May the Passion of Jesus Christ be Always in our Hearts
Passionist Nuns of Saint Louis
15700 Clayton Road 
Ellisville, MO 63011-2300
Phone: 636-527-6867 | Fax: 636-527-2599
Is That All There Is?
Sr. Mary Veronica, C.P.

I was an American Airlines flight attendant for ten years before I got "zapped" by God. 

I had just broken off a relationship with the man I thought I would marry. Immediately, I felt as if I were in limbo with no goal nor direction in my life. True, I had my flying, but the emptiness I now felt went deep inside and be a flight attendant was not filling that emptiness. 

The lack of meaning in my life kept hitting me hard in the face. All that kept going through my mind were the words to that old song by Peggy Lee, "Is this it? Is this what I am going to do with the rest of my days?" The prospect was NOT a pleasant one. I have no doubt that this was God's way of getting my attention. And He sure did, because it literally brought me to my knees. In the quiet moments, all I could do was resort to prayer - asking the Lord to give me direction. At this point, I was totally open to whatever He wanted me to do. And I told Him that - but He didn't seem to be answering! 

Then one night at about 2am, with sleep being very illusive after having wrestled with this dilemma for a couple of hours, I finally turned over on my stomach, propped myself up on my elbows and said out loud as I slammed my fist into the pillow, "LORD! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?" 

The He zapped me! 'Become a nun." That was it - very simple. Become a nun. "Who me? You gotta be kidding! Me? A nun!" The thought was so appealing that I started to giggle. "Me, a nun? Nah! But it's not a bad idea. I do LIKE the idea! Hm!" Then I turned over and went right to sleep! A gigantic weight had just been lifted off my shoulders. Next morning, I started checking out the vocations ads. I saw one for the Passionist Nuns of Ellisville; "Contemplative, strict enclosure." That really appealed to me - "strict enclosure." Right from the very beginning there was never any question at all about the type of religious life for which I was searching. I desired SO BADLY to have the closest possible relationship and union with Jesus and I knew that this could be obtained by prayer and total focus on Him. Cloistered life seemed to be the only way it could happen. I wanted to give Him all! On top of that, I had NO desire to teach, nurse, do social work, any of the different things active Religious do today. If God was choosing me to be His own, then the only way for me to go was as a cloistered contemplative. THAT was very clear to me! 

I say "if God was choosing me" because after that night when the "light shown" and I experienced His touch, I wasn't absolutely sure that this wonderful idea of becoming a nun was really coming from Him. Was it really His idea or was it my own bright idea? So, the next six months or so found me praying a lot for the Holy Spirit's guidance as well as checking out other contemplative orders. 

Almost from the very start the Passionists were in the lead. The mystery of Jesus' Passion and death are at the very core of our Christian faith. That, and His resurrection, were the precise reasons for Jesus' existence; His primary work was to die for us, for me. 

So, if He could show his stupendous love by suffering and dying for me, then the least I could do is to respond to that love He manifested on the Cross, by giving myself totally in love to Him as a Passionist. The urge was very strong to be united to Jesus on the Cross, on the altar of sacrifice. And the best way to satisfy that urge was to be a Passionist Nun. 

But I still hadn't "gotten the word" from God as to whether or not I should actively pursue the idea. So , I told Him that I would go full steam ahead, and that if He didn't want me to be a nun, then He would have to put up roadblocks that would be unmistakable. Not only did He NOT put up any roadblocks but any that DID crop up He eliminated in short order! So - four months and no roadblocks later, and after eleven years of flying, I resigned from American Airlines and entered the Passionist Nuns in Ellisville, Missouri. 

My last flight on American was the best one I ever made because it brought me here. "is that all there is?" Not when you have Jesus Crucified as your Lover! "Is that all there is!" You better believe it is! When Jesus Crucified is your ALL, that's everything!