But do we suppose that God is better pleased when men account us wise and discreet persons? We think that there is but little edification given if people do not go about, with great gravity, in a dignified way. Even in the friar, the ecclesiastic, and the nun, if they wear old and patched garments, we think it a novelty, and a scandal to the weak; and even if they are very recollected and given to prayer.
Such is the state of the world, and so forgotten are matters of perfection, and those grand impetuosities of the Saints. More mischief, I think, is done in this way, than by any scandal that might arise if the religious showed in their actions, as they proclaim it in words, that the world is to be held in contempt.
Out of scandals such as this, our Lord obtains great fruit. If some people are scandalized, others come to their senses: anyhow, we should have before us some likeness of that which our Lord and His Apostles endured; for we have need of it now more than ever.