Love means saying, “I’m Sorry.”

Dear Readers,

I am writing this in response to a Facebook reader who called me on the carpet for speaking from judgment rather than love in posting this morning’s blog.  First I want to apologize to this reader and to anyone else who may have been offended by my words and to own that my ego most certainly may have been involved in that post.  Secondly, I want to clarify my intentions of this blog and any other aspects of my ministry thereof.

First of all, I want to make it VERY CLEAR that it is NEVER, nor has it ever been my intention to judge, condemn or criticize those who still find comfort in the Institution of the Roman Catholic Church as it currently lives and breathes in our world.  Millions of “faithful believers” find comfort, nurturing and support through the Institution and find peace in the absolutes of Catholic doctrine.  In fact, a part of me envies these fortunate many who are able to find peace and are not confronted by an inner voice that questions, challenges, or is driven to know more.  In many ways, I believe that their journey is easier and simpler than the path upon which God seems to keep calling me.  I honor and respect the path they have been called to and am happy that in this path they find peace.

I also have to recognize that in truth, these are not the people to whom I have been called to minister.  When Jesus led me through the doorway and showed me the mass of people, and then commanded me, “Feed my Sheep,” it was not the men and women who are content within the embrace of the Institution that stared back at me.  Instead, the people Jesus commanded me to feed are those who have been hurt, wounded or disenfranchised by the Roman Church or those who are finding some nourishment within the Institution but who still hunger for more.  I have come to call these folks, “The Lost Sheep of Rome.”  These “lost sheep” include:

  • The young, single woman trying to survive on minimum wage who found herself, after an incident of date rape, with an unplanned pregnancy and thought she had no other recourse but to terminate her pregnancy and now feels condemned by her Church.
  • The young man who begins to understand that he is gay and that his desire to be in partnership is forbidden by his Church.
  • The middle aged woman who in the midst of a painful divorce is told she is not welcome at the Eucharist.
  • The middle aged man who still carries the scars of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of his parish priest.
  • The young couple who grew up Catholic, loved their Church but still hunger for more.
  • The teenage girl who finds her most effective form of prayer in the physical postures of yoga.
  • The young couple who had questions about their faith and were told they were heretics for even asking the questions.
  • The middle age couple who struggled with some of the teachings of the Catholic faith and who through careful prayer and discernment found themselves led to make some decisions that were not in 100% agreement with a literal translation of Catholic law and where then told that “there is no room for Cafeteria Catholicism.”
  • The loyal members of a parish community who were told certain members of their family could not receive the Eucharist at their father’s funeral because they were not “Catholics in good standing.”
  • The mother of a child who was deprived of the Eucharist due to a wheat allergy, even after the mother offered to provide the non-wheat bread alternative herself.
  • The couple who are told (inaccurately) that their son is going to hell because he chose suicide as his response to excruciating and debilitating depression.

95% of the people who cross the threshold of Authentic Freedom Ministries were raised Catholic and many of them are coming because they were in one way or another told they were not welcome in the Roman Church.  Those who have not been explicitly rejected or condemned quite simply wanted more than what the Institution was willing or able to give them and have found comfort, nourishment and solace in the contemplative practices, spiritual formation, spiritual direction and healing practices offered by Authentic Freedom Ministries.  These are the people to whom God has called me to minister.  The “faithful believers” who are content within the embrace of the Institution are already being well cared for and certainly don’t need me messing things up!

And finally, I do want to name my own personal wound and admit that it may from time to time creep in and color the way my thoughts are being expressed.  I have been hurt by the Church and I still grieve this loss. My greatest dream was to be able to share all the amazing tools God has given me within the context of my Catholic faith…..specifically, inside the Institution as a Lay Minister.   I was deeply hurt when I found that my gifts were no longer welcome….and while I have grieved this loss and see God’s intention for my highest good (and the highest good of others)within this loss, I still long for the day when the Institutional and Mystical church can coexist in harmony and peace.  I know that this will not happen in my lifetime and that sometimes makes me feel frustrated, impatient and angry…and perhaps a little judgmental.  (judgement is a great defense mechanism afterall!)

So again, I apologize if my words of this morning’s blog offended or hurt anyone and I’m sorry if you took it personally.  That was certainly not my intention.

Sincerely,

Lauri A. Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

8 thoughts on “Love means saying, “I’m Sorry.”

  1. I want to throw my thoughts into the mix here. You have nothing to apologize for, including having strong opinions. I rejoice in your outspokenness and in your willingness to challenge the way the majority may view such an institution as the Catholic Church. Let readers be offended. It is more a sign of your gifted writing and your ability to strike a nerve then it is an expression of some childhood wound.

    I would challenge those insulted by your blog to read Eliane Pagel’s latest book: Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation. Or any of her other worthy & researched books.

    A writer that doesn’t challenge may as well sit on her hands.

    Bravo Lauri. Your fan, Julie Tallard Johnson

    http://www.amazon.com/Revelations-Visions-Prophecy-Politics-Revelation/dp/0670023345/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

    • Thank you Julie! It is your voice I hear when I wonder, “Is this me pontificating and speaking out of my ego or standing in my truth.” thank you for being such an amazing teacher, mentor, sister and friend! I love you! Lauri

  2. I second Julie’s sentiments. If I’ve learned anything from writing and blogging, it’s that anyone who puts themselves out there–in any sphere of life, even a little–WILL take flak. It hurts like hell, and it’s probably a good sign that you’re making a difference. I think anyone who reads you regularly knows how much you love the beauty of the Catholic faith even as you call the institution to account. Your contribution is indispensable, and I so appreciate your offering it.

    • John, Thank you for your kind and supportive feedback. In today’s blog I further clarify my need to call the Institution to account. 🙂 A voice crying out in the wilderness perhaps….but I know a few who feel the same way as I do. 🙂

  3. Lauri:
    I really enjoy reading your blog periodically. I especially like your insights
    on Mary Magdalene and doing our own inner work. If it hasn’t been mentioned before The Maeve Chronicles by Elizabeth Cunningham is a trilogy of novels about Magdalene which is excellent. You may have already read them. They are fiction, but contain much spiritual insight.
    Here are the titles in order. Available from Amazon or others.
    1. Magdalen Rising 2007
    2. The Passion of Mary Magdalen
    3. Bright Dark Madonna 2009
    A happy and blessed St Patrick’s Day to all.
    Blessings
    Liam Condon

  4. All the people on your list have suffered sadness, and you’re gonna have a tough one where the gay group is concerned. Right now, their kind are making a massive assault on God’s people and His institution of marriage between men and women. THEY are hurting the feelings of US ordinary people very badly….ever thought about that?

    They might be “lost sheep” and I wouldn’t necessarily deny anyone help, but the teachings on sodomy are quite clear and you can’t expect the church to bend God’s teachings. This war between showing “compassion” and God’s teachings seems to be an ever-recurring theme, whether it be gays, divorcees or whatever group that churches do not normally encompass.
    Jesus did not condemn but neither did he condone the action, whether it was adulteress, divorcee or homosexual.

    The greatest thing that could happen would be for a Big Magic Wand to come down and change these folk into normal humans; get a life, get a proper biologically compatible partner and live as God intended. Maybe it will, in 2012-2013!

    • CR: I really struggled about whether or not to list this comment on my site. I am happy that you have found comfort in the perceived surety of religious doctrine and I am saddened that this doctrine has invited you into a place of judgment about people of a sexual orientation differing from your own. Regardless of how it has been interpreted by Institutional religion, the “law of God” that I have come to know in prayer and contemplation (and I know I am not alone in this) is about love. I believe that God makes each and everyone of us in God’s image….whether male or female, white or black, heterosexual or homosexual, Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Buddhist or Jew. We are all an expression of God in love and worthy of that love without condition! I absolutely believe that this is what Jesus taught and it saddens me when it is portrayed in any other way.

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