April 19-21, 2013 marks the first ever Live Pure Summit held at the Claret Formation House. The summit was a gathering of Live Pure volunteers from different ministries (including YFL) – from different communities, even- and was given in a form of a retreat which was aimed at deepening the conviction to live pure and to share the message of Live Pure. In all honesty, these were goals the summit most certainly attained.
The spirit-filled weekend started off with a talk from Rev. Fr. Francis Gustilo. He tackled another perspective to seeing living pure as an expression of love. As much as there are expressions of great love physically (the highest form of it is the sexual expression), there is also an expression of it spiritually (the highest form if it is unconditional love concretized in marriage). To live pure is to make a decision to control your physical desire so much so that your physical expression of love matches your spiritual expression of love. But here’s the kick: how do you do this? You do it through living a deeper spiritual life. A life of prayer and trust would get you through and support you. This is what people need to understand when it comes to living pure and sharing the message of Live Pure. It is not just to tell people to deny the physical expression, that’s why it is not just a list of things you’re banned to do, but to challenge them to allow the spiritual expression. The message of live pure is a story of faith because you are challenged to seek God first and to allow yourself to be loved by God so that you can also learn to love like God. The first session ended with an exposition of the blessed sacrament.
The second day opened with a short session on seeing ourselves in the eyes of God wherein Ate Sabrina Gasgonia shared her story of how seeing herself in the eyes of God changed her life. Not until we see ourselves the way God sees us, we won’t be free. Ultimately, it was a message of hope. That whatever mess we were in, because God is our father, he will help us clean it up. God’s perspective for us will never change. He will forever look at us with love. When we learn to see ourselves the way God sees us, it will change our lives. It will bring us total happiness, real freedom and will teach us how to truly love.
The next session was given by Ate Mariel Tesoro wherein she talked about sexuality as a gift from God and as a gift, it gives us power to relate in love. She talked about the difference between men and women in the way that they think and in their basic needs. The short session ended with a challenge: to see the goodness in each one and to treasure our own individualities. She speaks of a story of loving through our differences, “we are called to love and to appreciate. Deep within, our sole purpose is to make each other loved”
The message of faith, hope and love is simple but it becomes complicated because of, in a way, the perversions of the world we live in. This can be seen in the discussion on the basic attacks on human sexuality and the brutal truths in our world today given by Ate Sabrina Gasgonia and Kuya Fyron Umali. The world preaches a different message. We need to be conscious of it because it would be a grave mistake to deny that it exists, but also, we need to be fueled by the urgency to present the alternative lifestyle- a lifestyle of living pure. After all, even though we are in the world, we know that we are not of it. With that the second day, ended as well, with the blessed sacrament wherein an overpowering message was that “There is Nothing Fear”. The third day of the summit was devoted to trainings by Ate Raine Eguico and Kuya Joseph Tesoro and was capped by a praisefest led by Jo-I Villas.
1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love”. The challenge of living pure is to have deeper faith, the message of Live Pure is that there is always hope and most importantly, the attitude in sharing that message is an attitude of love. Why? Because just as Kuya Joseph puts it, “the love of God that pierces through you pierces even the hardest of hearts”. We need only to remind people of who they are, what they are, and who they are meant to be.