The Spiritual Combat

Chapter 5:

An error of many who believe cowardliness to be a virtue

Again, many deceive themselves in this: they attribute virtue to the cowardliness and restlessness that follow a sin, because these feelings are accompanied by some displeasure. But they are unaware that these feelings are born from hidden pride and presumption, founded on confidence in oneself and in one's own forces. Because they esteemed themselves to be worth something, they trusted themselves excessively. As the fall has made it plain that they have erred, they become disturbed and they marvel at this strange thing, and they become cowardly, seeing that the confidence in which they had vainly placed their trust has fallen to the ground.

This does not happen to the humble one, who trusts in her God alone and presumes nothing of herself. When she falls into some fault, even though she feels pain, she does not become disturbed, nor does she marvel: she knows that everything that happens to her comes on account of her own misery and weakness, of which she is quite aware from the light of truth.

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