“First you have to suffer from your evil heart, then you have to beg on your knees for a new heart” (Inner Word).

Jesus tells us that evil comes from our own hearts (Mt 15:19). It is a very sad statement, but it is the reality. Normally we do not like to hear such truths because they do not correspond to the image we have of ourselves and how we want to present ourselves to others. But in telling us this truth, the Lord gives us a golden key.

Instead of following our tendency to blame other people and circumstances for what happens to us, we become more realistic about ourselves. It is not within our power to change others. But we can change ourselves under the influence of grace and with the cooperation of our will.

In this way, the sad realisation of the wickedness of our heart becomes a remedy and at the same time a glimpse of hope: hope for a new heart, a heart that knows how to love, a heart in which our Heavenly Father dwells and which He can direct according to His will, a heart that does not close itself off, but also does not get lost as it moves towards eternity.

We cannot obtain this new heart without suffering. It is, however, a suffering that is transfigured. It is the suffering of realising that we do not yet love as we would like to. It is the suffering of coming up against our deep-seated selfishness again and again.

When we begin to suffer from our bad heart, it is a sign that we are already loving, and then we will beg on knees and fight for a new heart. And every time we perceive the shadows in our heart again, we will call upon the Holy Spirit and not despair, knowing that our Father will hear us.