You have asked me, brother Godfrey, to expand and put in writing the substance of the addresses 'On the Degrees of Humility which I had delivered to the brethren. I admit that, anxious as I was to give to this request of yours the serious answer that it deserved, I was doubtful whether I could comply with it. For with the evangelist's warning in my mind, I did not venture to begin the work until I had sat down and calculated whether my resources were sufficient for its completion. Then when love had cast out the fear that I had entertained of ridicule for failure to complete my work, it was replaced by misgiving of a different kind; for I was apprehensive of greater danger from the credit that might attend success than of the disgrace that might attach to failure. So I found myself, as it were, at the parting of the ways indicated respectively by affection and by fear; and I was long in doubt as to which was the safer choice. For I was afraid that if I said anything worth saying about humility. I might myself be found wanting in that virtue, whereas if, on grounds of modesty, I refused to speak, I might fail in usefulness. And I saw that, though neither of these courses is free from peril, I should be obliged to take one or the other. So I have thought it better to give you the benefit of anything that I can say, than to seek personal safety in the harbour of silence. And I earnestly trust that, if I am fortunate enough to say anything which commends itself to you, I may have in your prayers a safeguard against pride, whereas ifas is more likely-I produce nothing worthy of your attention, there will be no possible cause for conceit. THE TWELVE DEGREES OF PRIDE TAKEN DOWNWARDS 1. Curiosity, when a man allows his sight and other senses to stray after things. which do not concern him. 2. An unbalanced state of mind, showing itself in talk unseasonably joyous and sad. 3. Silly merriment, exhibited in too frequent laughter. 4. Conceit, expressed in much talking. 5. Eccentricity-attaohing exaggerated importance to one's own conduct. 6. Self-assertion-holding oneself to be more pious than others. 7. Presumption-readiness to undertake anything. 8. Defence of wrong-doing. 9. Unreal confession-detected when severe penance is imposed. 10. Rebellion against the rules and the brethren. 11. Liberty to sin. 12. Habitual transgression.
Barton Mills MA, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1492960594, ISBN 13: 9781492960591