Before St. Benedict of Nursia, St. Augustine of Hippo was planning on living in solitude in something like a monastic community, not necessarily modeled off the austerity of the Egyptian desert monks but closer to the “City of the Philosophers” dreamed of by Plotinus. It would have been a lay monastery. Augustine was ultimately prevented from establishing such a community since he was quickly made bishop of Hippo. However, it is important to remember his desire to live such a life. If it were not for the need of the Church, Augustine would have lived like a monk. He prayed and contemplated the Psalms every day. In fact, while he was on his deathbed, Augustine had the Psalms placed on the wall so he could recite them in his dying hour. He saw his life in the context of the Biblical narrative, a narrative through which everyone can find the hidden meaning of their lives. The call of God was at the heart of that. Let us remember the prayers of his mother Monica and her prayers for the conversion of her son. May our sons and daughters hear the call of Christ and respond with fear and trembling as the wayward Augustine did.