St. Athanasius on Marriage and Monasticism

St. Athanasius of Alexandria ca. 297-373

For, there being two roads in life as regards these matters, the one a more moderate and helpful road conducive to life, that of marriage, I mean; the other one being angelic and unsurpassable, that of virginity; but if anyone should choose the mundane life – that is to say, the way of marriage, though he is not liable to censure or blame, he will not receive so many gracious gifts. For what he will receive when he bears fruit will be thirty. But if he embraces the chaste and supra-mundane life, though the road is rough in comparison with the first and difficult to achieve, yet it has more wonderful features in the way of gracious gifts: for it has produced the perf1ect fruit, the hundred. (The Rudder: Canons of the Holy Fathers, First Epistle to the Monk Amun)