Love and Justice


Matthew Fox, in his book On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear, writes of justice as the prophet's goal. He says:

I suggest that love today means before all else justice. Justice is the direction given to love. For the only way to love God is to love one's neighbor; but the only way to love one's neighbor (apart from "being in love", which limits one's understanding of neighbor) is by justice. Very simply, he who says he loves his neighbor but ignores justice is a liar. And he who says that he loves God, whom he does not see, but hates his brother, whom he does see, is a liar.
Fox makes an excellent point. Love and justice are not two, separate Divine attributes, and they are not separate expressions of the Divine will. Justice flows naturally out of love. Prophecy expresses outrage at injustice because injustice is contrary to love. Social justice is the inevitable goal of the prophetic mission. Prophets seek to overturn the social institutions that oppress, because that is what the calling of divine love requires.

Fox also points out that we are all called to be prophets:
Everyone called to prayer, to life in the spirit, is called to prophecy, and the projecting of our personal prophetic vocation onto "heroes" is nothing less than a surrender of our spiritual life. A prophet might serve as a model, but in the spiritual life there are no heroes. Each adult person is alone before his or her unique prophetic possibility and response to life's enemies. Every adult has a prophetic vocation.
This is an important point. We should not delegate the prophetic calling of social justice to a selected few. We all can serve as prophets. But then the question arises: what is my prophetic vocation?