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Friday, April 15, 2011

Let's Talk about PRUDENCE

Prudence is a virtue, this we know. What kind of a virtue? What does it mean to practice Prudence?

Human Virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions AND guide our conduct according to reason and faith (CCC 1804).

Well, that makes good sense, but what would it mean to have a firm attitude and stable disposition towards prudence?

Holy Mother Church teaches that there are four virtues we can know as cardinal or pivotal to our behavior: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. Prudence is, according to St Thomas Aquinas, the cardinal virtue that fuels all the other virtues. Because Prudence is the virtue that disposes our practical reason to discern our true good and to choose the right means of achieving it, Aquinas taught that the practice of Prudence allows for a easing flow to the other cardinal virtues. In other words, it is difficule to practice justice if we do not have the ability to put our practical reason to good use.

So I am thinking (which is not always a good thing, but could be as I get better and better at this whole Prudence thing), if I pray for the ability to apply my practical reason in a good and holy manner I can become closer to achieving the perfection of Prudence.

Of course, I also know that I can embark on this journey as long as I remember I cannot achieve perfection, I can only aim towards it.

What do YOU think?

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