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Aug 3, 2021

How to Make Good Decisions

Dr. Edward Sri

How do we learn to make decisions we won’t regret? Dr. Sri teaches us about the virtue of prudence, and why this virtue is so important when it comes to making good decisions that orient us towards love and goodness.

Snippet from the Show

Prudence is the foundational virtue because it directs and guides all of the other cardinal virtues.


We are made for so much more than just avoiding evil, we are made for love. Being a faithful Catholic is not just about avoiding breaking the 10 commandments and not hurting others. We weren’t made just to tolerate others, we were made to love one another and make decisions oriented towards the good. The virtues give us the freedom to love and choose the good. There are four virtues that our lives hinge on: prudence, courage, temperance and justice. These are known as the cardinal virtues. 

Prudence is the foundational virtue because it directs and guides all of the other cardinal virtues. 

Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.” “Keep sane and sober for your prayers.” Prudence is “right reason in action,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle. It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid. CCC 1806

Prudence is often referred to as wisdom in the Bible. Prudence is not just about being cautious, prudence is right reason applied to action. Without prudence, we often run in the wrong direction and end up feeling empty and exhausted. 

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,

    she raises her voice in the public square;

on top of the wall she cries out,

    at the city gate she makes her speech – Proverbs 1:20-21

3 Things that Keep Us From Making Good Decisions:

  1. Impulse– Going with our first instinct without thinking clearly about our actions.

  2. Getting carried away by our emotions– fear, anger, our inordindate desire to please people.

  3. Stubbornness– Not wanting to think through our decisions, seek counsel,  or listen to other people’s concerns. 

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The Art of Living: The Cardinal Virtues and the Freedom to Love


Meet Your Host: Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Sri is a theologian and the author of several best-selling books. He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. A founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Dr. Sri currently serves as its vice president of formation. He appears regularly on EWTN and resides in Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.

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