Let’s reinvent the wheel a little bit. By the end of this we will have come back around to a very common, very basic doctrine of the Catholic Church. In writing this I have in mind primarily my students, for whom connecting all the things we teach is usually very difficult.
We begin with justice, the repaying of debts that we owe. Among all the different kinds of justice-relations we can find ourselves in, the just person above all recognizes that there are some debts that can never be properly repaid. To be truly just is to attempt to repay those debts anyway, even knowing that it will never really be done.
By way of introductory example, consider the case of one person saving another person’s life. It doesn’t seem strange to imagine a person feeling that they could never repay their savior, but that they would in any event constantly strive to do so. Just because “thanks” or “a check for a million dollars” doesn’t seem to cover the debt doesn’t mean we should do nothing. It’s not hard to imagine the indebted party gladly doing good for their savior in a variety of ways, hoping that some day they could reciprocate in some genuine way. Anyone who shrugged and ceased to care about their debt because of the inadequacy of their efforts would be wicked. Continue reading Debt, Worship, Sacrifice