by St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397 AD)
A careful guide points out many paths, that each may walk along the one which he prefers and considers suitable to himself, so long as he comes upon one by which he can reach the camp.
The path of virginity is good, but being high and steep requires the stronger wayfarers.
Good also is that of widowhood, not so difficult as the former, but being rocky and rough, it requires more cautious travellers.
Good too is that of marriage; being smooth and even it reaches the camp of the saints by a longer circuit. This way is taken by most.
There are then the rewards of virginity, there are the merits of widowhood, there is also a place for conjugal modesty. There are steps and advances in each and every virtue.