Malicious talk, therefore, is a serious and troublesome matter, for it is the sustenance and recreation of some people. You should not, however, accept empty hearsay, lest you become a receptacle for other people’s evils.
Keep your own soul unlettered. For, by accepting the foul-smelling garbage of words, you will introduce stains to your prayer through your thoughts, and without cause you will hate your associates.
- Life of Syncletica
Quoted in Essential Monastic Wisdom: Writings on the Contemplative Life by Hugh Feiss.
From Sojourners Verse and Voice http://www.sojo.net/