Josemaría Escrivá Obras
  Friends of God > Human Virtues > Number 88

A person is prudent not because he never makes a mistake, but because he corrects his errors. He shows his prudence in preferring to miss the mark twenty times rather than give in to an easygoing 'do nothing' attitude. He won't rush into things foolishly or behave with absurd rashness. He will run the risk of his decisions. Fear of failure will not make him give up in his effort to do good. As we go through life we find ourselves coming across people who are objective and know how to weigh things up, who don't get heated or try to tip the balance towards that which favours them. Almost instinctively, we find ourselves trusting such people, because, unassumingly and quietly, they always act in a good and upright manner.

This open-hearted virtue is indispensable for Christian living. But the highest goal of prudence is not social harmony or the peace which results from not creating friction. The fundamental motive behind prudence is to fulfil the will of God who wants us to be straightforward without being childish, friends of truth but never bewildered or superficial. 'The prudent heart shall possess knowledge', the knowledge given by God's Love, that ultimate knowledge which can save us and bring to all creation the reward of peace and understanding and, to each soul, eternal life.

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