◊  Saint Juliana, pray for us

A potential paradox/friction/confusion/fertile ground for mediation. (Or, I’m just missing a piece of the puzzle.)

Justice = rendering what is owed to another

1) Question: What is the “what” that is owed to another?

I have an internal sense of what is owed to others. Some words or labels: respect, love, kindness, compassion, help, service. For God: worship, adoration, praise. The word sacrifice should be in there too. The best answer is the greatest commandment: to love God and to love my neighbor.

2) But when I turn the question around, and maybe this is my problem, I am not sure what is owed to me.

I know my answer to part 1 applies to me too.

This sense of what is owed to me conflicts with my sense of the First Beatitude.
The First Beatitude, poor in spirit, ultimately points to the fact that all is gift.

I have no rights or claims to make on God.

In reality, I do not own anything, except my choices. (Even the opportunity to make a choice is gift.) I am a steward of what is under my control, or rather, under my direct influence on things and people around me.

If all is gift, then I am radically (at the root) poor. Anything that happens to me is gift.

God’s love for me is gift. His grace is gift.

And all of the words and labels I used in part 1 are gift. Even to give those to others has been a gift for me to give.

Therefore, it seems to me, I do not have a claim to be owed anything.

Even by God’s greatest commandment, I do not have a claim to be owed anything because all of that too is gift.

And if I do not have a claim to be owed anything, then where does justice fit in for me? It seems justice only applies for God.

But yet, I see injustice in the world.

Nota Bene: God has a claim on me. As His creature, I have failed many times to give what is properly owed to Him. I pray for His mercy. I have also failed many times to give what is owed to my neighbor. I pray for God’s mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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