The Cardinal Virtues // Prudence

Dear God into your hands I place my life, that every decision I make there will be wisdom, intelligence and prudence, that I may always do your will instead of mine Amen 

Prudence will watch over you; and understanding will guard you Proverbs 2:11

The virtue of prudence is really just discretion. It gives us the freedom to decide what needs to be done in a given situation. I think practicing discretion is hard. We live in a culture where people live their lives on social media.  If we’re mad about something we’re really quick to hop on our phone and tell the world about it.  With instant access to these outlets it is rare that we actually stop and consider if what we’re sharing actually needs to be shared.  Or for that matter, if what we are reading really needs to be read. This inflated sense of self blinds us from what is really important; that is, seeking God and seeing others. 

We’ve all had moments where we fail to simply stop and think before we act or speak. While walking to dinner one evening with some friends we were approached by a homeless man in a manner that startled me.  But before he could even get a word out I put my hand up and shouted at him. “No, we have nothing for you.”  It was said in a tone and in such a manner that it startled and embarrassed me, the other women who were with me and of course, the gentleman on the street. I was ashamed of how I had treated this man.  

In prayer later I realized that I was lacking a prayerful presence of God. In my haste I failed to be present. I failed to see that man’s need. Prudence teaches us to listen to God’s voice in every situation and in all instances.  

Today, take a step back from your devices. Ask God to be present in every aspect of your day.  Then the next time you pick up your phone or tablet ask yourself, “do I need to be reading/ writing this

Find those areas in your day where you lack in discretion and simply invite Jesus into those moments.  

To Jesus through Mary Maggie Ness