The Cardinal Virtues // Justice

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin. It is your will that they be gathered together as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love and with the desire to ensure justice for all. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure an equality for all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. May there be an end to division, strife and war. May there be a dawning of a truly human society
built on love and peace. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord Amen

I said to myself, "God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man," for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.” Ecclesiastes 3:17

Time and time again, scripture makes it clear that only God is the judge. In today’s world I feel like that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many times every day that people judge one another, myself included! The other day I made a comment about how someone acted or what they were wearing (not to the person directly but to the person I was with) and I knew in my heart as I said it I was wrong. Whether judging over something superficial like that or something more serious like who “deserves” more food in comparison to someone else, we need to remember that only God can determine the ultimate judgement.

St. Catherine knew how to live out justice by knowing what each person deserves and dedicating herself to the poor and giving them all her money. When I think of justice I immediately think about my previous job. I was a social worker and many of the clients I had disadvantaged other clients by taking more than what they needed from the system. One lady in particular took an abundance of furniture over the years,  and when I found out what was happening I told the agency and they did not allow her to use the service again for years.

While that may have been seeking justice and doing the right thing, in my heart I also judged her and acted unfairly towards her. I still ask God for forgiveness for that because we are not in the other person’s heart to judge why they do the things they do. God is the supreme ruler over all the earth, and while it is good and right to seek justice for the oppressed, we have to be careful not to judge while doing so. 

Is there something you tend to judge on repeat or a certain situation you recall judging? Ask God for forgiveness and the strength to overcome judging and instead replace it with compassion :)

To Jesus through Mary-Ally Hynes

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