Sunday, June 28, 2009

"...justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity."

Reading the catechism two days ago, I was struck with a strong sense of justice toward my fellow man (aka human). It is so important that we do not make a show of "doing good deeds". Not only for our humility's sake, but more fundamentally because any praise we might receive in return for them would be undue to us. For it is justice which we must give the deprived. Justice calls not for praise:

2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs."239 "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity":240 When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.241

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