As well, Augustine learned of a community of ascetics living in Milan.
In the past Augustine had prayed for chastity.
But part of him was not ready for it, and he would add the words, "but not yet," to his prayer.
In his mind he was ready to dedicate himself completely to God, but his uncontrolled emotions still opposed this decision.
He was held back by his concern that his previous immoral life still had some power over him.
Augustine was impressed by these various examples of Christian community. It was quite possible that his acceptance of baptism might then lead to the additional option of celibacy.
This was even more probable because he had remorse for what he saw as the sexual immorality and excess of his earlier years.
This is exemplified in the action of Augustine of going to Cassaciacum
to form a community for study and Christian contemplation.
His purpose was to form a lay community
. There he was devoted to prayer and reading, and remained celibate.
He made it a condition of his accepting priesthood that he still be allowed to form a community and to live in it.
A little later in his life, his Rule
demonstrated in both theory and practice that style of Christian life to which he had begun to feel called even before he had accepted the waters of baptism.
In Milan before his baptism, Augustine was fighting an inner conflict. On the one hand there was the option of his impending marriage.
And on the other hand, there was his desire to dedicate himself to a search for truth and wisdom, which in the tradition of many great philosophers was typically conducted in a celibate state.