VERBENA

On this 27th day of May the flower for the Virgin Mary is Verbena.

verbena bunchIt’s a lovely flower, but its associated virtue is Prudence.    No one seems to know why this association, but I can tell you that Prudence is one of the most strenuous of the four cardinal virtues!

Prudence is   “the exercise of right reason applied to practice.”     That’s pure Aristotle.

No,  better to do it this way,  let the great Fr. John Hardon speak:   Prudence is “correct knowledge about things to be done or, more broadly, the knowledge of things that ought to be done and of thing that ought to be avoided.”

And:  “It is the intellectual virtue whereby a human being recognizes in any matter at hand what is good and what is evil.”

That means we must know  (and in some cases learn)  what is right and what is wrong.   Then we must analyze the issue before us, using “right reason,”  and choose according to what is right.

Over and above opinion,  desire,  agendas,  intimidation,  political correctness, inclination,  emotions,  and mimicking the culture around us,  above it all there stands Right and Wrong and the Difference between the two.     Right and Wrong come from objective reality,  not subjective attraction to one point of view or another.

verbena pinkVerbena for Prudence, a virtue that Our Lady had infused in her, early.     For us, although it is very necessary, learning prudence would require attention,  intellectual work,  and educating ourselves.    A human must use his intellect — or be led around by others, and used in their schemes.     Takes  no effort at all.

A “hint”  about Education:

Before a child was ever taught scads of information about history, science,  arithmetic, etc.,  first came his instruction in logic.   Logic!     How to think,  how to discern what is objective truth  according to the principles of logic.  Then rhetoric and grammar –  how to express oneself clearly.   By twelve years old the child could be trusted to receive and use  information that others have discovered in the sciences and in history and literature.    This was common education.    (Why don’t we have an equal of Dante Alighieri  today?    Very few today are given such education.)

But such basic training in education is certainly possibly for children . . . and into adulthood, if you’re a little late at it.

It’s too dangerous for your soul to not use Prudence.

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