Here are readings 4-6 from Matins for this Sunday, with some thoughts of mine interspersed, and with my highlighting:
Great is the glory of justice. She liveth for others rather than for herself. By her our commonwealth and fellowship are holpen. She holdeth such a pre-eminence that all things are subject unto her judgment. She helpeth others. She giveth wealth. She refuseth not to labour. She taketh upon her the dangers of others. Who would not desire to hold this castle of power and courage, if the covetousness of our first parents had not weakened and distorted the strength of our nerve. But so it is, that, while we are fain to increase wealth, to put by money, to add lands to our possessions, or to make show of our abundance, we put off the image of justice, and lose charity toward our brethren.
How true, that bolded part, especially in today’s culture. Secular society more and more denies God and glorifies self, and because of our weakness and sinfulness due to our fallen human nature, we have “put off the image of justice” – we hardly know what it is anymore! “Justice” becomes a juvenile cry of “that’s not fair!”, and it really means “I didn’t get what I want” – never mind what I deserve! And in that self-centeredness, we “lose charity” toward the rest of the world
How far-spreading is the field of justice appeareth by this, that there is excepted therefrom no place, person, or time, nay, she hath to do even as regards enemies, for if one be agreed with his enemy of a certain place, or day for battle, it should be deemed unjust to fall on him beforehand, at some other place, or time. For it is a very different thing, whether one get the better of another in a hard fight, or by skill, or by accident. If therefore in war justice hath place, how much more is she to be observed in time of peace.
There’s another foreign concept for today: that battle is pre-arranged with one’s enemy and that it would be unjust to then make a surprise attack. Terrorism…etc.
And that last sentence in the paragraph above: if justice has a place in war, how much more should we employ that concept in time of peace! I’m thinking about the peace of the family, or of the parish community, perhaps…maybe even the community of Catholics throughout the United States. There is little justice and many surprise attacks amongst people who call themselves Catholics. Note the recent “attacks” on “rad-trads” or whatever they are calling the tradition-minded faithful Catholics (who are essentially a remnant at this point!).
Honour is the foundation of justice. The thoughts in the hearts of just men are honourable thoughts and when the just man accuseth himself, it is honour that bringeth him to that just deed. Then is his justice made manifest by his honourable avowal. The Lord saith by Isaiah, "Behold, I lay in Zion a foundation-stone" xxviii. 16, that is to say, He giveth Christ unto the Church to be her foundation. Christ is the true honour for all men, and the Church is as it were a figure of justice, being a commonwealth wherein all have rights, and which worketh as one, and suffereth as one. Whosoever denieth himself, the same is just, and worthy of Christ. Therefore also Paul saith " Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ " ( I Cor. iii. 11 ), and upon that foundation is it, that every building of justice must be raised. For the spirit of Christ is the true spirit of honour which is the foundation whereon justice resteth.
Honor. Justice. Sadly lacking in today’s world.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
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