In a bygone era, women had names like Chastity, Felicity, Charity, Patience and even Prudence. Maybe sometimes they were chosen in the same way as we choose popular names like Sophia, Jackson, Olivia and Liam (popular names from 2017). Maybe there was a deeper reason, like parents hoping that their daughters would embody the virtues for which they were named. These days, the name Prudence has dropped to #2047 on the popularity list (2017) and perhaps, as we think about our times, that is a reflection on the extent to which prudence may be lacking.
Reflecting on prudence, I think about carefulness and caution, almost to the point of being risk-averse. In that context, what I think is an exercise in prudence almost paralyzes me. But this text suggests that prudence is a virtue positive and life-giving. Rather than paralyzing, it is meant to spur us on with an awareness of the impact of our actions, and in some definitions, even has an element of discernment about it. So this text is a reminder that life is found in knowing and doing those things to which God calls us.
Lord, give me eyes to see your path forward and courage to step out according to your call. Amen. — CN