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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 19, 2019
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Charity perfects our human laws

Rock & Refuge

We need to see to it that our observance of our human laws is not guided only by our human understanding of these laws nor by the many human values that we can aspire and pursue. Our observance of our laws should not be guided by our sense of justice alone.

While these understanding and values and sense of justice are indispensable, unavoidable and legitimate, we need to see to it that it is charity that inspires our observance of our human laws.

In fact, our understanding and the human values and the sense of justice that can motivate us in observing our human laws should come as a consequence of charity. They are not supposed to be the original principle in our observance of our human laws.

Short of that ideal, our observance of our human laws will lead us sooner or later to all forms ofanomalies, many of them are so subtle that we can hardly realize that they are anomalies.

It can happen that we can make use of our human laws to commit and to legitimize injustice. We can make use of our human laws to commit sin and promote perversions, etc. Thus, Psalm 94,20 says it all: “They do injustice under cover of law.”

That is why we can have such phenomena as the rich, the strong, the better-endowed humanly speaking, etc., lording it over or taking advantage of the poor and the weak. Only charity can fullycomply with the real spirit of our human laws.

And to have charity as guide, we need to be vitally united with Christ who is the very personification, source and end of charity. That is the only way we can comply with Christ’s new commandment that perfects all the other commandments—to love one another as he himself has loved us.

Our love for God whom we do not see is achieved by loving others whom we see. (cfr. 1 Jn 4,20 ) Thus, St. Paul says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and you shall fulfil the law of Christ.” (Gal 6,2)

And our capacity to love others depends on our vital union with Christ who gives himself completely to us not only sacramentally, but also through his word, his teaching, his example, and the continuous flow of grace that he gives us.

We should never doubt that we can have this vital union with Christ that enables us to love everyone as Christ loves us. He makes himself fully available and accessible to us. He identifies himself with each one of us in each of our conditions and circumstances so we can have a way to identify ourselves with him. It is part of his powerful and abiding love for us.

On our part, we need to feel at home with this tremendous truth of our faith, adapting our mind and heart to that reality. Christ became man so that we can become like him who is “the way, the truth and the life” for us.

We have to learn to assume the mind and heart of Christ, taking the initiative to love everyone, to understand everyone in all their conditions and even to offer forgiveness if we are wronged by others.

This is how our human laws are perfected. We should not be interested only in justice when observing our human laws. We have tolive the charity of Christ, for our laws without this charity cannot render true justice. A justice without Christ’s charity cannot render what is truly due to each one of us.

We may feel undeserving of such charity of Christ, but that is not how Christ looks at us. He loves us so much because we are all the children of God, patterned after the Son of God and redeemed by the God-made-man, Jesus Christ.*

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