It took me a long time to figure out what “harden not your hearts” means. When I made an Ignatian retreat, however, I learned that we can harden our hearts in different ways. When we encounter resistance or challenges in our prayer, in our relationship with others, in daily life—these are times when we can harden our hearts.

A spiritual director at our school says to spend time with these struggles, to wrestle with the questions they bring. This time is like working clay through our hands, stretching it and re-shaping as it becomes more malleable. Figuratively, our hearts are like this, and we must give God time to do His work within us.

—Connor Walters is a communications coordinator at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH. He also coaches rowing and co-moderates the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless.