An Inner Revolution – 7 quotes from my book – The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life
by Mark Votava
1. Everything we are, everything we do, and everything we long for
“Silence and solitude bring us many relational gifts in everyday life. These gifts include: love, grace, humility, simplicity, compassion, awareness, mindfulness, listening, empathy, and creativity. All of them are experienced through our local context when we are present to the practice of silence and solitude. They involve everything we are, everything we do, and everything we long for. There is not one aspect of life that our practice of silence and solitude do not touch.”
2. Deepen our own interior life
“What would actually happen if we turned off our televisions and computers and gave some thought to seeking God in silence and solitude? Social activist Dorothy Day, who co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement, states, ‘…we must deepen our own interior life.’ If we took several weeks or days out of the year and gave absolute attention to silence and solitude, this would shape our lives together tremendously as the body of Christ in everyday life.”
3. Grace, courage, and gentleness
“We have to trust God that the darkness, desert, and distress will not destroy us. We must hold onto God through our pain and brokenness. We must learn to live through it with grace, courage, and gentleness. God’s grace will sustain us through the desert experiences in the parish. Our silence and solitude will cultivate the mystical imagination as we process our pain…”
4. An inner revolution
“There needs to be an inner revolution that changes how we embody ourselves, how we understand ourselves, and how we express ourselves in the world. We need to engage the mystical imagination and start to embrace some self-understanding. If we do not seek to understand ourselves, we will never seek God in everyday life. We must constantly question ourselves as we seek God together. Our identity is constantly being shaped as we listen intensely to our lives, the lives of others, and the life of God within.”
5. Going deeper
“Jenna Smith states, ‘Depth can be a scary thing.’ We need to have to have the courage to face the depth of our humanity and all its potential – the opportunities, the unknown, the fear, the struggle against being marginalized by a world that usually lives on a superficial level. Going deeper opens the mystical imagination in fascinating ways.”
6. A process of conversion within
“Our everyday lives become a process of conversion within and through the mystical imagination. Our practice of silence and solitude shapes us from within as the body of Christ in everyday life. It connects us to ourselves, our experiences, and our histories in the place we inhabit…”
7. Where nothing appears to be happening
“God is both hidden to us and revealed in our silence and solitude. This process can oftentimes seem like the winter seasons of life where it is cold or dark, where nothing appears to be happening. But these seasons cultivate a depth to our humanity that is necessary for our survival and sanity. They develop in us an experiential maturity that we can receive in no other way…”
Do you pursue an inner revolution within?
My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!
“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism
My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!
“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline… without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.” Shane Claiborne, author and activist