Circumstances: Other things aside to the act but related to the act.
For an act to be good, all the above three parts must be rightly ordered:
The object or the thing to be done must also be good in itself. If the object is bad, the act is bad. Contraception or intended abortion are always “bad acts” and no intentions or circumstances can make the act good.
The intention must also be good: An objectively good act becomes bad if performed for a bad intention. (e.g., a politician giving food to the poor to buy their vote).
The circumstances, if not good, can also render an act bad. (e.g., reading a book instead of saving the kids when the house is burning down)
• Thus a morally good act must be really good, have the right intention, and be done in the right circumstances.
• So the “end” never justifies the “mean”.
• Although difficult circumstances reduce guilt, they cannot in any way render the act good.
• In life, holiness is about doing the RIGHT ACT with the RIGHT INTENTION in the RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES:
RIGHT ACT: Especially when it is clearly God’s will.
RIGHT INTENTION: For perfect love of God and love of neighbor out of love of God.
RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES: When and how God wants it especially in very difficult circumstances that arise in divine providence.