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Prudence (prudentia)

SG Prudence

In the fourth window, we have Prudence, or Practical Judgment. Ruth and St. Thomas More are exemplars of prudence. Prudence is traditionally understood as one of the seven cardinal virtues, but because it is a particular way of knowing, it is also seen as one of the intellectual virtues. It is insight with respect to human action, the knowledge of how and why to act and not act. Ruth is the biblical example, a Moabite woman and a convert to Judaism who must act prudently in a world in which she has no guarantee of safety or security. St. Thomas More (1478-1535) was a statesman and the author of Utopia and A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation. Imprisoned and martyred for his refusal to succumb to the political pressures and enticements of his one-time friend King Henry VIII, More, a "man for all seasons," demonstrates that prudence consists in much more than securing one's own advantage; it is the practical judgment which under stands how one must act according to a higher principle of wisdom in any given situation.

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Intellectual Virtues