A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
As a virtue, it is the constant and permanent determination to give everyone his or her rightful due. It is a habitual inclination of the will and therefore always recognizes each one's rights, under any and all circumstances. The rights in question are whatever belongs to a person as an individual who is distinct from the one who practices justice. The essence of justice, then, as compared with charity, consists in the distinction between a person and his or her neighbor; whereas charity is based on the union existing between the one who loves and the person loved so that the practice of charity regards the neighbor as another self.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.