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St. Basil the Great once said: “Prudence must precede every action that we undertake; for if prudence be wanting, there is nothing, however good it may seem, which is not turned into evil.” In these strong words, this saint has offered a great insight to all of us. Prudence is almost always listed first in the virtues, for it directs justice, fortitude, and temperance. All of our actions should be directed to their suitable goal or end, and it is the virtue of prudence that will lead one to proper action.

Prudence is a perfect virtue because it determines which acts will attain the appropriate goal. Often times, a man might find himself in a situation where he must decide between two goods or possibilities, both of which are morally neutral. It is in a time like this that the virtue of prudence will come into play. Prudence is not choosing between good and evil. It is a virtue that  presupposes man’s will to seek what is good. Prudence is a virtue that is strengthened when one is in a state of grace. In fact, it is in this state of grace where one will be able to make the wisest decision. Keeping that in mind, prudence is truly a gift from God. 

This gift from God helps us to keep our minds on what is essential. Wisdom is often associated with prudence throughout the Bible, and it is in this wisdom that we come to know our proper place before Our Heavenly Father. In Proverbs 9:10, the writer says: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” The cardinal virtue takes time and experience to develop. A right relationship with the Lord will help in its development. Prudence is a perfect virtue because it keeps our hearts and mind on what is perfect, God. Together, let us pray to God and ask him for the virtue of prudence.

-Deacon Josh

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