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Chapter XXV.

A description of carnal pride, and of the evils which it produces in the soul of a monk.

This carnal pride therefore, of which we spoke, when it has gained an entrance into the heart of a monk, which is but lukewarm, and has made a bad start in renouncing the world, does not suffer him to stoop from his former state of worldly haughtiness to the true humility of Christ, but first of all makes him disobedient and rough; then it does not let him be gentle and kindly; nor allows him to be on a level with and like his brethren: nor does it permit him to be stripped and deprived of his worldly goods, as God and our Saviour commands: and, though renunciation of the world is nothing but the mark of mortification and the cross, and cannot begin or rise from any other foundations, but these; viz., that a man should recognize that he is not merely spiritually dead to the deeds of this world, but also should realize daily that he must die in the body—it makes him on the contrary hope for a long life, and sets before him many lengthy infirmities, and covers him with shame and confusion. If when stripped of everything he has begun to be supported by the property of others and not his own, it persuades him that it is much better for food and clothing to be provided for him by his own rather than by another’s means according to that text (which, as was before said, 1077 those p. 288 who are rendered dense through such dulness and coldness of heart, cannot possibly understand), “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” 1078



See Book X. c. xviii.


Acts xx. 35.

Next: Chapter XXVI. That a man whose foundation is bad, sinks daily from bad to worse.