191. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MAN'S OWN PRUDENCE. IT ONLY APPEARS THAT THERE IS, AND THERE OUGHT TO BE THIS APPEARANCE; BUT THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE IS UNIVERSAL BECAUSE IT IS IN THINGS MOST INDIVIDUAL
That there is no such thing as man's own prudence is quite contrary to the appearance, and therefore contrary to the belief of many. Because this is so, no one who from the appearance holds the belief that human prudence does all things can be convinced unless by reasons resulting from deeper consideration, and these must be drawn from causes. This appearance is an effect, and causes disclose its source. In this preliminary statement something shall be said about the common belief on this subject. In opposition to this appearance the Church teaches that love and faith are not from man but from God, as well as wisdom and intelligence and thus prudence, and in general everything that is good and true. When this teaching is accepted it must also be accepted that there is no such thing as man's own prudence, but that it only appears that there is. Prudence is from no other source than intelligence and wisdom, and these two are from no other source than the understanding and thought derived from it concerning what is good and true. What has just been said is received and believed by those who acknowledge the Divine Providence, but not by those who acknowledge human prudence alone.
 Now either what the Church teaches must be true, that all wisdom and prudence are from God, or what the world teaches, that all wisdom and prudence are from man. Can these be reconciled in any other way than by admitting that what the Church teaches is true, and what the world teaches is the appearance? For the Church confirms its teaching from the Word, while the world confirms its teaching from the proprium, and the Word is from God while the proprium is from man. Since prudence is from God and not from man, therefore the Christian in his devotions prays that God may lead his thoughts, his intentions and his actions; adding also, because he from himself cannot do this. Moreover, when he sees anyone doing good he says that he has been led to it by God; and many similar examples may be given. Can anyone so speak unless he at the same time interiorly believes it? And to believe it interiorly is from heaven. On the other hand, when one thinks within himself and collects arguments in favour of human prudence, he can believe the contrary, and this is from the world. Internal belief however, prevails with those who acknowledge God in their heart, while external belief prevails with those who do not acknowledge God in their heart whatever their oral profession may be.