The Eighth Degree of Pride: “I meant well.”

There are many ways in which defence is made for sin. A man either says ‘I did it not’ or ‘I no doubt did it, but I acted rightly in so doing’, or ‘I may have acted wrongly but not to a serious extent,’ or, ‘If I was seriously wrong, I had no bad intention‘. If, however, he, like Adam and Eve, is proved to be guilty, he attempts to excuse himself on the ground that he was tempted by some one else. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, The Twelve Degrees of Humility and Pride, XVII)

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