Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Deus Caritas Est - Justice and Charity

Natural law is in accordance with justice. Justice is that common understanding of the good which is present in each and every human heart. Thus, justice is the proper and affirmative response to the dignity of the human person. Thus, faith, made present in the Church, helps form the conscience of society so that it can recognize the truth that is present in the heart of each human person. The Church then calls on the human individual to act in accordance with that truth, for that truth deep in the human heart is what is justice.

The Pope, now having an idea of what justice is, states that the love of caritas is always necessary in a just society. Love is that which governs the just society. Thus we are called through our common faith in Christ to serve society with that charitable love in order to help enact a just society. Sin has made the world a lonely place, a place of suffering. We are now called to love so that people can experience the trueness of what it means to be human. Charity thus gives us a glimpse into the original state of man prior to the fall, it is also a foretaste of the Heavenly kingdom, where we will experience the charity of Christ in perfection in the Heaven for all eternity.

This call to Charity is thus not something that is bound to the state, but is bound instead to each individual person. The state does not make Christ present to the world, but we do, through our own individual actions. It is unified in love through the Holy Spirit and our communion with each other in Christ, and thus the Church as it is known is made present as a whole through the charity we enact on a personal and individual level.

This is where the lay faithful show their utter importance and necessity for the Church, for there would be no Church without the laity. This is Pope Benedict showing us the true meaning of the role of the laity as the proper interpretation from the Second Vatican Council.

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