7 Ways to Cultivate Christ Living Within You
by Mark Votava
I am coming to see that all of life is about the love I express through Christ living in me. This Christ consciousness is revealing to me my true self in all of its beauty. I am finding liberation, beauty, creativity and a deeper way of being in the world. All of this is becoming the center and identity of who I am more than how much money I have, what I do for work or what others think of me.
Even though I may be marginalized for the love I hold within me, I will continue to move forward in the spirit of gentleness, humility and compassion. Jesus has taught me that life is about love and nothing else. My true identity is found in being an expression of love. This is the authentic life of interdependence, community and neighborliness.
Here are 8 way we can cultivate Christ living within us.
1. Uncover the buried treasures within you
When we practice a contemplation spirituality, we begin to have an ongoing epiphany of Christ within us. This idea of Christ living within us is not just an abstract theological concept, but a living reality. We begin to uncover the buried treasures within us that have gone untapped for many years.
We start to understand that there is much more within our bodies than blood, bones, arteries and organs. We start to understand more that Christ lives within our very bodies in some mysterious way. So much of scripture points to this.
I cannot imagine a true Christianity where followers of Christ do not embody this. Christ in us is the greatest truth we hold onto. Without this truth the mystical imagination cannot become fully alive within us. The realization of Christ within us is our very strength in everyday life together.
2. Create a pathway through contemplation
Christ within us is how the Holy Spirit makes us fully alive and fully human. Contemplation creates a pathway in our souls for us to see this more clearly. We develop conviction around nurturing the life of Christ within us.
3. Speak a new language of love, grace and compassion through your body
We allow the life of Christ to live within us. We allow our bodies to communicate the life of Christ beyond language, as an embodied practice in everyday life. We speak a new language of love, grace and compassion.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20).
Christ lives within our everyday lives together in the place we inhabit. The mystical imagination reveals the truth of Christ living within us.
4. Embrace all of life as sacred
We cannot ignore this realization. Our spirituality is not about morality per se, but about Christ living in us through contemplative awareness. Christ living in us makes all of life sacred as the kingdom of God lives within us.
5. Honor the image of God in others
Christ living in us helps us to live in our bodies. Christ living in us creates mindfulness and awareness in our lives together in the parish. When we realize that Christ is living in us, we can honor the image of God within others. There is so much of the image of God in others all around us. Our contemplation shows us this reality constantly.
Our souls cry out for Christ to become alive within us. Our souls want to experience the beauty, goodness, peace, love, grace and kindness of Christ within us. Our bodies were created for nothing else.
6. Be an expression of Christ’s love here in this world
We are to be an expression of Christ’s life here in this world. This is the kingdom of God within. We cannot be an embodied expression of love if Christ is not living out the kingdom of God within us. We are called to embody the kingdom of God as Christ lives in us.
Steven Chase says, “The Christian understanding that God is present and lives within, at the core of the soul, is suggested in numerous passages in Scripture… It is the basis of how we live our lives and how we are in relation with others as we cherish the image of the living God within them…”
7. Cultivate a listening spirit
Our contemplation cultivates a listening spirit within us that brings us to a deeper consciousness of Christ living in us. This consciousness of Christ living in us brings about an interior revolution that slowly liberates us from within. Our Christ consciousness begins to cultivate the mystical imagination within and among us. We can no longer objectify Christ when we realize that this life is not outside of ourselves, but within ourselves.
Christ is a part of our very existence and the core of who we are. Christ is more than an object. Christ is the creator of all that is beautiful and good within us. Our entire lives are sacred and Christ lives within our sacredness.
Have you embraced the awareness of the life of Christ living within you? Do you believe nothing good lives in you or do you believe in your beauty? Have you embraced all of life as sacred or have you given up on the sacredness of life?