5. 1 The Reign of God: Reaching Out in Justice
Spiritual Reflection for Teachers
The world of everyday life, the ordinary world of our immediate experience is where the work for justice begins.
Justice is expressed in practical daily decisions and actions that affect others and our environment in both the local and global community.
Though some will be called by God to venture into wider realms, for most, the immediate worlds of home, school, work and neighbourhood will remain the principal arenas for action.
To do justice is to uphold every form of human dignity from birth to death, to promote sound human relationships, and to ensure that all have access to adequate living conditions.
The prophet Micah, in the Old Testament, reminded the people of his time and indeed of every time what is required of them –
“only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
What are the implications of Micah’s words in your life?
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church are included below as information for teachers. They present the Church’s teachings contained in this unit.
357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.
1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:
Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.
1795 "Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16).
1807 Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbour. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour." "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."
2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is "the tranquillity of order." Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.
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