Justice is the virtue of the soul as a whole. ~ Plato ~
Justice respects the rights of others, whether those rights are natural (the right to life, and the right to worship God and to do what is necessary to save our souls) or legal. Justice, according to Saint Thomas, is concerned with the will. As Fr. John A. Hardon notes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, it is “the constant and permanent determination to give everyone his or her rightful due.” We say that “justice is blind,” because it should not matter what we think of a particular person. If we owe him a debt, we must repay exactly what we owe.
But life is full of injustice, and that we are here to do the best we can with what we have been given. If we become obsessed with justice for ourselves we have no energy left for anything else. We are part of the world as it is. Justice isn’t always just.
A way of thinking becomes a way of life. We leave no room for some of the greatest things in human life: forgiveness, endurance, tolerance, even fun. Our idea of fairness isn’t actually obtainable, it’s really just a cloak for wishful thinking.
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