All just order in the world is based on this, "That man give to another man what is his due". For everything unjust implies that what belongs to man is kept from him or taken from him, and not by misfortune, like crop failure, fire, earthquake, tidal wave or any natural cause, but by man.
A just man gives to his fellow man what his fellow man should have, and he does this wilfully.
But what should he have so that I can know what to render or give to him?
A man's own is that which is owing to this man and to him alone, it could be a thing like a book, or an action, like writing, marrying, or going to church, or even by compromising a person's good name and preventing them from doing these actions.
There are three kinds of justice
- Rendering a things to another person, that is Person to person Justice.
- The community to the individual, one man to the whole justice
- The individual relations to the whole, General Justice
This kind of Justice consists in giving to the other person, the unrelated person, the stranger, what is owing to him and due to him, nothing more and nothing less.
This is strict justice, anything given over and above this is called a gift, for it is not strictly due. Like for example I owed you $14.95, and I paid you $15, and said keep the rest, this extra 5 cents is a gift and not Justice.
A man needs no justice in dealing with himself; he is careful enough of his own. But a friend is a sort of second self. "Yes," you will say, "but I like my first self best." Not in all things, if you are a true friend. A man will give his very life for his friend. This stems from friendliness and from love or charity, which is necessary in dealings with all men.
What then is true love?
To love is to wish good to someone. Thus love has a two fold movement
- Towards the good which a man wishes to someone, to himself or to another
- And towards that which he wishes some good
Thus we have two loves
- One we can call "LUV", which is sensual and emotion love only.
- The other is called truly by the name of Love
Here a man does not wish his friend some good,, but his friendship is based only on pleasure or usefulness. Thus he make the end his own pleasure and this is not true friendship, nor true love.
In the second he loves the person to whom he wishes the good.
True love then is a going out of oneself to the thing loved, it consists in giving oneself to the another for their sake and not our own.
Opposed to Justice:
Reviling is the dishonouring of a person which can happen in two ways:
- By depriving him of some excellence for which he is honoured, causing some physical harm to him or taking something from him. Saying evil of him
- By publishing or saying something against another’s honour, thus bring it out before him and others. Showing his faults
Words by themselves are just sounds and injure no man except if they be so loud as to be painful on the ears, like when a person speaks too loud, or if you have a room full of 5 year olds playing games. But words are signs of some knowledge which we wish to express to another and may do some harm.
Likewise when you bully another or because you know he is a thief and you wish to hurt him be telling him so in front of others. Likewise if a man reproach another because of his state in life, because he is poor, or because of his parents condition in life.
These all destroy some excellence which a man has and cause damage to him thus are contrary to Justice.
A man loves his honour as much as he loves his possessions, thus we must as far as we can, avoid using words of mockery towards others, and always try to have good words to say of them. Sometimes it is fine to have little jokes amongst your friends, but you have to be very careful, for our intentions can become tainted, for we prize our own honour over another’s most of the time. Thus, if we put another down we are looked upon as better, and more honourable!! Watch out for this danger, for we can fall easily into this trap
How about if we are the ones who suffer the reviling?
- If I don’t do something the one mocking me then I would encourage him in sinning, so it seems that I must reply to the reviler and mocker.
- We should love ourselves more than another, but if you see another being reviled you should do all you can to stop him.
- The one reviling you should be stopped with moderation, that is, out of a duty of Charity, not through the desire of your own honour.
- When a man prevents another from being reviled he is not in danger of desiring his own honour as when we defend ourselves from being reviled, thus it flows more from the sense of charity.
Just as we need patience in those things done against us, so too we need patience in those said against us. We need to follow our Lord’s Words of turning the other cheek, at least we should be prepared to do so in things done against us physically. Now with things spoken against us we should be prepared to suffer it if it fitting to do so. But sometime it is necessary to resist the reviler for two reasons:
- For his own good, that his stupidity might be stopped.
- For the good of many who would be prevented from progressing in virtue.