And now objective moral norms
And when the Pope tells us that the human person is internally inclined towards self-realization, he is referring to the fact that God has made all men with an inclination to be happy and he has determined the path we should follow if we want to be happy. Yes we are free to make our own decisions about what is fit for our personal life. But what is truly fit for human life God has already determined and engraved in our nature, which is independent of whatever the acting self, the subjective person, chooses to think and do.
This is what confuses people sometimes. Human behavior was meant by God to be profoundly subjective. And yet God objectively defined for us the way we ought to behave if we want to be truly happy! This way of behaving that leads to true happiness is defined or spelled out by the Ten Commandments, the objective moral norms. Some people think that their existence deprives us of our subjectivity or that they make us less free. Others think that because God made us subjective beings, he should not have imposed on us any objective set of norms. Both people are wrong.
Yet it is obvious that all men naturally want to be happy. Though many individual human beings, unfortunately, personally choose to find happiness in a wrong way, in a disorderly manner, in the wrong place, and with the wrong person. They refuse to follow the path objectively defined by God and accessible to their created intellects.
The path to happiness has been defined for us by God and engraved in all men’s heart. These are defined by the moral norms, which are objective, that is, rooted in a reality independent of the acting subject or the subjective ”I”. And yet God wanted that we use our subjective mind to discover what is objectively true about man and happiness and the path to happiness. And to live this truth using our entire subjective being as a person. It is not enough to subjectively know the truth; we must also personally live it!
It is living the truth that feeds our personal soul. Morality is the only spiritual nourishment fit for our spiritual life. And behavior that is immoral does not satisfy the soul. It definitely does not nourish it. In fact it murders the soul in a manner of speaking. It kills the soul. The devils are angelic creatures, pure spirits that know the truth but subjectively refuse to live it. They now belong to Hell where they subjectively curse God for all eternity and are inflicted in their subjectivity with a profound and endless frustration because they can no longer attain that happiness God had ordained them to. They are eternally and hopelessly sad. They are accompanied in Hell by those human persons who used their own subjectivity, seeking happiness in evil deeds while still on Earth and who died unrepentant in spite of all God’s unceasing efforts to save them till the very last moment of their earthly lives.