Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Divine Justice vs Human Justice

When Elder Paisios was asked what makes the difference between a saint and the rest of us he said they have divine justice instead of human justice.


Here is how the Elder described Divine Justice:

Suppose two men are sitting at the table to eat.  In front of them, there is a plate with ten peaches.  If one of them greedily eats seven peaches leaving three for his friend, he is being unfair to him, this is injustice.
Instead , if he says: "Well, we are two and the peaches are ten.  So, each one of us is entitled to eat five peaches." If he eats the five peaches and leaves the other five for his friend, then he applies human justice;
That is why, many times, we go to court to find human justice.
However, if he understands that his friend likes peaches very much, he can pretend that he is not very fond of them and eat only one, and then says to him: "Please eat the rest of the peaches, as I don't really like them; besides, my stomach aches and I should not eat any more."  This person has divine justice; he prefers to be unfair to himself by human standards and be rewarded for his sacrifice by God's grace, which he will abundantly receive.
The  true Christian must never condemn, or press charges against his fellow men, even if someone takes by force his clothes.  There is a difference between those people who believe in Christ and those who do not.  Christians abide by the law of divine justice whereas the unfaithful ones by the law of human justice.
Divine justice is such a higher standard than human justice.  Isn't it true that most of us are imbued with the notion of human justices assuming that what is asked of us is equality for all?  Often even this is difficult. Divine justice is much more. It involves charity and compassion based on a love of others.  It requires a capability to sacrifice our own desires for the benefit of others.


The Elder says,

If we acquire divine justice, ignore ourselves, and love God and our fellow men, then God will take care of us and will see that we have everything.
Source: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, pp 61-62, 67 

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