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Catholic Dictionary




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.