When God Asks For More

“Why does God always have to ask for more?” 17 year-old Gabriela Bondanza asked her spiritual guide, Lorenza, in complete frustration. 

This was her second year as a Regnum Christi missionary, but felt that it wasn’t enough.

“More? Like what?” Lorenza asked her. “I don’t know… just things of my life.” Gaby said nervously. Looking at her, Lorenza smiled and said: “And what if he is asking you for your whole life?” 

A few years earlier, the response to this question would have been an “absolutely not!” Gaby had grown up in San Salvador, in a pious Catholic family. However, as for almost any ordinary teenager, the thought of a possible vocation had never crossed her mind before. Little did she know that when she and her two younger sisters were still little, her mom had told God that, if he would call one of her daughters, she was willing to generously accept her vocation. 

And God took her seriously. But it was until Holy Week missions that Gaby started realizing this. After an intense week of going from door to door, talking to people about Jesus, playing with the little kids in the evenings, and praying during midnight adoration, Jesus Christ became real. The personal experience of him moved her to make the decision of giving one year of her life as a Regnum Christi missionary. The path to her vocation began.

Her destination? Puebla, Mexico. Living with consecrated women 24/7 definitely put her on the right path to consider a vocation. During a monthly retreat, in May, the priest talked about Mary’s generous “yes” to God. For some reason, that sparked something in Gaby’s heart, and the thought of “God could ask me for more” came to her mind.

But what “more” could she give? After all, she was already volunteering one whole year of her life to serve the Church. So, giving a second year sounded like a safe and good enough option to be more generous with God. At the end of that first year, Gaby had the opportunity to work with the ECYD mission corps who had come to Puebla to volunteer for the summer. 

“Being with them demanded from me a constant and daily self-giving” she said. “It wasn’t easy, but the experience of transmitting Christ every day to those girls helped me to make him more real in my own life. Little by little I was being more and more attracted to him, but at the same time, that attraction also terrified me.” 

As much as she tried to push the idea out of her mind during that second year, Christ seemed to be reminding her everywhere she went. One day, after a Eucharistic Hour, the priest was offering special blessings to people by touching their foreheads with the monstrance. The line was long, so Gaby wasn’t planning on going. One of the ladies organizing the event saw her, encouraged her to go, and even helped her to cut in line! A few minutes later, she was standing before the priest. He placed the monstrance on Gaby’s forehead and as he prayed silently over her, she offered again everything to Christ. In that moment, the priest touched her shoulder, but remained silent. When it was all over and Gaby was getting ready to leave, the same lady who helped her went to her and said: “You have a very special mission, because the priest saw it.” 

That, and other unexpected experiences with people she barely knew, gave Gaby the certainty that Christ was pursuing her and that he was asking for more of her. She finally took courage and asked her parents for permission to go to the candidacy. To her surprise, the answer was no. Her mom said that two years away from home had already been enough for Gaby. But the idea didn’t leave her mind, and by the third time she asked, it was burning deep inside of her. “Mom, please, I have to go. God is asking this of me” she said. Clearly, God wanted everything of her. 

Gaby was desperate. On May 13th, day of Our Lady of Fatima, she prayed three rosaries asking that God’s will be done –whatever it was. The following day she received a phone call from her mom, who said it was urgent. She told Gaby that she had felt really strongly how God told her: “say yes.” 

“I’ve always taught you to put God above everything else,” her mom said, “but I guess I was jealous that you had put him before me. I’m sorry, and I give you my blessing to go to the candidacy.” 

With that, Gaby finally took the step to go to the candidacy and saw clearly that God was asking her for her whole life. Of course it wasn’t easy, and the fact of leaving her family and her life behind was a real struggle for her, even after her first years of consecration. However, the peace that she felt inside was the certainty that she was where God wanted her to be. Now, Gaby says: 

“I’m happy and I want to keep on going, because I want to give God the chance to lead me where he wants. It has been an experience of trusting in his love and of desiring nothing else but Him.”

About Alexa Escalante

Alexa Escalante is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi. She is from Mexico, and is in her senior year at Mater Ecclesiae College, Greenville, RI>
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One Response to When God Asks For More

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