Letter 29 to Sulpicius Severus
1. In your letter which spoke of the burden I bear, your uncontrolled love called forth my rebuke. But that love is tempered by your kind gifts, which are suited and well-directed to my profit. The cloaks woven from camel's hair were a gift necessary for this sinner, who needs to utter the prayers and wear the dress of lamentation, so that when I am prostrate in the sight of the Most High their profitable itch may remind me, as I am pricked with their sharp bristles, to be pricked also with dismay by my sins; and as the garments chafe me outwardly, to be likewise chafed in spirit.
Paulinus then recalls that Elias, John the Baptist, and King David also wore hairshirts. To repay Sulpicius, Paulinus sends him his own tunic which he received form none other but Melania the Elder, when she visitied Nola.
(trans. Walsh 1966: 2.101)