Don’t be a prude. “Just do it.” We are inclined, in this era of “extreme” everything, to throw prudence to the wind. By temperament, I tend towards imprudence, jumping into projects without thinking them through,taking risks on kayaks, bikes, skis and motorcycles that put my health and wholeness in jeopardy. We must all exercise the cardinal virtue of prudence, which the Greeks called the “charioteer” of all the virtues. Without prudence (also known as “wisdom”) we are weak, ineffective individuals, rarely hitting the mark, the golden mean between excessive lenience and excessive severity.
Beyond natural prudence, however, St. Joseph was given the gift of supernatural prudence, as Fr. Calloway points out. While natural prudence seeks to avoid hardship in view of reaching merely earthly goods, supernatural prudence operates always in view of the eternal good, which is God’s will. Thus the father of the Holy Family did not only attain success in this world, but provided for success in the next world. He leads his children (you and I) to right order in this life so as to attain heaven in the next. His help is particularly vital to those of us, alas, who lack even the natural virtue of prudence