How Can We Restore Faithful Presence in Our Lives?

by Mark Votava


My journey of faithful presence has been one of a slow transformation over the past decade of my life.  Because of the power of faithful presence in the parish, I am understanding how to love more.  I am starting to understand humility in ways I didn’t understand before.  I am coming to work out my redemption in everyday life in a local community where I seek to embody the ways of Christ in the world.

This power within me is a miracle indeed.  It leads me to love.  It leads me to give my life to the poor and marginalized.  It leads me to simplicity.  It leads me to peace.

This graceful power of faithful presence is my identity and meaning in life.  I am being shaped constantly in many ways.  I am learning how to love others in community.  This is bringing more happiness and joy into my very being.

  •  Dying to our desire to run the world

Jane Rubietta writes, “We confuse control with strength and surrender with weakness, when the reverse is true.  When we die to our desire to run the world, we come into real power…” 

  •  Giving up our need to control others

We seem to have more self-control in everyday life as we give up our need to control others.  Good power does not need to impose anything on anyone in the parish.  Good power does not originate from the intellect detached from an embodied experience of faithful presence.

  •  Embracing the good power of faithful presence in everyday life

Good power always stems from the love within us.  The parish imagination is not colonial.  The parish imagination embraces the good power of faithful presence in everyday life.

  •  The graceful power that lives within us

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile…” (Romans 1:16).  Our salvation is based on good power.  We should not be ashamed of the graceful power that lives within us as the body of Christ in everyday life in the parish.  We need to trust in this power within us.

  •  Expressions of love, grace and humility

We need to embody this power within us through expressions of love, grace and humility.  This power is more of a reality within us than our sin.  Sin has been given too much emphasis in our spirituality for too long.  When will we start exploring the good power of faithful presence within us all!

  •  The world needs more miracles of faithful presence

Words have lost power and often times lead to colonial ways of manipulation and control.  What would happen if we embodied a good power of faithful presence together beyond words that was based more on listening, love and grace?  This would be a miracle indeed!  And the world needs more miracles and less talking!

How can we embody faithful presence in the place we live?