St. Thomas, who was exceedingly humble and magnanimous, established very well the exact definition of these two virtues, which should be united, and that of the defects opposed to them. He defined pride as the inordinate love of our own excellence. The proud man wishes, in fact, to appear superior to what he really is: there is falsity in his life. When this inordinate love of our own excellence is concerned with sensible goods, for example, pride in our physical strength, it belongs to that part of the sensibility called the irascible appetite. It is in the will when it is concerned with goods of the spiritual order, such as intellectual pride and spiritual pride. This defect of the will presupposes that our intellect considers our own merits and the insufficiencies of our neighbors more than it ought, and that it exaggerates in order to raise us above them.
Love of our own excellence is said to be inordinate as it is contrary to right reason and divine law. It is directly opposed to the humble submission of the defectible and deficient creature before the majesty of God.