NATURE: The created order (34l). Human nature, though wounded and weakened by the effects of original sin, continues to participate in the goodness of God’s creative work (405). Through the Incarnation the second Person of the Trinity assumed our human nature, taking flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary (456). The divine nature refers to the one divine substance or essence; each of the three distinct Persons of the Trinity is entirely God, who is one by the divine nature (253).
NEW COVENANT: The new “dispensation,” order or Covenant, established by God in Jesus Christ, to succeed and perfect the Old Covenant (cf. 612, 839). The New Law or Law of the Gospel is the perfection here on earth of the divine law, natural and revealed; this law of the New Covenant is called a law of love, grace, and freedom (1965-1972). See Covenant; Gospel, Law of the.
NEW TESTAMENT: The twenty-seven books of the Bible written by the sacred authors in apostolic times, which have Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God–his life, teachings, Passion and glorification, and the beginnings of his Church–as their central theme. The promises and mighty deeds of God in the old alliance or covenant, reported in the Old Testament, prefigure and are fulfilled in the New Covenant established by Jesus Christ, reported in the sacred writings of the New Testament (124, 128). See Bible; Covenant.
NICENE CREED: The profession of faith, common to the churches of East and West, which came from the first two ecumenical councils (Nicaea and Constantinople: 325 and 381 a.d.) (195-196). See Creed.
NUPTIAL BLESSING: Prayers for the blessing of a couple being married, especially of the bride (1624).