Mysterious Solidarity – 6 quotes from my book – The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life

by Mark Votava

41+jgDX732L1. Worship happens anywhere and everywhere

“A radical obedience as a lifestyle of worship opens us up to awareness, mindfulness, love, compassion, humility, listening, contemplation, empathy, and grace. This is the kind of spirit that the mystical imagination longs for. My dear friend Eileen Baura Suico says, ‘Worship happens anywhere and everywhere… Worship draws our attention to God, and at the same time, enables God to be encountered in the world.’”

2. Developing into lifelong learners

“’Take my yoke upon you and learn from me’ (Matthew 11:29). We can learn from Christ through the Scriptures, but we can also learn from Christ through reading the wisdom of all kinds of authors. Christ speaks to us in all kinds of ways in the world through the diverse books we read as we develop into lifelong learners. He speaks to us through books on theology, spirituality, psychology, sociology, technology, anthropology, agriculture, economics, leadership, art, culture, biography, philosophy, mysticism, fiction, poetry, and history. He speaks to us through all kinds of people of diverse race, nationality, age, and socio-economic status. He speaks to us in long books and shorter books. He speaks to us through female authors and male authors.”

3. We receive life as a gift through our mindfulness

“Mindfulness is a training of sorts that pushes us beyond the status quo. It helps us to live deeply. It will shape us in mysterious ways as it works to form us as the body of Christ in the parish. We receive life as a gift through our mindfulness. Mindfulness helps us to embrace the mystical imagination within when we are shaken up and experience losses in life.”

4. Listening to the true self

“The false self destroys the body of Christ. It wants us to go to church instead of be the church together in a particular place. The way of discipleship and of discipline is to discover our true self. Our sanity depends on us discovering our true self as the body of Christ in everyday life. The true self is the essence of authenticity. It is how we become expressions of love in the world, and how we live in our bodies in the parish. Alice Fryling notes, ‘Listening to the true self may be a countercultural experience.’”

5. Mysterious solidarity

“Silence and solitude always draw us into a mysterious solidarity with others in our neighborhood. There do not need to be a lot of words and speech for this to happen. We just need to have a practice of silence and solitude in the midst of everyday life in the place we inhabit. This will cultivate miraculous relational revelations as we find ourselves more connected with each passing day. Through this practice, we will become constantly reconnected to those we are called to love in our local community. Our presence to this practice makes all the difference.”

6. Normal processes of growth

“The desert experiences are normal processes of growth. They are not because we have necessarily done anything wrong or turned away from God. On the contrary, they are actually signs of a mature and serious follower of Christ.”

Have you listened to your true self lately?

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