“What precisely is the virtue of justice?
It is that perfection of man’s will which inclines him to desire in all things, spontaneously an unceasingly, the good of the society of which he is a par; and also to desire that each should have what is his due.” – Fr. Pegues, O.P., Catechism of the “Summa Theoogica”
I shall endeavour to address concerns about particular and distributive justice. These matters are always relevant, of course, but particularly so in this age when political, economic, and social forces are colliding so obviously and prominently.
Judgment (which we are called by our Lord to righteously exercise), called here “particular justice,” is “determining precisely what is due each person,” (ibid.) whether in civil law, ecclesiastical law, or mere interpersonal relations (society at large). Distributive justice is a species of particular justice wherein we safeguard the fairness in the relations that exist between the society as a whole and the individuals of which it is comprised. Commutative justice is the safeguarding of fairness among or between men in the same society.
Fr. Pegues frames things so that we may better grasp them. Sins against distributive justice consist in being a respecter of persons.
I intend to delve into this realm in the next series of posts, and then move along to the other species of particular justice and the commensurate rights and responsibilities.
It’s good to be back at the keyboard. Bear with me as I stretch out and work out the kinks.
God bless you all.