Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  444 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 444 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

444

Part Three

1806

Prudence

is the virtue that disposes practical reason to

discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right

means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is go-

ing.”

65

“Keep sane and sober for your prayers.”

66

Prudence is

“right reason in action,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following

Aristotle.

67

It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with

duplicity or dissimulation. It is called

auriga virtutum

(the chari­

oteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and

measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of

conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct

in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we

apply moral principles to particular cases without error and over-

come doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.

1807

Justice

is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and

firmwill to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God

is called the “virtue of religion.” Justice toward men disposes one

to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships

the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to

the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred

Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the

uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. “You shall not be

partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall

you judge your neighbor.”

68

“Masters, treat your slaves justly and

fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”

69

1808

Fortitude

is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in diffi-

culties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the

resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the

moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even

fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one

even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause.

“The Lord is my strength and my song.”

70

“In the world you have

tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

71

65

Prov

14:15.

66

1 Pet

4:7.

67 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

II-II, 47, 2.

68

Lev

19:15.

69

Col

4:1.

70

Ps

118:14.

71

Jn

16:33.

1788

1780

2095

2401

2848

2473