Persons of sound judgment
- Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - November 9, 2013 - 12:00am

We all should strive to be persons of sound judgment. It's an ideal whose importance, relevance and urgency are increasing these days, given the complicating conditions we are getting into.

That's actually an understatement. We know that to be a prudent man or a person of sound judgment is essential to us, considering our nature and dignity, plus the growing scope of the responsibilities we are acquiring nowadays.

Not only do we have to contend with the multiplying pressures and conditionings on our personal, family and professional life. Not only do we have to grapple with the confusing ramifications of our social, economic and political life, sorting them out as best as we could.

With escalating insistence, we need to learn how to integrate the material with the spiritual dimension of our life, the here and now with the eternal and supernatural destiny meant for us.

We have to know how to live by faith, hope and charity, the essence of our supernatural life with God, in the middle of our daily activities and concerns, and in the pursuit of our temporal affairs, be it in business, politics, education, culture, sports, etc.

This necessity demands of us to be nothing less than persons of sound judgment. We have to overcome our tendency to be guided mainly by instincts, emotions, moods, fashions, and some sophisticated philosophies and ideologies that, while offering many good elements, actually lead us away from our proper end.

Remember what Christ himself said: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul." (Mt. 16,26) And so, even as we do our best in resolving whatever challenges and problems we have in our temporal affairs, we should not forget the "only one thing necessary" in our life, relating and subordinating everything else to it.

In this regard, we have to help one another develop the proper attitude and skills to be persons of sound judgment. Obviously, the elder and the more educated ones, the more mature and experienced persons and those with clear natural and supernatural gifts pertinent to this concern should lead the way.

There is obviously a theoretical and practical side to this affair. For one, we need to study the moral principles and the doctrine of our faith as thoroughly as possible. We should aim at nothing less than becoming masters and experts in this field, since these principles and doctrine are indispensable. We should not have second thoughts on this.

We have to realize that this study should be an ongoing and continuing concern, ever deepening and refining our understanding of these principles and doctrine, such that we can distinguish the nuances and fine points, and that they become part of our mentality.

Together with study and meditation, we need to grow in the virtues and to avail of the sacraments that keep us in the state of grace. We should not be theoretical and intentional only. We have to incarnate and express outwardly the things that we have learned in our ongoing formation.

Let's realize that we can only see, judge and know persons, events and things properly when we have a vibrant interior or spiritual life, a vital link not only with theories and principles, but with God himself.

This is how wisdom is acquired, nourished and kept. This is how we can counsel others properly, seconding the will and ways of God in everything that happens in our life.

Let's never dare to emit judgments that are mere products of our own making. We have to make them always in the presence of God and motivated by nothing other than love for God and for everybody else. We have to continually check on the rectitude of our intention, and the correctness and timeliness of our words and deeds.

This is how we can position ourselves to be objective and fair, giving due attention to the different requirements of the many aspects a particular case may entail. This way, we can avoid being biased or partial.

For sure, we need to pray always, as prayer is our constant conversation with God our Father, our Creator who is everything to us. He is the first and ultimate lawgiver, the judge and arbiter, the law and standard itself that we need to follow.

We really cannot be persons of sound judgment unless we are truly men and women of God. When God is ignored, if not rejected, we would be simply left to our own devices, and that is when we can only expect trouble and chaos.



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