True and False Justice before God

January 20, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 462
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Section IV.

True and False Justice.

A fourth consequence worthy of note is that there are two kinds of justice, one false and the other true.

True justice is that which embraces both the interior and the exterior virtues. False justice is that which is satisfied with a few exterior practices, while neglecting the interior virtues, such as love of God, humility, and devotion.

This was the justice of the Pharisees, to whom our Saviour addressed these terrible words of reproach and condemnation: “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have left the weightier things of the law, judgment, and mercy, and faith. Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness. Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones, and of all filthiness.” [St. Matt. xiii. 23, 25, 27.]

Such is the justice so frequently condemned in the Scriptures. Speaking in God’s name, Isaias says: “This people glorify Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, and they have feared Me with the commandment and doctrines of men.” [Isaias xxix. 13.]

And again: “Offer sacrifice no more in vain: incense is an abomination to Me. My soul hateth your new moons, and your solemnities; I am weary of bearing them.” [Ib. i. 13, 14.]

What is the meaning of these words? Does God condemn acts which He Himself commanded under the severest penalties? Does he condemn the practices of that beautiful virtue religion, the object of which is to honor and worship Him?

Assuredly not; but He condemns the insincerity of His people who content themselves with the exterior observance of the law to the neglect of true justice. This He declares, for, after reproaching them with the mockery of their hollow ceremonies and practices, He tells them: “Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely. Learn to do well; relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow, and if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow; and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.” [Isaias i. 16, 17, 18.]

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