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122. The Precepts of Justice

1. Justice regulates our dealings with others-God and fellowman.The Ten Commandments (called the Decalogue) are therefore preceptsof justice. The first three commandments regulate our activitiestowards God; they deal with religion, which, indeed, is the chiefpart of justice. The fourth commandment regulates piety, which is apart of justice. The other six commandments regulate our justdealing with other men.

2. Since man's first need is truth about God, anddirection to God and away from false belief and false worship, itis right that the very first commandment of the decalogue shouldmeet this need: "I am the Lord thy God. . . . Thou shalt nothave strange gods before me" (Exod. 20:2, 3). This commandmentexpresses a requirement of justice.

3. The second commandment, "Thou shalt not take thename of the Lord thy God in vain" (Exod. 20:7), prohibits atonce the lack of reverence which would hinder the full accord ofhuman wills with the first commandment. This too is a precept ofjustice.

4. External worship is most proper in itself, and is alsoof the greatest value to man. It is indicated as an obligation ofjustice by the third commandment of the decalogue.

5. Immediately after the commandments which require justrecognition of the First Principle of our being, comes thecommandment which regulates our attitude and conduct towards theproximate principle of our being, our parents.

6. After the precepts of religion and piety, all of whichare precepts of justice, come the six remaining precepts whichbelong to justice simply, and direct our duty towards allmankind.

"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

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