Week 6 Day 4: Companions on the Journey

Week 6: Create a Solid Garden Plot
Workbook Exercise: My Rule of Life

Watch: Week 6 Day 4: Companions on the Journey
How might others support you on this journey?
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Transcript of Video:

We need companions on the journey. We need people who we feel safe with, who we trust. We need to be with each other and to experience the wonders of life, to share them as well as to share the heartache and the sorry and the challenge. As one mentor told me, God has given us our companions. We may ask for others but most often, our companions are already given; we have neighbors. But it is a choice to interact, it is a choice to trust, it is a choice to invest to be with them, and to also let them change us, to receive the gifts that they have to offer. That’s part of this practice of life. That’s part of becoming more like God is to be choosing to be in relationship and to be interactive.

– Br. Luke Ditewig


  1. Sue on April 21, 2017 at 22:44

    I also liked the comment that our companions are ‘ given’- too often I close myself off or am not open to what is already there…I feel I have to search to find someone, when it is me who is closing off or not seeing the opportunity.
    My family and partner are very supportive of me as a person, but wary of Christianity,so I need to work out a way to integrate the two in a way that is respectful and considerate.

  2. Jaan Sass on March 15, 2017 at 12:14

    Over the years I had a lot of support. I have not always been faithful to their advice and at times attempted to go it on my own. Today most of my support comes from my wife and church especially my friends from the Brotherhood of St Andrew. Sometimes because of my ADHD and anxiety, I have a hard time listening or reaching out.

    • Chioma Nwaogu on February 11, 2021 at 19:40

      I need people who are compassionate and really understanding to become my pals on this journey of life, so far, I wouldn’t say it’s been too good and I cannot complain much either, I hope that I form such relationships as would be very encouraging and help me to become a better person, in prayer and whole human endeavors, sometimes I feel there is someone out there, but I hope and depend on God.

  3. Linda on June 19, 2016 at 19:07

    My priest and husband is supportive. I also have a spiritual director who is a different priest and that helps. But my friends do not understand my journey and feel threatened. I hope I can get regulated enough to be a better example to my friends and that God will also send some more mature friends for balance.

  4. Debbie on March 28, 2016 at 17:27

    Tough. Some people who have gifts seem to hold them selves to a higher standard. Rather than share them willing they are a used as a way to be better than you are. To engage them only makes them feel more full of them selves and how great they think they are. I have to chose people who are good. Humble, kind. They are a gift and they are not afraid to be themselves. When they are I am able to be safe and to grow.

  5. susan zimmerman on March 17, 2016 at 20:32

    …choose to be the lover for a change versus the beloved

  6. Muriel Akam on March 17, 2016 at 15:35

    Right now my companions are mostly my family- daughter and her children take up quite a bit of my time and I am so grateful to get to know my grandsons and my new granddaughter who, is just 2 days old.I was sp happy to look after my 2 year old grandson while my daughter was having my baby even though he got me up at 4am!God has this role for me now and I am happy to be of service and to grow as a person.

  7. Russell on March 17, 2016 at 11:01

    This is an important thought for me, as it has been easy for me all my life to withdraw and be comfortable with loneliness. Not comforted, but comfortable. I have such a desire to be in companionship, to love others, but it is counter-cultural for me to seek to place myself with others so that these benefits might flow back to me. Yet, it is clear that God shapes me by the companions he gives me and I am grateful for each and every person, whether their walk with me is joyful, sorrowful or burdensome. It makes sense when I hear it that companionship is a part of a rule, but I will struggle about how to integrate it in this personal discipline. I have faith that this struggle is a good reason why it belongs in my rule. I am fortunate that my spiritual journey has been and is now enriched with groups and people who seem genuinely interested in my welfare and that I work in a place where love and compassion are the top of the list of shared values. God carries me.

  8. Eugene Wright on March 16, 2016 at 22:55

    I have support from quite a few others that help me along on this journey. My Bible study group; two postulant for the Deaconate; several personal friends as well.

  9. gwedhen nicholas on March 16, 2016 at 20:37

    Others support me just by being there for me in love. That is all I need; the Love of God and the love of family and friends. These support me, and keep me going. I feel such Love from God, and from others. I am constantly being uplifted and praised and encouraged. I think I just need to delve even more deeply into Love and my life will continue to be a life of joy. Thanks be to God.

  10. Ellen on March 16, 2016 at 11:41

    What struck me most was Brother Luke’s comment that most of our companions are given, whether we find that easy or not. A recent illness meant months of chemotherapy and that has made me keenly aware of my neighborhood community. People whom I barely knew leapt in with practical help: bringing prepared food, grocery shopping for me, picking up books at the library, or even simply offering words of encouragement. All this made a great difference. I’m filled with gratitude.

  11. a city monk on March 16, 2016 at 11:33

    My Sabbath at 70 is a season of … a great Spring! very
    I am here, where God looks for me…
    discovering a newness in the garden
    allowed to simply rest, no demand, no expectation
    every day simpler, softer, resting
    the daily ness budding
    living psalmody
    prolongation of the Eucharist
    becomes communion

  12. Kristi on March 16, 2016 at 10:54

    I don’t have a lot of people I’m close to who are on a journey like this. It’s new to me as well, so most of this exploration has been on my own. I know there are many at my church who would be extremely supportive of me which is comforting to know. My mother would also be a great companion & source of support to me. She has a very strong sense of faith and would share in this experience with me.

  13. Bobbi on March 16, 2016 at 08:11

    Others can support me through prayer. I must ask for prayers, which takes humility.

  14. Neil Ellis Orts on March 16, 2016 at 07:48

    This is a hard question for me. All of the questions around community have been.

    All I’ve ever pursued in life, from childhood on, has been writing and other other creative outlets, performing being the second after writing, but others, too. That faith always creeps into the work, no matter what, that my belief in gentleness and peace always gets into the work—my work ends up being quiet, subtle, meditative . . . in a world that values loud, crass, ironic (all somehow in the name of authenticity).

    And so, I have friends who don’t quite get that. And I have a artist connections that don’t either. It often feels like I create in a place of . . . vacuum, I guess. I end up feeling like I have a network,but not a community.

    (I also keep in mind that maybe my work is just bad, but that’s another matter. 🙂 )

    I’ve often said I have to work with what God has given me. In performance projects where I needed other people, I’ve always said I will work with who God sends me (and as a result, I think I’ve found ways of bringing out people’s strengths and working around or through weaknesses—if I’ve ever gotten people I didn’t exactly hope for, I’ve almost always been surprised and happy with the work that came out eventually).

    And so . . . what? I hear what Br Luke is saying about the people already present. Part of my network, if not community, is that any performance becomes a temporary community and then the performers move on to the next project. It’s the nature of the beast. Writers write alone, for the most part, so community has some built in roadblocks there—-although I have a network of amazing writers in my life.

    Mutual support is where it falls down, i guess. I have to fight the easily fulfilled feeling of not receiving back what I feel I’ve given out. Or the disappointment that I’m not getting support from people that I wish would support me more—you may want an orange from someone, but all they have is an apple, and it’s helpful to remember that apples are good, too.

    All good things to wrestle with as I’m trying to gather support for a new project . . .

    • Christina on March 16, 2016 at 10:49

      Strange life, isn’t it? One of my gifts is being able to speak to strangers. On Sunday mornings, I will greet those who are standing by themselves while the ‘regulars’ swirl about chatting to one another. For a while, there is a connection with the newcomers, but as time passes and they become comfortable with others, they move on and apart from a ‘morning hello’ that is the end of a closer knowledge of one another.At one time, I may have been upset, but not so any more. There are always other strangers.

    • Mryka on March 16, 2016 at 11:04

      Thank you Neil, I can really see my own life in my own, though I am a scientific researcher rather than a performer. I think when you get beyond the routine lab work into theory science also becomes a fairly solitary and creative pursuit, and one where I put myself and my ideas out there with high vulnerability to people competing with me as well as supporting me. Scientific research has always been for me about of God’s creation, trying to read the mind of God and understand the love of God towards all creation. not so much patentable ideas. In the church, I tend to do the same: put ideas out there that come in reading and prayer, being willing to have them honed, shot down or whatever, but it is the rare person who understands what I am doing. I often get accused of pride and lack of humility simply for going against the grain. What I have to do is seek out a small-ground church community that will not be threatened by my ideas or compete with my ideas. But I also need to be part of the larger church community, many of whom are threatened by the idea of science, or of questioning received dogma. So I minister by keeping quiet more than I’d like – but that is giving, and I need to receive back somehow, which is harder. I go to targeted summer school courses, engage in a lot of physical and mental pilgrimage. It is difficult, and I work a lot on listening without taking responsibility. I suppose an important problem for me is that I come from a family that was not so much dysfunctional but just extremely small and the few that there were dispersed around the world a century ago.

  15. Bill Spies on March 16, 2016 at 07:26

    My wife is my best friend, my companion.

  16. Sonja Scott on March 16, 2016 at 07:22

    This online community has been a source of support for me. Having this Lenten series offered online is a great way to reach out and provide enrichment and support for Christians seeking a more meaningful relationship with God.

    • Stan on March 16, 2016 at 20:23


  17. Suzanne on March 16, 2016 at 07:18

    I am in a prayer and share “accountability” group. Five women gather once a week at 6:30 AM to share our joys and sorrows and to pray. During this time of sharing we are able to peel back facades or walls and share from our hearts. We bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). We bear our faults to one another and we pray (James 5:16). As you read this, I would ask your prayers for my group. While we do not know one another, through this Lenten series, your responses to the Brother’s questions have brought us into relationship with one another where God is at work in our lives and your responses are treasured.

  18. Rev Tom Woodward on March 16, 2016 at 07:00

    My immediate response is being present and listening.
    It is also meaningful to know that prayers are being offered both by myself and others.

  19. Jim V on March 16, 2016 at 06:22

    One way is giving me time and space for some of the extra things my rule will bring, such as space and time for contemplation, time for exercise.
    Companionship is another way, being in nature together, exploring together, learning together.
    Accountability is another. Sharing my rule with others, talking about how it is going.

    • Stan on March 16, 2016 at 20:43

      I agree with Sonja. This online community has been a wonderful place to explore. I’ve learned much here, which includes learning more about myself. Take this current lesson, for instance. I thought that Br. Luke’s commentary was pretty thought-provoking, but like Niel, I was having a pretty difficult time coming up with an answer to the question. But then I saw the answer awaiting in Jim V’s post. Companionship. Simple, loving, companionship. Sharing time together. Allowing thoughts, ideas, and spirit to freely intermingle. Each becoming a part of the other. Sharing your life with others is what support is all about.

  20. Jane on March 16, 2016 at 06:06

    One of the supports that I am grateful for is a small Christian study group that I’m part of. Our group formed only a few months ago and already we are feeling support from one another, and I certainly feel that support and love. One focus of our study is to discern how we can carry that love and support beyond our group into our ministries. I also feel very supported by the brothers of SSJE and thank God for you and your ministry. Love to all!

  21. Betty Donahue on March 16, 2016 at 05:41

    I have many who support me on my journey and more importantly I am learning that I need to lean on them to gain strength and to let them go of them sometimes to be able to listen to the voice of God to see where he is telling me to go. Dear God I am so tired of this please help me to do the right things.

  22. Ruth West on March 15, 2016 at 15:11

    I feel so very blessed that I have so many dear Christian friends who “are in my corner.” They let me know via telephone calls, passing the peace at church, just being there for me. I feel very undeserving of so much love and closeness from my friends and my family. When I read scriptures about Christians expecting to suffer persecution, I wonder why I have been so protected from it all my life. One person told me that I am much too naïve. Is it that I am blind to seeing the negative?
    Perhaps. But, nevertheless, “I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day.” Thanks for your message.

    • Bobbi on March 16, 2016 at 08:07

      I believe it is a gift from God when we see the positive, not the negative. I love that I am naive in this way. Thank you for lifting up this blessing.

      • gwedhen nicholas on March 16, 2016 at 20:31

        I too feel that I am so blessed with a good and easy life; a life full of love and wonderful opportunities, and growth. I wonder how I am worthy, then realize I’m not. This is Gods’ free gift to me. With Ruth I wonder that I don’t suffer persecution, or difficulty. Is this also Gods’ free gift?

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