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I Notice God in the Mundane

Sarah works in the kitchen at St. John’s Convent.

I heard about the Companions program at the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in the bulletin at saint benedict’s table, the Anglican church I was attending while working toward a degree at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Though intuition compelled me to apply, I spent a self-allotted two weeks in prayer about it for the purpose of discernment. When, at the end of that time, I was still moved to apply, I figured that was reason enough.

The best thing about the program is the formative learning. I found university to be an excellent environment for a particular type of learning that cultivates intellectual knowledge. While I am grateful for that, I nonetheless began to sense that intellectual knowledge alone was insufficient for spiritual life. I did not know until coming to the SSJD that I was aching for tangible ways to act out my spiritual life in ordinary life. I think doing the disciplines of prayer and chapel, even work and meetings, on a daily basis, whether I felt like it or not, taught me something about the Christian journey that reading a book never could.

The worst thing is being accountable to the community in all of my, and their, humanness – even when I don’t feel like it. It is difficult to unlearn my pattern of separating myself from the group, as well as my habit of doing things only if I feel like it.

My spiritual pursuit has essentially involved an indefatigable striving toward understanding myself and who God is. This has mostly just involved an alternating pattern of reading and lying on the floor. And now here I am – a pseudo-nun and loving it.

Sarah Moesker is in the first cohort of Companions on an Ancient Path (2016-2017) at St. John’s Convent in Toronto.

The Companions program has absolutely changed me. I have a proclivity to separate the spiritual from the daily, which in the past meant that I believed it necessary to dedicate large portions of my time to immobile and distinctly “spiritual” activities. So when I came here and the days were structured and endlessly full of activity, I felt anxious. But I have found that my spirit just needed me to remove my hand from its pulse so it could move freely. It is as though the daily routine and communal worship – coupled with private prayer – actually draw out my spirituality. I notice God in the mundane and only now realize God has been there the whole time.

This article is adapted from an interview that first appeared in The Anglican, the newspaper of the Diocese of Toronto, December 2016.

The Sisters of St. John the Divine, an Anglican Monastic community in Toronto, are accepting applications for 2017-18 cohort program, “Companions on an Ancient Path.” This is a free program with the opportunity to take spiritual formation courses at Wycliffe. The deadline for applications has been extended to July 1, 2017.

For more information about the program, visit the Companion’s website or the Sisterhood’s website. Those who are interested can also contact the Rev. Canon Sr. Constance Joanna Gefvert, Companions Coordinator.

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