422. VIII. CHARITY ITSELF IS ACTING JUSTLY AND FAITHFULLY IN THE OFFICE, BUSINESS, AND EMPLOYMENT IN WHICH A MAN IS ENGAGED, AND WITH THOSE WITH WHOM HE HAS ANY DEALINGS.
Charity itself is acting justly and faithfully in the office, business, and employment in which a man is engaged, because all that such a man does is of use to society, and use is good; and good in a sense abstracted from person is the neighbor. (That not a single man only, but also a lesser community, and even a man's country, is the neighbor, has been shown above.) Take, for example, a king who sets his subjects an example of well-doing, who wishes them to live according to the laws of justice, rewards those who so live, regards everyone according to his merits, protects his subjects against injury and invasion, acts the part of a father to his kingdom, and consults the general prosperity of his people; in his heart there is charity, and his deeds are good works. The priest who teaches truth from the Word, and thereby leads to good of life, and so to heaven, because he consults the good of the souls of those of his church, is eminently in the exercise of charity. The judge who judges according to law and justice, and not for reward, friendship and relationship, consults the good of society and of each individual; of society because it is thereby kept in obedience to law and in the fear of transgressing it; and of the individual because justice thereby triumphs over injustice. The merchant who acts from honesty and not from deceit, consults the good of his neighbor with whom he has business. It is the same with a common or skilled workman, if he does his work rightly and honestly, and not fraudulently and deceitfully. It is the same with all others, as with captains and sailors, with farmers and servants.