Benedict has no use for murmuring within the monastery. He clearly sees it and calls it a kind of malignancy that can rot a community. Although we may be able to have custody of our mouths, there is another murmuring that we can find, often to our chagrin, that we do within ourselves. We can mull over our resentments. Resentments can be, as one spiritual writer calls it, “cyanide for the soul.” Upon reflecting on that internal murmuring we do within ourselves, I wrote the following poem:

Repository of Resentments

So long you relished them.
After all you’d earned them.
They were yours and you
understood, especially
since no one else would.

It was like a staged game:
when they’d surface
you’d throw them a line,
and hook them, or was it
they that threw you a line.

No energy of themselves—
they needed yours. The more
you gave them, the more
they took. Even you knew
it was tired old news.

Yet you wanted to believe
your heart sick message.
Nothing gave you relief.
Your novella grew dreary.
Your friends grew weary.

Those were the days.
You were so peeved off.
How your life flew by.

Charles Preble, OblSB