Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Charity, which is like a generous overflowing of justice, demands first of all the fulfilment of one's duty. The way to start is to be just; the next step is to do what is most equitable...; but in order to love, great refinement is required, and much thoughtfulness, and respect, and kindliness in rich measure. In other words, it involves following the Apostle's advice: 'carry one another's burdens, and thus you will fulfil the law of Christ'. Then indeed we shall be living charity fully and carrying out the commandment of Jesus.

For me there is no clearer example of this practical union of justice and charity than the behaviour of mothers. They love all their children with the same degree of affection, and it is precisely this same love that impels them to treat each one differently, with an unequal justice, since each child is different from the others. So, in the case of our fellow men, charity perfects and completes justice. It moves us to respond differently to different people, adapting ourselves to their specific circumstances so as to give joy to those who are sad, knowledge to those who lack it, affection to the lonely... Justice says that each person should receive his due, which does not mean giving the same to everyone. Utopian egalitarianism can give rise to the greatest injustice.

In order to act in this way always, the way good mothers do, we need to forget about ourselves and aspire to no other honour than that of serving others, in the same way as Jesus Christ, who preached that 'the Son of man has not come to be served but to serve'. This requires the integrity of being able to submit our own wills to that of our divine model, working for all men, and fighting for their eternal happiness and well-being. I know of no better way to be just than that of a life of self-surrender and service.

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