Thursday, May 12, 2016


"...I have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made...for I rule in the heavens above and the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence..."

A glimpse at the etymology and history of "prudence":

mid 14th century meaning intelligence, discretion, foresight, wisdom to see what is suitable or helpful.

Thomas Aquinas listed it as the first of the four cardinal virtues, defining it as: "wisdom to see what is virtuous"

13th century, from Old French "prudence"

and directly from Latin "prudentia", a forseeing, forsight, sagacity, or practical judgment.

Plato listed it as a cardinal virtue in "Republic". Aristotle defined prudence as recta ratio agibilium, "right reason applied to practice, a phrase Thomas Aquinas used as well..  

Aquinas elaborated further, writing that prudence functions as a principle virtue on which a variety of other excellences hinge. Those excellences include: memory, intelligence, docility, shrewdness, reason, foresight, circumspection, and caution (ST IIaIIae 49.1-8).

It is interesting to contemplate God as the epitome of prudence as well as of wisdom.  And how that should translate into my discipleship is, I think, worth my taking some time to consider.

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