De Domino #2
Doctrine of Life #72
72. When a person is no longer prompted by the evil of murder, but by the goodness of love for the neighbor, then whatever he does is an expression of that love’s goodness, and is consequently a good work.
A priest who is prompted by that goodness does a good work whenever he teaches or leads, because he acts from a love of saving souls.
A magistrate who is prompted by that goodness does a good work whenever he settles a matter or sits in judgment, because he acts from a love of promoting the welfare of the country, community, or citizen.
A businessman likewise. If he is prompted by that goodness, his every dealing is a good work. He possesses a love of the neighbor, and the neighbor is his country, his community, his fellow citizen, and also his domestic servants, whose welfare he promotes when promoting his own.
A workman, too, who is prompted by that goodness does his work faithfully because of it, for others as well as for himself, as afraid of doing harm to the neighbor as to himself.
Their deeds are good works because insofar as someone refrains from evil, so far he does good, in accord with the general law stated in no. 21 above. And someone who refrains from evil as being a sin does good not of himself but from the Lord (nos. 18-31).
The contrary is the case with a person who does not view instances of murder as sins, namely, instances of enmity, hatred, vengeance, and more. Whether he is a priest or magistrate, businessman or workman, whatever he does is not a good work, because every one of his works is infected by the evil that lies within. For his inner self is what produces the work. The outer action may be good, but good as it benefits others, not as it benefits himself.