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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Justice: Giving What is Due

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches there are four Cardinal virtues. Virtues, simply put are good habits. These can be formed on our own capabilities. The four cardinal virtues are justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, justice is the most important of the four cardinal virtues. God gave the Commandments to Moses because to be the basis of justice. It perfects the will to give to others what rightly belongs to them. It gives its due to God and neighbor. 

Justice to God is the basis of religion. When some Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful to pay taxes, Jesus said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.”

Many people today use this as the basis for defining the separation of Church and State and stress we need to give Caesar what is his. But they forget the most important part: Render to God the things that are God's.” Society has been so focused on demanding what is theirs they forget to give to God what is his to the point of taking what belongs to God and claiming it to be theirs. We see this in moral issues on life and marriage.

How do we render to God what is God's? The first three commandments show us how. The first commandment tells us not to have other gods. God has to be number one in our lives. Everything should be based on God and justice must be based on God's Law and not on the whims of men.

The second commandment tells us to respect God's name. We should treat his name as holy because God is holy. How may movies just through out the name of Jesus as a curse? Respecting the name of God means respecting the person. Disrespect for the name is disrespect for the person. The third commandment is to keep holy the Sabbath. We honor God with our work but we also honor God with our rest. By resting on Sundays, we do as God did: stop creating and enjoy the beauty of creation. By resting, we express our trust in the Lord's providence and we get a glimpse of heaven.

Part of doing justice to God is tithing. Tithing is giving part of our income to God. It honors God by expressing our trust in him – that he will give back more than what we offered.

Justice to men allows us to respect the rights of others and promote peace and equity with regards to persons and common good. This is covered in the remaining seven Commandments. This virtue is based on the fact we were created in the image of God and everyone is endowed with natural rights. These rights are granted by God and not by any human state or institution.

Lord, give us the virtue of justice. Let us honor you by giving you what you deserve as God: Our obedience to your word.


  1. This is the TRUTH! And I pray that many people will be able to read this beautiful article and learn the TRUTHS of our Catholic faith.


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