August 28: Feast of St Augustine, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Augustine of Hippo is not of course a Benedictine saint. Still, he was an important influence on St. Benedict and the Western monastic tradition in general.

St Augustine's monastic rules are amongst the earliest surviving monastic rules of the Western Church, and reflect the moderation that St. Benedict was to make central to his Rule. He is also a champion of the combination of learning with faith, another Benedictine quality.

There are many quotes from St. Augustine in the Rule, but one of the most interesting areas of St. Augustine's theological influence in the Rule is in the Tools of Good Works (Chapter Four). The injunction "To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in oneself, but to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to impute it to oneself," reflects St. Augustine's anti-Pelagian approach over the position being advocated at the time by the Eastern-influenced monks of Lerins, and finally resolved at the contemporary Council of Orange in 529.

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