Charlottesville's Catholic Worker community

Right relationships

At Casa Alma, we understand justice as ‘right relationship’ – with God, with others, and with the earth.  These are some of the Christian and Hebrew scriptures which help us envision what right relationship looks like:

For right relationship with God: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matt 6:33); “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, all your strength and with all your mind…” (Luke 10:27)

With others: “..and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27); and the Works of Mercy, as described in Matthew 25:31-46: feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison.

With the earth: “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth…God saw that it was good”. (Genesis 1:1-31).  “But now ask the beasts to teach you, the birds of the air to tell you.  Or speak to the earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?” (Job 10:8-9)

We also look to Catholic Social Teaching to understand justice as it is expressed in our understanding of the dignity of the human person, our rights and responsibilities toward one another, the preferential option for the poor, and the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, economic justice, care for creation, and peacemaking.

“Justice is about the establishment and promotion of right relationships between all members of the human family, as well as the transformation of society’s unjust structures and institutions.” CRS’ Justice LensCatholic Relief Services

“Broadly, right relationships are relations in which each (or all) seek, without abandoning themselves, to be attentive and responsive to the needs and emotions of one another…That is, a relationship is not “right” if participants seek to overbear in power (oppress), to overreach in resources (exploit), or to mislead for selfish advantage (manipulate). Towards a Natural Justice of Right Relationships by John A. Humbach, Pace University School of Law

“JUSTICE means “Right-relationship” or “Life-giving Relationship”…Life-giving Relationship with others is impossible in any situation in which we are so intent on having things our way that we refuse to listen. Right-relationship is defeated when anyone is excluded from a meaningful place in the conversation. “Justice” By Father James Chelich 1999; St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Grand Rapids, MI