From: Christian Stories of Wisdom
A monk felt resentment toward the abbot of the monastery. Unable to rid himself of this aggression – rather the reverse – he brooded over it, justifying it, and making excuses; thus, the hatred increased rapidly. In the solitude of his cell he was assailed by a terrible thought: He wished to see the abbot dead.
Hardly had this thought taken root in his mind than the abbot had an apoplectic fit. He collapsed and died forthwith. That very evening the Devil appeared to the monk. He greeted the monk, but the poor brother did not reply. He moaned, wrung his hands, rolled on the ground, and blamed himself for this vile act.
The Devil deployed all his artifices, but the monk could not be persuaded.
The horned beast had to raise his voice:
“Hey! I answered your prayers, so be pleased!”
To give force to his statements, he spat a tongue of fire. Finally the monk, looking distraught, raised his head.
“It is your turn to do something for me,” Satan continued. “As payment for my services I compel you to sin. Out of these three sins, choose yours: drink, fornicate, or kill!”
The wretched monk, who was greatly vexed by all this, bargained for some time. But the Devil was inflexible. If the monk refused, the Devil would make do with making his crime of thought public. Having run out of arguments, the monk chose the lesser of the sins that the Devil had offered: drink.
Once when he was slightly tipsy he whispered sweet nothings into a lady’s ear. As she pushed him away he hitched up her skirt. He was on the verge of ecstasy when the husband appeared. To silence him, the monk killed him.
Rather than one crime, he committed three.