When we look at the concept of justice from a subjective point of view, we will wind up with a variety of “opinions” on how to define justice. What seems just and fair to one individual, might seem unjust to another. And therein lies the conflict. However, if we look at the definition of justice objectively, we can come to a consensus of truth in the definition of justice. So, to find justice in what seems like an unjust society we must first look at the objective definition of justice.
Find Justice in the Objective Truth
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines Justice as respect for “the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good.” 1 So, here we see, that Justice is not what’s right for only me, but I must take into account respect for all persons and strive for equity among all.
With a common definition to rely upon, we must now look at where we see injustice within society. We see it in housing, healthcare, education, and in the criminal justice system. We see inequity within our laws, as well. When our lawmakers enact laws that favor the elite, at the expense of the common good, we fail to align Justice with Objective Truth. The law does not benefit the common good.
Our moral life is structured around objective Truth (God’s Truth). We start with the Ten Commandments as our foundation. We build upon them with the Beatitudes, as they teach us how to live a morally upright life. When we structure our laws in alignment with the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, then our human laws align with God’s Natural Law and His objective Truth. When our human laws deviate from God’s Natural Law and His objective Truth, then we see injustices. How so? Our human laws are flawed, aimed at a few and not enacted on behalf of the common good.
Look Internally to Find the Truth
To find Justice, we must first look internally, and examine our thought processes. Do ALL our actions align with God’s Natural Law, the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes? I can tell you that the answer is no! Why? Because we all sin. So, look deep and find those places in your heart that need a conversion to live up to Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” When you do that, you will begin to make decisions that benefit not only you, but the common good. And with that, you will find Justice!
1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1997 Print. n. 1807.
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