As a young child, I formulated a specific and personal prayer that became the preamble to all my prayers – my prayers upon waking, before going to sleep, and the prayers I said every Sunday before attending the Catholic mass. I’m not sure where I came up with these words, though I suspect they were influenced by my mother, who first taught me how to pray, and perhaps by my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hodgson, who was especially devout. The prayer goes like this:
Dear Lord, I offer everything I have to you and to the poor souls in purgatory.
I no longer believe in purgatory in the way that I did as a child as “the place where we go after we die to be purged of our sin so we can one day enter heaven.” Instead, I often consider our human experience to be a kind of purgatory – a place we come to learn how to be human, and then, if we are paying attention, the place where we have an opportunity to learn ways of transcending our suffering, thereby discovering in the human condition a kind of heaven on earth. While my beliefs about purgatory have changed, I still find myself drawn to this prayer, “Lord, I offer everything I have to you and to the poor souls in purgatory.” Who are the “poor souls in purgatory?” All of humanity, especially those who are suffering. (Here’s a great YouTube clip which illustrates what purgatory feels like! From the movie What Dreams May Come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwrmILnrzbk)
Looking to Birth our Soul
Since embarking upon this work, that I call for lack of a better word, ministry, a common theme has been revealed about those drawn toward my service. In essence, those who find themselves drawn to my ministry are those in search for their Soul (you might also call that, true self, higher self, most authentic self, truth, path, etc.). They might not know that it is the Soul for which they are seeking, but in the end, this is always at the root of the longing; suffering; restlessness; grief; relationship issues; physical, emotional or mental pain; that brought them to my doorstep in the first place. I’m never quite sure about how they find me in the first place, and oftentimes neither are they. As such, I can only give credit to God – that something in their Soul that reaches out for the remedy to its longing, and in the Soul’s search, it somehow finds me. I am always humbled and in awe over the work, and over what transpires once it is begun. The miracles that occur, the truths that break through, the healing that occurs, is way beyond me and my tiny human capabilities and I am reminded over and over and over that it is not me doing the work, but God working through me. And I know that it is God working through me because of the beyond-human experiences that transpire.
Who is your Soul Calling you to Serve and How?
Ultimately, I believe that the birth of the Soul is about each and every one of us discovering how we are uniquely called to serve “the poor souls in purgatory.” Each of us have been uniquely and creatively gifted to find fulfillment, peace, joy and love and to serve the betterment of humankind. Who is your Soul calling you to serve and how?
Lauri Lumby offers one-on-one mentoring in support of the birth of your Soul. Call (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a private session.