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
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
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
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.