“We cannot live without love. It we do not encounter love, if we do not experience it and make it our own, if we do not participate intimately in it, our life is meaningless”. St John Paul II
It was in response to our deep need and desire for love that Pure in Heart started up in London in 2010.
Every Wednesday evening just off Kensington High Street, around 40 young adults meet to pray at the Pure in Heart prayer group. We begin with an hour before the Blessed Sacrament, with some music, some silence and the Rosary. Simple Catholic stuff really! We then move from the Chapel to a meeting room for a talk and discussion.
The main aim of Pure in Heart is to encounter Jesus, as we encounter one another. In a nutshell, we want to become people who truly love ourselves and others as Jesus asked us to.
Learning to love authentically, with purity of heart, is very counter-cultural and so meeting regularly reminds us that while it may be hard, it is worth it. And we are not alone!
Pure in Heart has a particular focus on St John Paul II’s teaching known as the Theology of the Body, which is a profound and life changing catechesis about the human person and the human experience especially in the area of relationships and sexuality.
Even as committed Catholics, the area of sexuality and relationships is one we can find confusing and challenging, and at times we find ourselves struggling to live according to Church teaching.
Our challenges may be loneliness, same sex attraction, dealing with lust or pornography, finding it hard to meet someone, or simply being clear and confident of Church teaching in specific areas.
None of us have it all sorted out, but each time we attend Pure in Heart we renew our determination to strive to follow Christ and to choose His way of authentic love.
The weekly prayer group is a safe place for prayer, for friendship and to be encouraged that we are not alone in our journey towards holiness.
This beautiful experience of knowing who we are in Christ, and loving with purity is not only for those attend prayer groups, but for every man, woman and child. So, as well as the weekly meetings we have a small mission team, who give talks to teenagers in schools and parishes. The talks are interactive and are usually last for 1 to 2 hours.
In its essence, the Theology of the Body is the Gospel. It is good news for our confused and lost culture; Proclaiming that love is possible and the authentic love that we so deeply desire is available to us, in Christ Jesus. Those of us who are part of Pure in heart want to say yes to the Gospel and our daily prayer is that we may be pure in heart, that we may be those who truly love and see God in every person.
More about the Theology of the Body and Chasity for young adults:
– Chastity project: http://chastityproject.com
– Wednesday Audiences of Pope John Paul II 1979-1984 https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb1.htm
– A series of 6 talks by Christopher West http://www.theologyofthebody.net