09_Justice & Society, A CSJ Series Summary

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the “virtue of religion.” [Worship.] 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 neighbor (CCC 1807).

“Justice is a habit whereby a man renders to each one his due by a constant and perpetual will” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

“For the rich man in the Gospel who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day, is not said to have stolen what belonged to others, but to have used what was his own unfruitfully; and hell received him after this life, not because he did anything unlawful but because by immoderate indulgence he gave up his whole self to what was lawful” (St. Augustine). 

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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on Sonja’s method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.

L – Listen (Receive the Word via audio or video.)



O – Observe (Connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

  • Do I vote and live each day with human dignity, marriage and family, the poor, and the other principles of Catholic Social Justice in mind?
  • Do I search for purpose, the interior life, for God in those I meet in my daily interactions?
  • Do I hold myself and others responsible for the rights we are gifted with?
  • Do I consider the rights of workers over the rights of those who will not work?
  • Do I serve the poor with a consideration that justice demands what I offer them?
  • Do I meditate on my own oneness and connectedness with my neighbor and God?
  • Have I taken measures to simplify my consumption? Have I stopped littering? Do I recycle as much as I can?

V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace, Let the design of your great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows. Give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our dwellings, and peace in our hearts, through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen + 

Show Notes

Topics Discussed:

Summary of the seven Catholic social justice principles

Justice as a biblical concept

Justice in society


Minutes 00:12:00 – Recap of series, CSJ principles 1-5   

Minutes 12:01-24:00 – CSJ priciples 6-7, justice and righteousness in the Bible

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – Human justice and God’s justice

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – Some Church Fathers and Doctors on justice, justice as redemption and forgiveness

Additional Resources:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Book, Amazon: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and USCCB

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Read the Transcript

Download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this show, here.

5 thoughts on “09_Justice & Society, A CSJ Series Summary

  1. The Seven Principles of Social Justice is the first series I have taken with you. I thoroughly enjoyed the series, especially because it is so relevant during these turbulent time. I also was compelled to do “something” in response to the rioting, killing, burning and mayhem around us at this time, so self education is where I turned as an educator myself.

    The series has led me to some deeper insights into the social justice principles. One new concept, however, for me, anyway, is that of subsidiarity which I must dwell upon for a time. I still find the concept of righteousness confusing, so I know I must dwell on that as well.

    Several observations I respectfully point out are that the content is overwhelming In volume at times because you speak faster than I can absorb. Luckily, the media format allows me to repeat the podcast to review and catch what I could not get in the first try.

    There was one comment with which I took issue.

    You expressed that the deterioration of society was due to single parent families. Did you mean that this deteriorations was due to an amoral disrespect of the family by those who have children (wanted or unwanted) outside the benefit of marriage? I myself raised two sons, much of the time as a single mom in a situation not of my choosing. I found this assessment hurtful as well as inaccurate in my situation. If it was just your personal opinion, perhaps it should have been stated as such. Generalizations such as that can be hurtful, harmful, and inaccurate…sort of like racial profiling!

    In conclusion, I am grateful that you accepted the Holy Spirit’s promptings to produce this series. I shared it as a group discussion with three other friends. We met on Wednesday evenings on Zoom to discuss the Monday podcast. Two folks dropped out, but I look forward to my final discussion with the remaining friend tonight.

    God bless your work.

    Claudia Finnegan
    Franklin, TN

    1. I’m amazed there was only one comment that bothered you! I did mean a disrespect for the two-parent, mother-and-father family that every child has an inherent right to, but I never meant disrespect to single-parents, since I myself was raised by one and know the heroic virtue required to do it well. I hold the guilty party in my own situation responsible for the devastation of our family. Apologies. + <3

    2. As a child who was raised by a single mom, with no physical fatherly presence throughout my life from age 10, I was struck by your comment and would offer you my thoughts.
      First, as much hard work as it takes a single mom (and my mom was a hard worker & loved her children in her own way), I know the toll from my father’s absence and the continual impact it has had on me (age 70).

      It seems to me that you would agree a 2 parent family is far superior for children, but you took offense even though you stated it was not of your choosing. That is sad. I will pray for healing for you. The truth is more painful when we have lived outside of God’s plans whether of our doing or not. God bless!

  2. Thank you Sonja for this timely study. It truly starts with us. I will be praying for you. Looking forward to the next Bible study.

  3. The Supreme task of justice is forgiveness…..WoW!!!!!this is what really hit for me. Like flash backs came to mine and had this speaking to them. And it was bitter sweet and it even broke barriers. Thank you so much for all that you do and all the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you.Amen I will be praying for you💜😇🙏

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