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Turn to Jesus (Article)

What is God calling me to do?
Despite working in Regnum Christi in Argentina, I felt that God was asking for more. and I was afraid of that "more" that He was asking for. I decided to move ahead little by little, beginning by giving one year of my life to the service of the Church.

Maria Sofía Garat
In 2000 I felt more clearly the call from God to a vocation more demanding than that of just a common practicing Catholic. Despite working in Regnum Christi in Argentina, I felt that God was asking for more. and I was afraid of that "more" that He was asking for. I decided to move ahead little by little, beginning by giving one year of my life to the service of the Church, through the Movement. This really got me excited: to be a coworker. In all truth, I didn´t really know what this all implied, but I was excited about the testimonies of some coworkers that were in my country during the founding of Regnum Christi in Argentina and to whom I owe a big part of the formation that I received. Among them were Ani Simán, Mary Arredondo, Ana Paula Nuñez, Diana Richardson, Sandra Estrada, and Ana Paula Treviño among many others.

Leaving home was not that hard since my parents have always supported my apostolic work in Regnum Christi. Everything was set, but my self-giving was still missing. There were some personal interests that were really pulling at me: to leave Buenos Aires, see new places, learn more about the Movement, have a good time, etc. Although I knew that it included some sacrifices (boyfriend, family, friends, etc.), the real problem was that I still had not decided to put myself in God´s hands.

My years as a coworker were not that easy. My first destination was Mexico City, at the Anahuac University. What beautiful memories! What really impressed and fulfilled me during this time was the direct work with souls. Each day I admired more how God uses us as fine instruments to spread his graces to so many souls in need of Him as long as we give of ourselves generously.

From this moment I began to better understand the mission that God had prepared for me and my objectives began to change. Now it was I who, each day, needed more that experience of God and, thirsting, I cried out for His love. Yet, I still felt like I needed to do something more and I knew that He would ask for more. then God spoke. Halfway through the year they told me, "Sofia, you are going to Chile."

How I suffered at that moment! How I felt the anguish of leaving my girls, my university, my apostolate, my fellow coworkers with whom I had grown so close. There I experienced the virtue of abnegation and how wonderful it can be if we use this as a way to love God more.

I headed to Chile to a community of incredible consecrated women and to join up with an even more incredible young women´s section. The members of the Movement in Santiago won me over thanks to their testimony of self-giving and generosity. Some stand out like Carola Ruiz Tagle, Anita Silva, and Ignacia Ureta. Women truly committed to the mission and the apostolate and often they were there helping out, offering their services. Ignacia Ureta Roberts was a great example of this, now just a few days from being consecrated.

My mission as a coworker in Chile was totally different. I was put in charge of a new project of Missionary Youth working in the Women´s Detention Center of Santiago. Without a doubt this was an experience that marked me forever since I had never lived so closely the experience of Jesus as when I was with inmates. I remember that once a young woman whom I had invited to the catechesis mission in the jail told me, "Sofi, why do we have to go help these women that have only wanted to do evil to other people? They don´t deserve it. Let´s go to the poor, but not the inmates." At that moment I received a light so powerful that it made me realize that Jesus Christ did not come to heal the healthy, but the sick. I never imagined that I would learn so much in the apostolate. It was such a powerful experience that I will never be able to forget it.

Time went by and my work as a coworker was coming to an end and I still did not know what God was asking of me. I still had doubts, doubts about my vocation, about what I was going to do with my life. Then came the great feast, the great feast so important to Regnum Christi members: Christ the King. At the moment of communion, I knelt and asked him ardently to show me what he wanted from me. I didn´t care if he asked for my whole life. I just wanted to know. But I heard nothing.

Mass ended and near the exit I ran into another one of those persons that have given me a clear testimony of self-giving and generosity, Bernardita Ureta. I don´t remember the exact words that she spoke to me, but the brief conversation left me thinking. She was absolutely sure that her vocation was to married life and the sanctification of her family through it. I felt the urge to go talk with Christ so I returned to the chapel of the Cumbres School. I knelt and I asked God for a sign. It was at that moment that I saw clearly what God wanted from me. I lowered my head and I discovered in front of me, in the seat in front of me, a book (the title I can´t remember) that referred to the family and sanctity or something like that. Then a great sense of peace shone in my heart and I was left calm knowing that God was calling me to form a family and sanctify myself in it, searching for the sanctification of my children and my husband. I was happy, profoundly happy, since at last God had revealed to me what His plans for me were. I left the chapel radiating joy and from that moment I began to pray so that I may soon make this a reality.

My year ended and I left Chile with a lot of sadness. I would have liked to give another year, but I had other obligations that did not allow it (college, for example); also the women´s section in Buenos Aires also awaited me to continue working with them. I returned full of enthusiasm and the desire to transmit all the great experiences that had come my way to my family, boyfriend, etc. But my arrival there was tougher than I expected. I felt like a stranger in the environment that surrounded me; I suffered a lot trying to remain faithful to God and in my commitment to be an apostle. Many times I fell, but thanks to prayer I was able to get back up.

Things with my boyfriend did not turn out like I expected. We were on different paths and, despite being together for five years and having talked about marriage, we decided to end our relationship. I thought that I would not find the man with whom to accomplish my marriage vocation to which I was called and had decided to follow.

Today, I have a boyfriend who is also a member of Regnum Christi and a former coworker and I am very happy. We share not only our lives but also our great love for Christ and for our Lady. I don´t know what the Lord has planned for us, but I have learned one thing and it´s that He is generous. very generous. As someone said in a poem, "God doesn´t let himself be beat when it comes to giving."

I did not want to end this testimony without thanking my parents who have always supported me and formed me in the Catholic faith from a young age so that I would be the woman that I am. Mainly I owe to them the determination and patience that they had with me. I would like to end with a phrase that my dad gave me and I have always remembered; since I have applied it to my life everything has turned out great: "If you take care of God´s things He will take care of yours." Try it.

María Sofía Garat



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