All of Life is Sacred

by Mark Votava


I was taught that the world is bad and that I am a sinner.  Is this all there is to life where I am destined to misery and self-rejection?  Is there any beauty in the world if it is created by a loving God?  Is life sacred at all?  Can I live into any sense of authenticity in this life?

  • The Pharisees promoted a sacred/secular divide

I don’t understand a sacred/secular divide in life that our Western world seems to promote.  It seem Jesus didn’t live in this sacred/secular divide.  This was more what the Pharisees were about.  Jesus did not judge life to be secular in any way.

  • Living into the sacredness of life

Our lives together cannot be divided by sacred/secular categories anymore.  I want to propose that all of life is sacred.  The body of Christ needs to live into this sacredness of life in the parish.  There is a sacredness to a theology of place.

  • Dualistic thinking is not healthy

We will subvert the sacred/secular divide if we understand this.  Our practice of contemplation cultivates this subversion within us.  We become more aware of what this division is doing to our lives together.  Dualistic thinking and living is not healthy.

  • Annihilation of the dualistic category of sacred and secular

The only way to sanity is through embracing the sacredness of life.  I think that’s what Jesus did.  He saw everything as sacred.  Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch state, “One of the outcomes of a truly monotheistic view of the world is the annihilation of the dualistic category of secular and sacred.  If one God is the source of reality and the reference point for life, how can life be fragmented?…”

  • Moving out of fragmentations

Embracing the sacredness of life dissolves all dualisms in the midst of the parish.  God is the reference point of all reality so there can be no fragmentations anymore.  The mystical imagination subverts the sacred/secular divide.  The sacred/secular divide is destroying the body of Christ in everyday life.

  • The costs of awareness

Our awareness of this needs to be practiced.  We cannot go along anymore living individualistic lives apart from the body of Christ in everyday life in the parish.  Why don’t we want to subvert this sacred/secular divide?  Maybe it costs too much.

  • Christ’s love compels us to the sacredness of all of life

“If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5: 13-15).

What keeps us from embracing all of life as sacred?