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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Sell Everything to Gain Happiness
Now my great need is to say that Christ has completely filled my heart with the love, joy and peace that the world never could give me. I have found my own happiness and much more. Today I wish to share the precious and incredible gift of my vocation.

Marie Garesché
Marie Garesché
In my life and according to how I grew up, I never could have imagined that I could have a vocation to the consecrated life. I knew that I wanted a happy and truly fulfilling life. I began to listen to the world which told me: "Get a good job, earn a lot of money, travel the world, be free, do everything that you think is best for you and, above all, seek your own well-being." And so this is what I tried to do.

When I graduated, I got a great job that paid me a lot of money; it permitted me to travel the world and associate with very important people. They spoke about extravagant vacations like going to the Bahamas for the weekend, to Greece, South America, Canada... in summary, to do what would get the most attention. In the midst of all of this, I remember a moment where I stopped, looked at my life and said: "Is this it? Is this everything? Why do I feel that I am made to do more? Sometimes I thought that maybe it was because I wasn´t making enough money or that I hadn´t done enough things to make myself important. As I began to make more money I noticed that "something" wasn´t right. I said, "The money and the work aren´t the answer."

Other moments I imagined myself married, with a big family, but I never was able to find the man that I could share my life with. I had fabulous boyfriends: intelligent, attractive, with great jobs that promised a good future, but they weren´t what I was looking for. I was always unsatisfied. I didn´t think any of them could ever share with me a truly fulfilling, life-long relationship.

Just at that moment, my life took a turn. I have three cousins that were going to be ordained priests in Rome by the Holy Father. My family decided to go.

As a preparation for the event we entrusted our pilgrimage to the Eternal City to Mary. Our Blessed Mother prepared everything for me to draw near to Christ in an atmosphere of prayer and meditation over the role that she has in the life of every Catholic. Once in Rome, I had the opportunity to see my cousins; I was a little jealous. They were so happy! They had the joy and peace that I desired but hadn´t been able to find.

When I returned the United States, a consecrated woman in Regnum Christi invited me to Rhode Island for a retreat. I went and felt for the first time that God was asking something more of me and that I could only find true happiness in Him. When the retreat ended, my doubts didn´t have a definite answer.

That summer I returned to Rhode Island for a Regnum Christi convention. It was a beautiful experience. In it God gave me two graces. The first was to know that I was not being sufficiently generous with Him, that I had to give Him absolute freedom to reign in my life and to be first in my life if I really wanted to understand His will for me without trying to change it for what I wanted. The second grace was to understand the consecrated life as something marvelous, simple and logical that helped me to understand how fascinating and important Regnum Christi´s mission is. Underneath it all, God acted, asking me and leaving me to discover His will in my life.

It was the principle of total and generous self-giving. At the beginning I was afraid, as if there was a deep dark well within me, impossible to fill. Offering myself to Him day by day, with sincerity and love, I began to hear His sweet call. The thought of a vocation to total self-giving to God entered my mind. Immediately I reacted: "Don´t start thinking these crazy ideas." The idea became stronger than my strength to get rid of it. "I think that it is better to consider it and see," I said. I begged God to be clear with me if He wanted me to know His will; a consecrated life meant giving up my job, selling my apartment...LEAVING EVERYTHING FOR HIM! I decided that the best thing for me was to go ahead wherever He wanted to take me; surely, He would let me see clearly if it was not my way. What followed was giving all that my heart demanded and giving Him the opportunity. For this I consecrated myself to God in Regnum Christi.

Now my great need is to say that He has completely filled my heart with the love, joy and peace that the world never could give me. I have found my own happiness and much more. Today I wish to share the precious and incredible gift of my vocation. I want to show with it, to everyone I encounter, how to give the meaning and value of eternity to our lives.

Marie Wesley Garesché Labourdette was born in New York. She has a degree in business administration from Colorado College. Marie worked a number of years as an executive international accountant for Citibank. Marie has completed studies in philosophy, theology and the humanities in the International Center of Educational Sciences and has received her masters in family sciences through the John Paul II Institute in Rome, Italy. Currently she is working in the formation of young people in Monterrey, Mexico.



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