Prudence and justice are two of the four cardinal virtues from which secondary virtues are derived. Prudence disposes that reason discerns the best good and the correct means to achieve it.
Three ends are pursued in every act: honest, delightful, and useful. When the honest end is discerned, chosen, and achieved, the other two follow. Secondary virtues of prudence are good sense, sobriety, caution, sagacity, and so on.
Justice disposes the will to constantly and firmly seek to give each one the good that is due. Secondary virtues of justice are integrity and responsibility where the rectitude in what is thought is reflected in the conduct towards oneself and others.
One virtue calls out to others and as an example it is necessary to maintain the correct end, perseverance is required. Additionally, to exercise justice requires firmness in the limits so as not to look bad with everyone, some, or with oneself through the virtue of affectivity. The phrase par excellence of assertiveness is: “When you say yes, it really is yes, and that your no, it is no, because the rest is not correct.”
Every virtuous act is a fair middle between two extremes, called vices. You have to be careful because one of these two vices gets confused with the right middle. Perseverance has inconsistency as extremes, and stubbornness or stubbornness.
The virtue of generosity has as its opposite extremes greed and waste. When what is said does not hold up, debauchery or lip service appears as extremes of commitment. The extremes of assertiveness are submission, where you consent to everything so as not to displease, and hostility or aggression, where you oppose everything to challenge.
Prudence is a virtue that resides in reason, a faculty that seeks absolute truth, while justice is found more in the will, a faculty that seeks the good of all.
Virtue is search and participation in the good and the truth. That is why the Greeks propose Ethics as a science to use truth and good in decision-making for the exercise of virtue; and the Romans propose the Law as a science to defend the truth and the good.
Achieving a virtue implies conquering oneself, because it hurts to recognize the truth and the good. Why? Because they are not popular, nor flexible, nor negotiable, nor fashionable, nor transitory. There is a phrase that teaches that “either the truth is recognized or it is recognized that one does not want to recognize it, otherwise one falls into lukewarmness or relativism.”
An example of an absolute truth is the law of universal gravitation. The day someone tries to challenge her, walking in emptiness, what will happen and why? A fatal fall because gravity is a reality that is not negotiable or temporary.
The virtue where complete adherence to truth and good is sought is humility. In humility, failures are not repeated because the conscience is examined, failures and own limitations are recognized, and it is corrected (peace and growth).
In humility, judgment disappears (the intention is to lower others) and fraternal correction appears (the intention is to make others grow).
The extremes opposed to humility are servility and arrogance. In humility, the true greatness of people occurs because it changes for the better and does not stumble upon the same thing.
The phrase par excellence of humility was pronounced by a young girl: “Let it be done to me according to the word”, that is to say, it is desired that reason and will conform to the truth and the good; and not that reality is built according to the ideas and will of each person (pride and pain): “I do everything I want and my word is the law.”
Virtue is an operative habit for excellence, a habit because it is always executed, operative because it is acted upon (according to the rectitude of what is thought). “Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good” (Thomas Aquinas).
Roberto Rosemary roses