(The following is a journal entry left by the 4th century monk, Evagrius Ponticus concerning his discovery of “the eight deadly sins”)
I put my fingers in the oil lamp again just now. The flames did sear my flesh, but I cannot begin to withdraw from these thoughts that I have been having as of recent. I roll torridly in my bed with images of unnamed women. I roll torridly wanting to tear off their clothes like an animal and commit upon them acts of which I have no other reference except my own maddening mind.
Lord God, where are you? I am a devoted man, a man of the cloth. I sit here, having cast myself out into the desert, hoping that my conversation with you may make more sense---that I myself might hold more proof of your existence than the mere stories that I have been told.
With my burnt hand I will now hide behind this wall in the dark Egyptian desert, using the same oil of which I lit fire to the lamp to stop my visions of these women, and with this same hand, I will pleasure myself, Lord, because you have not answered, and you no doubt, will keep from answering me now. But this animal in me has to be satisfied, my God. It has to be dealt with, and as you are not here to help me, then I have to do it myself.
Your Faithful Servant,
Evagrius, AD 375