MAY 9 – PRUDENCE
The sunflower stands erect toward heaven and elevates itself over the other flowers, and exceeds in magnitude among the others. Its figure is similar to that of the sun: it forms a perfect circle, and stretches out its yellow leaves like the rays of this king of the heavenly bodies.
If only it has perfumes and fragrance it could surely compete with the rose in its scepter and crown, but because of this defect it is deprived of this glory.
While it can bend and move during its infancy, youth and virility, it follows the sun from the east to midday, from midday to the west, and while the sun moves hidden, it returns during the night from the west to the east and waits there; and when the dawn appears over the horizon it inclines its head toward it and follows it.
When it gets withered not able to move itself, it remains immobile and mollified gazing toward the midday.
All the moral virtues have nominated a queen to govern them and prudence was the one elected. But since prudence recognizes charity as its superior, it has taken the title of queen of all the moral virtues. The sunflower is a very expressive emblem of this virtue. This plant, which elevates itself over the others in our garden, always gaze at the Sun of Justice and follows wherever it goes; it inclines itself in its presence, takes from it its light and counsel and governs in the plant family always according to an upright rule. Recta ratio agibilum.
It has no odor, but plant its leader around the eight aromatic herbs of different species and they will supply with their perfumes what is lacking in the principal one and all together will form a perfect bouquet. The gift of counsel corresponds to prudence.
Prudence in Mary
Mary, knew from her immaculate conception her destiny in a proportion that were revealed to her. She had an end, and this end was no other than the salvation of the human race, corrupt and lost by sin. She ordered all her life, all her actions and her activities to this truly high and sublime mission, and she achieved her view in mind giving us a Savior. The ordering of her entire life to the salvation of the world, was the work of prudence.
The sunflower in Mary’s hands
Is there sunflower in your garden? In all your actions, your negotiations and undertakings do you seek God and consult him, to the right reasoning, and to the insinuation of conscience? Is there order in your way of life? Do you live doing your own will, doing as you please, acting according to your whims? If it is so, there is no prudence in you. Look at the purpose for which you were created, and direct your whole life according to it and towards it and you shall become prudent. If you lack prudence you will live in disorder and you are a destroyed garden. Let us look for this flower and put it in the hands of Mary and in order to plant it say to her:
Lady, from now on I commit myself to resolutely live according to God’s will, according to the dictate of an upright conscience and right reason. Besides setting aside my caprices, my own judgment and evil passions I will put in order my actions and my life according to God’s eternal designs: it is in this way I resolved to practice. Receive, Lady, this flower, I entrust its cultivation to your maternal solicitude.