Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thoughts on Prudence

Our formation group talk this week was on the virtue of prudence.  Prudence used to hold a great place in society.  We used to follow the old saying, "let your conscience by your guide".  Looking around, I'd say that old saying has pretty much gone by the wayside.

Today we are a society that says, "Just do it" and "Do whatever feels good".  We shouldn't have to let ourselves be "tormented by the dictates of reason", should we?

Well, yes, we should.  And in that vein, John Paul II left us with some great questions to ask ourselves regarding this virtue.  He suggested an examination of conscience that would allow us to really look at how we are living our life.  Is our life dictated by feelings and sentiments, or, after weighing the consequences, are we making rational, informed decisions?

After all, prudence is nothing more than the "habit of acting according to the principles of right reason illumined by faith".  The natural virtue of prudence comes in the "right reason" part while the supernatural virtue of prudence is the part that is "illumined by faith".

John Paul II posed the following questions:

Am I prudent?  Do I live consistently and responsibly?  Is my daily schedule wisely organized?  Does it work toward the salvation that Christ and the Church want for us?  Am I moving ahead to obtain the supernatural end, holiness, for which the Lord has called me?  Do I set aside what obstructs my path?  Am I in the habit of asking for advice as regards my soul?  Do I correct myself when I am wrong?

I have to admit that when I first read that list of questions, I was pleasantly surprised to see the question "Is my daily schedule wisely organized?".  Even the late Pope thought that it was a good idea to have a daily schedule and went so far as to say that it should be "wisely organized"!  I might just have to use this as an endorsement for my workbook on organizing your day :)

Let us turn to Mary and ask her to help us to go against the grain and regain the virtue of prudence in this modern day do-whatever-you-want-to society.