Thursday, October 13, 2011


Virgin most prudent!

Many times we could ask ourselves as to what the virtue of prudence points to. What does this particular virtue—one of the hinge (cardinal) virtues that aim at man’s perfection—present to us; what does it mean to be prudent? It is defines as the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it[1]. St. Thomas Aquinas would say that it is the right reason in action, following Aristotle[2]. But in order to understand it more and thus be able to apply it in our own daily lives, perhaps the description that Jean Guitton gives in his Mon Petit Catechisme could enlighten us a bit: to be prudent is to think in that which is to come[3]. From Stephen Covey in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People one may learn that one of these habits is to begin with the end in mind. The end is that which should determine the means with which we move ourselves towards it. When we wish to go to Manila, the normal thing is to buy a ticket that would eventually lead us there; we don’t board a plane traveling to Cebu when we have chosen Manila as our destination. To be prudent doesn’t only mean avoid being reckless. It means keeping in mind what’s in store for us, and by this we ultimately mean heaven and the life shared eternally with God. We would be deeply imprudent if we were to live as if there was no tomorrow, as if there was no heaven.

Guitton also adds that being prudent also means making a good use of the time that we have in our hands. Much like those wise stewards in the Parable of the Talents, we know that the master would not take long in returning, and when he does, he too will demand from us an account of the life and the gifts that he had granted us.

In all of this, we find in Mary our Mother the most perfect model after her Son: in her mind and in her heart she knew that she was meant to live a life in deep communion with God, and knowing that, every moment of her life she spent in preparing herself for this union. Let us pray that as we invoke her intercession with this title, we too may be prudent, as nobody is exempt from developing this virtue that is very crucial in our lives not only as Christians but as human beings

[2] Cfr. Ibid.
[3] JEAN GUITTON, Mon Petit Catechisme, Desclee de Brouwer de Paris, 1978, p.47.

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