"Today we frequently find curiosity to be a powerful instigator of gossip, scandal, and a source of vicarious pleasure that allows us to live through others' lives rather than our own. We may find it difficult to tear ourselves away from constant news updates on events that are emotionally stimulating but of little real value. 'Custody' can be a good antidote to an out-of-control curiosity.

"The monastic custom of 'custody' can be easily observed in what is called custody of the eyes. In this practice, monastics carry out the activities of their day, moving as needed from place to place with their attention centered interiorly, perhaps focused on Abbot Issac's complete prayer: 'O God come to my help; O Lord make haste to help me' (Psalm 70:1; RB 18:1). To facilitate unceasing prayer, monastics keep their gaze lowered, minimizing unnecessary visual distractions that might fragment their attention. Similarly, custody may be kept with the ears, by deliberately refraining from listening to conversations not meant for one's own ears. . . .

"Custody of the tongue is even more important than custody of the eyes and ears. As Jesus reminds us, what comes out of us even more than what goes in reveals the true state of our hearts (Matthew 12:33-37)."

To Practice: Be aware of what goes out of your mouth, and if it tends to be negative and critical words, mind your tongue.

Norvene Vest in Desiring Life: Benedict on Wisdom and the Good Life