"Changed times are to be met with new and appropriate means. Responsibility to effect such changes devolves upon Major Superiors and General Chapters who must proceed conscientiously, prudently, and courageously always under the direction of ecclesiastical authorities. Cardinal Suenens succinctly expresses the vital challenge: 'The whole matter,' he said, 'is summed up in the question: where and how are the cause of God and the visible extension of His kingdom best served?'"
"While the basic and fundamental elements of religious life should be maintained and nurtured, those which are no longer beneficial or efficacious, and which even hinder a greater good, should be discarded. This is the key point that demands a sincere, prudent investigation. ... It is in these areas that the virtue of prudence will fulfill the role of a special guide since all programs of renovation and adaptation are nothing more than the applications of prudence within modern religious life. The abilities to make proper decisions and to assume responsibility with competence are marks of a mature person."
"Applied to the attitudes of the founders of religious congregations, it appears evident to the contemporary nun that the founders were not satisfied with the service of the needs of the Church in their day; otherwise they would not have founded a new religious body. Experience also serves to prove the age-old truth that a living organism does not remain immobile for a long time, that respect for the past should not be a deterrent to the progress of today."
"The Church's needs today, however, demand the presence of Sisters in the direct apostolate. Since they are the normal auxiliaries of the hierarchy in the apostolate, the Sisters must not fail in this great mission. Responsibility in areas of religious instruction, parish organization, and social work for the greater good of souls presents a reasonable demand upon Sisters. No one would maintain that a Sister's energies are unbounded or that she is expendable but the attainment of her capabilities is far from being realized. The anti-feminist tradition, too often inspired by some canonists and spiritual writers, militates against nuns' freedom to participate in areas which could profit by their presence and in ways would hasten a desirable renewal. Prudence is the virtue of human risks, and risks must be taken. Superiors must assess these risks cautiously, seriously, conscientiously."
"The spirit of the community should be the spirit of the founder whose spirit was one of adapting herself, her works, her community to the needs of the age. ... A real knowledge of one's religious congregation as well as of the needs of the present age is essential so that one can prudently discern which observances can be adapted."
"The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, presents compelling reasons for the necessity of adaptation, both through example and through the Gospel itself. Since religious are canonically erected only participating in the living organism which is the Church, they are faced with the alternative: adaptation or death. Renovation is the law of Divine Providence evident in the renewal within the Church of approved devotions and liturgical functions suited to time and place. Renovation has been asked for by the express will of the Supreme Pontiff exercising his supreme authority over religious institutes. Adaptation is the universal law of history from which religious exclude themselves at the risk of becoming extinct."
"The virtue of prudence is the perfection of the ability to do or to act. Its function in a renovation program is impossible to assess, but no one is ignorant of the fact that he [or she] is obliged to love the good and accomplish it. Similarly it is more than common knowledge that the good most characteristic of the nature of [the human person] is 'to be according to reason.' Since, however, love of the good grows by doing good, the foundations of prudence are sunk deeper and firmer to the extent that prudence bears fruit in action. And of such a one who thus acts truth Holy Scriptures assures us that he [or she] 'comes to the light.'"