Archbishop Vincent Nichols of London gave the annual Tablet Lecture on Thursday 27th October, 2011 at Westminster Hall on the topic of 'Formation of the human heart'. The power of prayer and reflection emerged as one of his key means for us to form our hearts. He referred to Etty Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish woman who lived in Amsterdam until her death at Auschwitz in November 1943. Through a process of counselling and therapy, she grew to value silent contemplation and silent presence before the inner mystery of her life, which she came to recognise as God. Etty rejected the possibility of escape for herself, choosing to stay and help her people in the transit camp of Westerbork where Jews were held for transfer to death in Auschwitz. She wrote ' ... time after time one must gather oneself together again around one's very centre. Herding together the disorderly flock of ... thoughts, emotions, sensations ... like the good shepherd'.
If you have a suggestion about how we can form our hearts, please leave a comment below.