Saturday, August 26, 2006

taken from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, OCD

PRESENCE OF GOD - Show me, O Lord, the way of true prudence

1. If we wish to attain union with God, our whole life should be directed toward Him; and as our life is made up of many acts, we should see that each one is step forward on the way that leads to Him. Supernatural prudence is that virtue which suggests to us what we should do and what we should avoid in order to reach the goal we have set ourselves. If we wish to reach union with God, prudence tells us to confirm ourself in everything to His will, to detach ourself from all things, even the least, if it be contrary to His divine will. If we wish to become saint, we must perform these acts of charity and generosity without recoiling from the sacrifice. If we wish to become a soul of prayer, we must strive to be recollected, to avoid useless conversation, to mortify our curiosity, and to apply ourself diligently to prayer. Thus prudence prescribes what we ought to do and what we ought to avoid, whether in view of our final end - union with God, sanctity - or in view of an immediate goal - such as the acquisition of particuular virtues - which, however, always must be ordered to our final end. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins effectively demonstrates the need of this virtue. They all slept while waiting for the bridegroom to come; when he arrived, the first five were addmitted into the banquet hall, the other five were refused simply because they had not had the prudence to provide themselves with sufficient oil to fill their lamps. And the parable concludes: "Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour" (Matt 25, 13). Supernatural prudence counsels us first of all to make good use of the time God gives us and the opportunities he offers us to practice virtue, because "the night
cometh, when no man can work" (Jn 9,4). When, through indolence or carelessness, we miss an opportunity to do a good deed, it is lost forever; others may present themselves later, it is true, but that one will never return again.

2....true supernatural prudence consists in setting the highest value on each fleeting moment in view of our eternal goal. Human prudence values time as a means to accumulate earthly goods; supernatural prudence values it as a means of accumulate eternal goods, "Lay not up to yourself treasures on earth....but lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust not moth doth consume....Seek you therefore the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be addedd unto you" (Matt 6, 19, 20, 33). these are the chief rulers of prudence, dictated by Jesus Himself.

St. Therese of Child Jesus said to a religious who told her that she disliked doing a certian act of charity which required a great spirit of sacrifice, "I would have been glad to do it, since we are on earth to suffer. The more we suffer, the happier we are. Oh! how little you know about regulating your affairs!" ((Unedited Souvenirs). Supernatural prudence teaches as how to regulate our affairs, not in view of earthly affairs, but in view of our progress in the way of perfection; and aove all in view of the glory of God and the good of souls. Supernatural prudence does not judge things according to their human value, according to the pleasures or displeasure they give us....Christian prudence is opposed to the prudence of the flesh, which resolves everything with an eye to earthly happiness, without any regard for the law of God. "The wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be" (Rom 8, 7). Supernatural prudence far surpassess natural prudence which is not bad, but which is incapable of directing our actions to their supreme end, since it looks to earthly goals.

....Teach me, O Lord, to give the greatest amount of love to each instant, to make eternal every passing moment, by giving it the addedd value of charity. (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, OCD)