Hmm... what are they saying about curiosity?

Dear Beginner, 

Have you ever heard the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" applied to you? Do you get annoyed if people don't tell you things right away? Are you capable of walking past a sign without looking at it? Have you ever considered trying? How about perking up your ears in order to listen to a private conversation?

Really, the situations where curiosity sticks its nose in are endless. In many cases, mortifyingthat is to say denyingone's curiosity is just part of good etiquette. But as many other things, it's easy to forget, and I think it's pretty common that it's never been taught.

It's part of our fallen human nature to want to "be in the know" about things that are going on around us, and not so "around us" as well, to satisfy that urge of hearing some "juicy gossip" or about the relationship between two people. It makes you feel in control, that your opinion matters, that you are someone who people tell things to, it gives you something to muse upon, debate about,  "oo" and "awe" over, comment on, and bring the news to others. From there, people will always want to be around you and hear everything you have to say. Why? Because you satisfy their curiosity, so everyone wins… and everyone loses.

Does this mean that you shouldn't speak, or know about things that are going on? No, nor does it mean that you should cut yourself off completely with the world. But… it certainly does mean that you should be more attentive to the opportunities to practice the virtues of temperance, prudence, humility and many others. When we fill our head with useless news and information (and I'm not even talking about things that are sinful), we start taking our mind and our eyes off the Lord. We begin to worry about stupid things like whether you're wearing something that's in style or whether the person down the road secretly works for the FBI. The more useless things you know, the more distractions come at important times like when you're studying or praying. Working with things you do (and licitly) know is another subject, which would probably fall under controlling the imagination. We'll leave that for another time. 

So, some final thoughts... Do an examination of conscience about your conversations, texts, messages, what you read, what you watch, listen to, spend your time. Is it helping you to love God? Does it help you love others? What does it encourage within you? To help you discern, I'll leave you with a quote from St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

"There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love."

In the fight.