Happy feast of Our Lady of the Rosary!
Last October 2, on the feast day of the Holy Guardian Angels and Pure Heart’s monthly gathering, I officially transitioned out as Pure Heart Philippines affiliate coordinator and full-time missionary. What an amazing adventure since my first encounter with Pure Heart back in 2016. I have been trying to reflect on my experience and articulate them into writing, but how could you condense something so beautiful and rich in one written article?
The first time I was able to be in a Pure Heart gathering was in a foreign country and knew nothing about the ministry. But that fellowship began to touch my abandoned and wounded heart – I felt seen, known, and loved. It was only six months after that encounter that I really got to know about Pure Heart’s ministry and decided to become a missionary for the youth, especially after experiencing the thirst for authentic love in my own life.
When I committed the last four years to the mission of Pure Heart, I didn’t know what to do for the most part. When God called me to be an affiliate coordinator, I was reluctant with my capacities. A natural at overthinking and worrying, being thrown into the unknown was a very uncomfortable place to be in for me. But looking back, God would always remind me that He got my back and still loves me no matter what.
As St. Thomas said, “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends, even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” I am blessed to have committed myself to the ministry of Pure Heart alongside friends who are also striving to live and share God’s love. I have made many mistakes, but they have been patient with me, forgiven me, and loved me with all my quirks. They have inspired me to go beyond myself, and I couldn’t have made it without their love and friendship.
“Today Christ is asking each of you the same question: Do you love Me? He is not asking you whether you know how to speak to crowds, whether you can direct an organization or manage an estate. He is asking you to love Him. All the rest will ensue.” This quote from Pope St. John Paul II has been my mantra and kept me grounded in my mission. My thirst for authentic love moved me to seek God, but I realize that He has been seeking my love first. Pure Heart is and has always been God’s ministry, and I am only His instrument for others to encounter Him. Witnessing how the ministry has grown and continued, I am confident that God will guide the future of Pure Heart Philippines.
I am beyond grateful to have spent the last four years as a Pure Heart Philippines missionary. Not everyone has the privilege of dropping everything to be God's missionary disciple. What a gift! As I move forward in my journey, I pray that I continue to see God in all things and bring Him to the youth who are seeking for authentic love. On this memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, help me ask for Mama Mary’s intercession for Pure Heart Philippines and my next adventure with Christ.
Written by Audrey Criscille Abatol. Audrey was Pure Heart Philippines’ affiliate coordinator for 2018-2021 and has actively served the ministry since 2017.