He adopted with all his mind and heart anything that he chose to undertake.
Once Augustine had given thought to becoming a Christian, how rigorous a form of Christian living might Augustine have envisioned for himself?
As yet he was fighting an inner conflict: on the one hand, his impending marriage and accompanying ambitions, and on the other, his desire to dedicate himself to a search for truth and wisdom.
In the tradition of many great philosophers, the search for truth was typically conducted in a celibate state.
Augustine could have accepted baptism and then married, continued in a teaching position and raised a family, but there is no evidence that this was his desired scenario.
Indeed, the examples that he wrote about as having impressed him while he thought about approaching baptism were of a much more vigorous and self-sacrificing style of Christian living.
In the time of Augustine, severe asceticism was a standard to be admired and imitated. The heroes for Christians were spiritual figures like Saint Antony of Egypt
Anthony gave up even the most innocent pleasures to live as a hermit in the desert, and formed a community of hermits there.
Antony had died in the Egyptian desert two years after the birth of Augustine.
In his Confessions
Augustine recorded how one of his friends, a government official, while walking near the city walls of Treves, found a copy of the life of Antony that had been written by the great Saint Athanasius.
Augustine wrote that his friend was attracted to the asceticism of Anthony in the desert, and had been immediately caught up with the love of holiness. Augustine reported that he experienced a similar attraction.
During the time of Augustine there were numerous examples of Roman aristocrats who became Christian and then gave away their wealth to the poor and the Church.
They also sometimes lived voluntarily in celibate marriages, and withdrew from Roman society to dedicate their entire lives to the contemplation of God.