(The following is a journal entry left by the 4th century monk, Evagrius Ponticus concerning his discovery of “the eight deadly sins”)
I write to you today, as my prayers still go unanswered, to commit in writing my confession to you, as dear Lord I have sinned against you in thought, word & deed. My own greed has forced me to steal from my neighbor, who was not at home this morning when I entered his abode. Upon entering, I ate all of his food, as well as the food of his family’s. I stole from his bedroom the linens that I myself do not have. I took his livestock and his finest clothing, which I have to admit, I myself have wanted during those evenings when I see him walk through the streets with his young beautiful wife hanging off his arm.
When my neighbor came to my door later that day, as he was making his rounds in the village, asking about the things that had been stolen, I lied to him. I did not only lie to him, Lord, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so very much, because in telling him the stories that I told him about other fictitious people that had been seen near his place during the day, I felt as if I was looking back upon the same stories that I myself have been told about you.
Still a devoted man of the cloth, I now sit, exiled by my own will in this desert monastery in Egypt, and I await your reply, dead Lord. I await your reply as so many do, and I have faith that when you finally speak to me, that you will forgive me for what I have done, as I had little council in the matter.
Your Faithful Servant,