The Contributions of St. Augustine and Brigid of Kildare to Christianity
St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare were two very influential people in the church during the fourth and fifth centuries. St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare were most famous for the monasteries that they founded. Both St. Augustine and Bridgid were devout Christians who contributed greatly to the growth of Christianity. Both of these people encouraged the spread of Christianity, the belief in a life of solitude, and inspired many to follow in their footsteps.
I admire both St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare greatly. They began a new way of religious life by providing a peaceful place where anyone could come to rest and reflect no matter what their station in life. In our busy society we rarely have time to sit down, clear our minds, and meditate on what is important to us. Somehow our modern society is unable to combine work, pleasure, and prayer. St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare founded several monasteries where the above three things were woven into each day. There were times for tending the fields, giving thanks to God, and relaxing. However, personal reflection has fallen by the wayside in today's cultured. Many people have forgotten about the fulfillment that solitude and prayer can bring to one's life. This is even true in my own life. I am so consumed with social activities, schoolwork, extra curricular activities, etc that I forget to stop and take the time to be present with God and my thoughts. I think that I would be a better person and Christian if I just took ten minutes out of my day to pray, meditate, or write in my journal. Spirituality is something that I have lost, but through the examples set by St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare I am going to make a conscious effort to be more prayerful and active in my religion.
Augustine was born in North Africa. Augustine's father was a local Roman official and pagan, until he converted shortly before dying. Monica, Augustine's mother, was a devout Christian and tried to raise her son as one also. Augustine was a natural born leader in school, but at the age of sixteen he was forced to leave because his father could no longer pay the tuition fees. Augustine turned to alcohol, gambling, and prostitutes. A year later Augustine was able to return to school and studied law. When his studies were completed at the age of eighteen he became a teacher.
Augustine, despite his mother's wishes for him to be a Christian, became a Manichaean. Manichaeans believed that one god created good and another created evil, and that therefore no one was responsible for his or her sins. Monica fervently prayed for her son's conversion, but he was stubborn and refused to do so. A year later, while teaching in Milan, Augustine met Plato and Bishop Ambrose.
Soon Manichaeism became increasingly dissatisfying for Augustine. He became fascinated with the teachings of Plato and was soon convinced that there was a single...