Posted in Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved, Virtual Church

A Special Treat from Authentic Freedom Ministries

As a special treat for Authentic Freedom Virtual Church subscribers, I am sharing an excerpt from the sequel (as yet untitled) to Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  (copyright Lauri Ann Lumby)

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Blood.  There was blood everywhere.  Blood and red.  The red of the Roman army’s uniforms and cloaks.  Cloaks of red flashing across my vision and with every passing, there was death.  Flashes of red revealing crosses that now lined every hill, every walkway.  Flashes of red and crosses where my Jewish brothers hung executed.  Zealots, I’siims, Sadducces, Pharisees, Priests, merchants, paupers.  The Romans had shown no discrimination and no mercy in their bloody rampage.  Power over power over power as women and children littered the ground – broken, bruised and bloody shells staring vacantly – pleading toward a god who showed them no mercy as their final breath was wrested from their bodies.  Red cloaks flashing as the Romans marched over the corpses of the massacred in their advance toward the temple.  The Jews had given their very lives for the sake of the temple.  Then, all I saw was flames.  Flames engulfing priests as they ran screaming from the tabernacle they had failed to defend, wondering where their god was who had promised to defend them.  Flashes of red as the magnificent temple crumbled beneath the Roman’s feet – now laying in a pile of rubble, bone, burning flesh all soaked in blood as the Romans planted the red flag of their victory.  Flashes of red as the flames eventually died out, the smoke dissipated and the dust settled, revealing flocks of carrion bird feasting on what remained of our people, while the surviving few offered a groaning lament to a god who had left them for dead.  My heart sank in the devastation I saw before me – piles of rubble and bone and ash awash in a sea of blood while the red flags of victory signaled the Roman conquest…..

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Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Available NOW!

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene is available NOW in paperback and kindle versions on Amazon!  Buy it NOW! 

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Every story is true, some of them actually happened.

Song of the Beloved is a provocative retelling of the Jesus story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.  After fourteen years of suffering the debilitating effects of trauma, Mary is healed by Jesus.  She then becomes his most enthusiastic and devoted disciple; later becoming his companion, co-minister, beloved and wife.  Designated the Magdalene, Mary is appointed to carry on Jesus’ ministry after his death.

A great work of fiction, inspired by scripture, historical documents and ancient sacred texts, Song of the Beloved provides nourishment and inspiration for those in search of a relevant Christianity – with Jesus and Mary as two who lived the fullness of the human experience while teaching us how to love.

What reviewers are saying about Song of the Beloved:

At a time when Christianity as we know it is reaping the harvest it has sown in denying the feminine, as Mary Magdalene herself was denied, Lauri Lumby offers us a devotional outpouring of that love between her and Jesus that was the foundation of his teaching and healing ministry. Rooted in the Gospels, and skillfully echoing their resonance in her use of language, she tells Mary’s story first hand by ‘being her’, embodying her passion and her memory and bringing alive the female half of Christianity that is the church’s only hope of re-integration and resurrection.

– Jay Ramsay, author of Crucible of Love—the alchemy of passionate relationships and The Poet in You.

Song of the Beloved is a vivid and deeply moving memoir that transports the reader to another time and place. While reading, I felt I was actually there, witnessing and experiencing events and feelings first hand and being filled with the golden light of love emanating from the heart of Jesus and the Magdalene.

– Toni Carmine Salerno, bestselling artist & author of Magdalene Oracle.

The phenomenon of Jesus Christ is a mystery so great it invites different ‘takes’ on it. This is a vivid and moving one written from the wise depths of the heart.

– Gabriel Bradford Millar, poet and co-founder of Poetry Stroud and Celebration of the Word.

 

 

Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Here’s Your Sneak Peek!

 

 

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene is uploaded to Amazon and will available in the next 10 days!  Below is a sneak peek! 

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Prologue:

As I face the twilight of my life, I find myself drawn to thoughts of the past. Although I am grateful for the hospitality of the sisters of the holy isle of Avalon who have provided a home and a sanctuary for me in my dying years, and have found a great joy in their presence and our shared work, my heart still aches for the life I have known, and those I have loved.  It is of one life and one love that the holy sisters have asked me to write so that they may preserve these stories for the generations to come.  Sixty years have passed since that time but the experiences remain etched in my heart.

The life and love of which I speak belongs to the time I shared with my beloved, Jesus bar Joseph. It was through Jesus that I was healed of the demons that destroyed the innocence and wonder I had enjoyed as a child and it was through Jesus that I was restored to my original nature, remembering my Oneness with God in love.  It was also through Jesus that I discovered the calling of my soul to be a vessel of God’s love in the world, to bring healing and comfort to many and to share the Good News of God’s unconditional love.  And it was with Jesus that I first lived out this calling.  Jesus became not only my teacher, but my closest friend and companion, my partner in ministry, my beloved and my husband.

The love that Jesus offers, however, was never just for me alone. The love that Jesus embodied was for everyone and was intended to bring freedom and liberation to a world trapped in fear.  Through his words, his touch, his very presence, he acts as a mirror, showing those with eyes to see, the truth of their Divine and loving nature. In Jesus’ presence, we are empowered to remember our truest nature as beloved sons and daughters of Abwoon – the name by which Jesus calls God.  This awareness of our truest nature brings the peace and joy for which every man, woman and child hungers, and then compels us to go out into the world to be that awakening love for others as Jesus has done for us.

This is the true wonder of Jesus – not the miracles he accomplished, the stories he told or even the courage that allowed him to face death on the cross. Neither was it the resurrection. Instead, the miracle of Jesus bar Joseph is that his love transcends all fear, for all time. It is this love that beckoned me to boldly stand beside him in being an example of God’s love in the world and to courageously continue this mission despite the sword that pierced my heart on the day of his death.  It is the transforming power of his love that has raised many from suffering and darkness to discover new life.  I cherish the words he offered as comfort to me in my own times of darkness, “Do not be afraid. I am with you always, even until the end of time,” and now understand these words are meant for all of us.

Although the loss of Jesus’ physical presence has caused me great sorrow, I am filled each day with the joy of experiencing and sharing the fullness of his love. Jesus’ presence has healed me, given me comfort, guided my steps and led me to truth.  It is for this reason that he has come, not to me alone, but for the whole world – that we may all know peace and so that we may come to know the God that dwells within us and who seeks to be known in the world through our own unique giftedness and call. Much has been and will be written about Jesus’ life and teachings, but the limitations of words and perceptions prevent the fullness of Jesus’ message from being understood.  It is for the sake of this message that I bare my heart and soul, and proclaim the song of my beloved.

Mary, of the House of Lazarus, “The Magdalene”

Excerpt from Song of the Beloved, the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  Copyright 2014


Posted in About Lauri, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

My Journey with Mary Magdalene – Part 1 of 4

I can’t presume to write a novel about the life and love of Mary Magdalene without first giving credit to the 35 year journey that led me to this place. (This is Part One of a Four Part Series.  Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene coming SOON!)  This is my journey with the Magdalene!

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I first “met” Mary Magdalene in seventh grade music class when Miss Klosterman played for us the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.  This was the soundtrack of the original London cast featuring Ian Gillan as Jesus (later played by Ted Neely in the movie version) and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene.  To say this soundtrack changed my life would be an understatement!  Up to this point, Jesus was sitting up on a pedestal, the “Son of God” who we could pray to and whose grace we sought, but who in truth felt very far away and unapproachable.  Having been raised Catholic and attending Catholic schools, Jesus was presented as the image of perfection.  How could we, lowly humans, even presume to approach him except by gazing up to “heaven” where he sat on a throne, the image of perfection and holding up the standard of perfect human behavior? Well, Jesus Christ Superstar changed all of that.  For the first time in my life, Jesus was HUMAN.  He was vulnerable, afraid, got frustrated and angry, grew impatient and tired – just like the rest of us.  Now this was a Jesus I could relate to!  What I didn’t know at the time is that this Jesus – the human, approachable Jesus was the very Jesus that every Christian mystic had come to know in very personal and intimate ways for upwards of 2000 years.  The awareness of Jesus as a living, breathing, flawed human being opened the door for the development of a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Jesus that continues to this day.

The second thing that Jesus Christ Superstar did for me was to introduce me to an example of female discipleship.  Mary Magdalene stood beside Jesus, equal to, or perhaps even more equal, than his male disciples.  She stood so close to Jesus, in fact, that it was to Mary that he turned when tired and worn out from preaching, healing and ministering to a stiff-necked people.  Mary presented a model of presence, nurturing, support and comfort that seemed to be lacking in the male disciples.  Although Andrew Lloyd Webber didn’t go there, the tenderness and intimacy portrayed in both the theatrical and movie versions of this “rock opera” seemed to hint at the possibility that Jesus and Mary had more going on than just being teacher and student.  Again, while neither the play nor the movie portrayed it, whispering under the dialog, the interactions, the tenderness and tension, one had to wonder if there was in fact a romantic love between Mary and Jesus.  This question remained in my consciousness as a very real possibility in spite of the Catholic insistence that Jesus was single and chaste, like the priestly celibacy they were trying to uphold.

Jesus Christ Superstar continued as the model of a Jesus I wanted to know and the female disciple that stood at least equal if not more intimate than his male disciples. I turned to the soundtrack over and over and over again in search of the connection with Jesus that Mary seemed to enjoy and to come to know Mary Magdalene more fully. To this day, I can sing the entire soundtrack from beginning to end without pause….”What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happenin….what’s the buzz….tell me what’s happenin….tell me what’s happenin…” 

Stay tuned for parts 2-4! 

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, the novel, is coming soon!  Watch this blog, or subscribe to my email newsletter HERE for updates!

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Mary Magdalene – modern day goddess

In anticipation of the release of my upcoming novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, I will be sharing with you some old and new writings on the Magdalene.  Today, words from the remarkable artist who provided the cover for my book, Toni Carmine Salerno.  Thank you Toni for your generous witness! 

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I Could Not Have Said it Better!

How does one concisely describe the woman, Mary Magdalene, what she represents as a model of devotion  and what she has to teach us as we move into a new era of Christian witness?  I have written millions of words reflecting on this woman who I look to as model for my own journey.  Not long ago, I was presented with a resource that explained Mary Magdalene in a concise and direct manner, better than what I could come up with on my own.  So today, I share with you the beautiful words of artist and visionary, Toni Carmine Salerno: 

To me, Magdalene is not solely a bibilical figure; rather, she is a modern day Goddess who holds a most sacred and ancient wisdom: organic and tactile, and deeply connected to our beautiful planet.  Magdalene lives eternally through present day women and she will no doubt continue to be a source of inspiration for women in generations to come.

Her wisdom is beyond words, images or concepts.  She is an archetypal spirit, soft and gentle, yet strong and unswayable.  Magdalene stands firmly in her truth, representing strength and dignity.

She assists in elevating the status of women around the globe and helps to free both men and women from the closed mind sets that have kept the true beauty, wisdom and creative essence of the feminine spirit from fully emerging. 

The Magdalene stands proud regardless of what others think of her or how they choose to label her.  For centuries there have been many who have sought to diminish her worth through lies, intimidation and even physical and emotional abuse.  Yet, in spite of this, Magdalene’s presence and influence remains.

Magdalene is the dancing Dark Goddess of gentle strength and authority, bearer of infinite compassion.  She is the healer of the wounded feminine, healing the desolate places of the heart, where lie the issues of abaondonment and betrayal which all women (and men) carry.  She holds up to them the mirror of their true nature, in which they will see themselves reflected in all their beauty and power and thereby step into their wholeness.

In My Own Words

If (for those of Christian orientation), Jesus is “the Way,” then Mary Magdalene is the map.  She shows us the way to compassion and oneness through her attentive devotion to her Rabbouni (teacher), her generous and compassionate service and her brave and daring witness.  Against societal norms and in spite of the protestations of her fellow disciples, she stood boldly in the truths that were revealed to her and she stayed true to what Jesus had shown her and taught her.  In short….Mary Magdalene rocks!

What does Mary Magdalene represent to you?

How can you look to Mary Magdalene as a model of Christian witness?

How are you being invited to stand in your truth, in spite of the protests of those around you?

Posted in Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – First Proof

We are getting closer to the launch of my upcoming novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  The first proof arrived in yesterday’s mail.  Here is a first glance!  With a few adjustments, the book will be ready for release.  I’m still planning a fall release! 

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Song of the Beloved is a provocative retelling of the Jesus story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.  After fourteen years of suffering the debilitating effects of trauma, Mary is healed by Jesus.  She then becomes his most enthusiastic and devoted disciple; later becoming his companion, co-minister, beloved and wife.  Designated the Magdalene, Mary is appointed to carry on Jesus’ ministry after his death.

A great work of fiction, inspired by scripture, historical documents and ancient sacred texts, Song of the Beloved provides nourishment and inspiration for those in search of a relevant Christianity – with Jesus and Mary as two who lived the fullness of the human experience while teaching us how to love.

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What reviewers are saying about Song of the Beloved:

At a time when Christianity as we know it is reaping the harvest it has sown in denying the feminine, as Mary Magdalene herself was denied, Lauri Lumby offers us a devotional outpouring of that love between her and Jesus that was the foundation of his teaching and healing ministry. Rooted in the Gospels, and skillfully echoing their resonance in her use of language, she tells Mary’s story first hand by ‘being her’, embodying her passion and her memory and bringing alive the female half of Christianity that is the church’s only hope of re-integration and resurrection.

– Jay Ramsay, author of Crucible of Love—the alchemy of passionate relationships and The Poet in You.

 

Song of the Beloved is a vivid and deeply moving memoir that transports the reader to another time and place. While reading, I felt I was actually there, witnessing and experiencing events and feelings first hand and being filled with the golden light of love emanating from the heart of Jesus and the Magdalene.

– Toni Carmine Salerno, bestselling artist & author of Magdalene Oracle.

 

The phenomenon of Jesus Christ is a mystery so great it invites different ‘takes’ on it. This is a vivid and moving one written from the wise depths of the heart.

– Gabriel Bradford Millar, poet and co-founder of Poetry Stroud and Celebration of the Word.

Posted in About Lauri, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

My Journey with the Magdalene – Part 2

I can’t presume to write a novel about the life and love of Mary Magdalene (learn more about the book HERE.)  without first giving credit to the 35 year journey that led me to this place. Here is part 2 of my journey with the Magdalene.  (Read Part 1 HERE.) 

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Fast forward fifteen years, past high school, college, work in the corporate world, and to where I was standing in the choir at the Newman Center at UW Oshkosh. The homily that particular Sunday was about “call.”  I heard the priest say, “If there is something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t done it yet….get off your butt and do it now.”  I will swear to this day that at the utterance of these words, a brick flew through the air and hit be square between the eyes.  I called a meeting with the priest, “I hate what I’m doing.  I’ve never been happy in corporate work.  I know I’m supposed to be doing something else.  I think it has to do with God, but I don’t know what that means.”  I consider this encounter my “call to active ministry” which began seven years of education and training as a Pastoral Minister and Spiritual Director and ten years of employment within the Catholic Church.  Not only did this encounter change the trajectory of my life, but through the class Integrative Spirituality with Sr. Marie Schwan, I discovered Christian Contemplative Prayer through which I found the intimate, personal, fulfilling, informing, guiding relationship with Jesus that I first glimpsed through Jesus Christ Superstar.  I discovered not only validation, but support for my inherently intuitive and contemplative nature and through these practices found tools for discernment, comfort, healing and guidance.  What I did not know in all of this was that not only would Jesus become deeply important to me, so too would Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene presented herself to me through my course in Christology. I wrote my final paper on Mary Magdalene and discovered centuries of misinformation that maligned Mary Magdalene and placed her in the role of repentant whore.  What I discovered in this research (though I think I already intuitively knew this), was that there is NO SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT for Mary as a prostitute or even as an adulterous woman.  Instead, every single scriptural reference regarding the Magdalene places her in intimate proximity to Jesus as devoted student, companion and supporter.  Even more important than all of her supporting roles, it is to Mary that the resurrected Christ appears and SHE is the one first commissioned to share the good news of the resurrection.  (read John’s gospel account of the resurrection closely and you will see where the text was altered to give Peter a more prominent role in the discovery of the resurrected Christ).  Also in this research, I discovered that even the early church gave credit to Mary Magdalene as the first witness to the resurrection and honored this truth by referring to her as “the Apostle to the Apostles.”

Stay tuned for parts 3-4. 

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, the novel, is coming soon!  Watch this blog, or subscribe to my email newsletter HERE for updates!

Posted in Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Coming this Fall!

 

A HUGE thank you to Toni Carmine Salerno for sharing his artwork and to my dear friend, Gretchen Herrmann of Primary Colors for the spectacular cover design of up my upcoming book….drum roll please…….

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Every story is true, some of them actually happened.

Song of the Beloved is a provocative retelling of the Jesus story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.  After fourteen years of suffering with the debilitating effects of trauma, Mary is healed by Jesus.  She then becomes his most enthusiastic and devoted disciple; later becoming his companion, co-minister, beloved and wife.  Designated the Magdalene, Mary is appointed to carry on Jesus’ ministry after his death.

A great work of fiction, inspired by scripture, historical documents and ancient sacred texts, Song of the Beloved provides nourishment and inspiration for those in search of a relevant Christianity – with Jesus and Mary as two who lived the fullness of the human experience while teaching us how to love.

 

Song of the Beloved is a vivid and deeply moving memoir that transports the reader to another time and place. While reading, I felt I was actually there, witnessing and experiencing events and feelings first hand and being filled with the golden light of love emanating from the heart of Jesus and the Magdalene. – Toni Carmine Salerno, bestselling artist & author of Magdalene Oracle.