“Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” St Augustine
With this simple statement we can understand most of the dysfunction in the world arising from modernism and its variant philosophies.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines justice as “the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor.” Charity is the “theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and love our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” Giving what is due does not equal loving God and neighbor.
When we think of justice in terms of God, we always come back to the words “thy will be done.” God’s laws written out through out history in our scripture, traditions and even in the world itself through natural law show us his will for our interactions with society. We know when we violate God’s will, our path diverges from his, and our ability to reach heaven impaired. We also know this is when more difficulties arise in our personal lives because we cannot avoid consequence for bad actions.
Yet how does this help us understand the dysfunction in the world today? Modernism and its political family of socialism play each of us into believing charity equals justice. Since each of us has a calling to be with God, Socialism politically plays on each of our desires to be good and give of ourselves to help others. The devil is in the details of the political deal though.
Let us examine this through the eyes of parenting. If parents allow a child to be mean to siblings, then provide a reward to the same child without reconciliation amongst the family, the child will never follow God’s will towards the siblings. In this situation, the parents fail in two ways. First, the child not working towards God’s will does not get a course correction. Second the parents fail to protect their other children, possibly giving them occasion to fall into sinful thought or action in retaliation. This would be a prime example of providing charity without justice in a family setting, which will eventually ripple out and affect the community at large.
Apply common sense, and look at where this applies to the larger world. Countries, according the the CCC, have a duty to protect their indigenous population and culture. If in the name of “charity” the country lets in millions of people in without vetting them, or protecting the indigenous population’s livelihoods, you encourage strife. Strife in cultural change, economic threats, and physical security all exist in spades in an unchecked immigration policy. This is because the leadership in both public and religious life led the population into the false belief blind charity and science can replace justice.
“Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” St Augustine…what a simple way to begin a prudent examination of our daily choices…and how we should apply God’s love to the world in the setting of church, family and communal relationships. As with everything under the sun…God’s wisdom is timeless. It needs no revision, just evangelization in its original form.