Losing Sight of the Mystery

by Mark Votava


The question I have constantly pondered through life is, What does it mean to have Christ living in me?  It seems to me this is the question we are to play with our whole lives.  After decades of seeking God in some form, I have realized that all of my spirituality is to be embodied through love.  Without love, Christ is not being allowed to live within my body.

In order to love and live, I must live as an ordinary mystic of sorts.  One who allows life to come from within as I listen deeply and love authentically.  This make it harder to create God in my image by allowing the image of God within me to shape who I become.

  •  Losing sight of the mystery of our spirituality

Our spirituality has become too rationalistic, too embedded into the modernity of our culture in the past decades.  In the midst of all this, we have lost sight of the mystery of the gospel, the mystery of the body of Christ, the mystery of God’s ordinary miracles among us and the mystery of the human being.  Our Christianity has a mystical nature rooted in our bodies.

  •  A mystical nature in everyday life

When you take away the mystical nature of Christianity, you have a distorted spirituality that is void of all substance and life.  You have a skeleton instead of a body.  The mystical nature of Christianity could bring a lot of life back to the body of Christ in the parish.  Our spirituality was meant to have a mystical nature in everyday life.

  •  Our very life and strength

This is how we commune with God together.  The mystical nature of Christianity is our very life and strength.  It comes to us in all kinds of ordinary ways through the relational context of place.  The mystical imagination lives by the mystery of Christ living in us.

  •  Seeing an alternative to the North American status quo culture

Jacques Ellul says, “The mystic experience frightens us…”  We are uncomfortable with the mystical nature of Christianity because it pushes us to live in our bodies.  It pushes us to become selfless and lose our ego identities.  It opens up the imagination to see alternatives to the North American status quo culture.

  •  The mystical imagination is shunned by the ego

We might become frightened because Christ will disturb and haunt our every agenda with unpredictability.  The mystical imagination is shunned by the ego.  The ego does not like the mystical imagination that seeks to destroy all our illusions that we have created.

  •  Losing our lives to the mystical nature of Christianity

There is no escaping the mystical nature of Christianity.  It is a way forward in how we can follow Christ in this postmodern age.  The mystical nature of Christianity should frighten us in a way because we will truly lose our lives to it.

How can we embody the mystical nature of Christianity as Christ lives in us?