Air Force was a way to a vocation, the path to fullness of joy in his presence

by Mother Madonna, O.Carm.


“My life felt complete the day I entered the enclosure, and it has been one continuous romance. The romance consists of giving of myself just as [Jesus] continuously gives of himself to me.” – Mother Madonna, O.Carm

I served my country for four years, now I want to serve God with my whole being 24/7.

Turning back the clock to explain a few things, I’ll begin by first sharing my earliest memories of “falling in love.” Yes, it might be hard to believe, but my first love was and still is Jesus Christ!

Way back in the first grade we were given a catechism book and on the front cover was a drawn picture of Jesus. The moment I saw that picture it was “love at first sight.” I can still see that picture in my mind, clear as day. And yes, my heart still skips a beat when I think of that picture. The other memory I had very young was going to church and when the priest would open the tabernacle, I thought, how neat it would be shrink to the size of my Barbie doll and run into the tabernacle and be locked in with Jesus!

As the years went on my heart fell more and more in love with Jesus. Not only with him but with everyone and everything he created. How could I contain the love I experience for him except by giving back to him all he has given to me? My only desire was to give myself totally to him because he created me in my mother’s womb and he is the one sustaining me.

Since my desires were not in accord with my parents’ desires for my life, there was the difficulty. My parents wanted me to have an earthly spouse while I wanted a heavenly spouse, Jesus Christ.

Not wanting to disobey my parents, I started dating and looking into career options. During my senior year, I prayed even harder as my graduation was quickly approaching and I still did not have any definite future plans. Then one day on my way home from school, I felt an inner inspiration to drive into a parking lot unknown to me. When I looked up, there before my eyes were the four military recruiting offices.

To make a long story short, I joined the Air Force and was stationed in England near London for three years, and my last assignment was in Tennessee. Indeed I had a “way of life” in the Air Force and enjoyed my single life working an 8:00–5:00 office job in U.S.A.F. Military Pay department and traveling all over Europe. What more could a single young women want in life? Well, I can answer my own question – fullness of joy in his presence!

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and it is him we long for all our days on Earth. My life felt complete the day I entered the enclosure, and it has been one continuous romance. The romance consists of giving of myself just as he continuously gives of himself to me. The giving from one to another is fruitful in the spiritual children we assist in and through our prayers. What better life could there be in the world than to give oneself to God?

Seminaries, monasteries and convents should be overflowing with new members. Hopefully this article will ignite the flame of love hidden within many young men and women to answer their calling. Will you join us in praying for this special intention? And will you also encourage vocations wherever you are?

We know God answers prayers because he surely answered my childhood prayer. There may not be a tabernacle large enough for me, but Carmel’s cloister suffices, considering Jesus and I are under the same roof day and night.

Your prayer intentions are welcome 24/7 either by mail, email or telephone. No prayer intention is too big nor too small for us because we treasure each one in our heart’s prayer. We hope to hear from you and know that we love you and thank you!

Mother Madonna, O.Carm is the Prioress of Carmel of Mary Monastery near Wahpeton. She can be reached at (701) 642-2360, or 17765 78th St. S.E. Wahpeton, ND 58075.