Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Magic, Spiritual Formation

It’s Time to Stop Hiding Your Magic!

Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted to be a vessel through which the Divine is revealed in our world. Some are gifted with the magic of teaching, others with healing, others with prophecy, support, guidance, compassion, mercy, humility, discernment, service, etc. (In the Catholic Church is which I was raised, these gifts are known as charisms – gifts of the Holy Spirit.)  As part of our birthright, each and every one of us was imbued with some special magic.

When engaged with this magic, in service to the betterment of the world, and in service to the Divine who seeks to live through us and be known through us, miracles happen. Miracles happen because it is not we who are doing the magic; it is the Divine working through us.  (Jesus didn’t heal.  It was the Divine, working through Jesus who did the healing. The priest does not make the bread and wine turn into the “body and blood of Christ;” it is the Divine working through the priest that makes the miracle happen.) It is through these unique gifts that the Divine plan of Love is made real on this plane and through which we have the opportunity to co-create heaven on earth.

The problem is that early on, most of us learned that the world in which we were living was not a safe place for us to acknowledge, recognize, or God-forbid, share our magic. We learn this when somewhere along the line, we dared to share a glimpse of our magic, and someone condemned us for it, made fun of us for it, we are told we were crazy because of it, or that our magic is the “work of the devil.”  As a result, our magic gets hidden away.

Click HERE to learn more and register for the online course, "What's Your Magic?"
Click HERE to learn more and register for the online course, “What’s Your Magic?”

We hide our magic because the world is afraid of our gifts. Our magic can’t be contained, defined, or even explained.  It doesn’t fit into the tiny little box most of humanity has crafted for itself.  Those who hold the power (and therefore hold the gold), are powerless in the face of our magic. It is for the sake of trying to fit into this too-small world that we hide our magic away.

Without our magic, however, we are condemned to live a life of quiet desperation, forever longing for that which cannot be named. We look outside of ourselves for the satisfaction to this longing (shopping, food, drugs, alcohol, sex, TV, gambling, etc. etc. etc.), and find nothing but fleeting moments of “satisfaction” that ultimately leave us longing for more. We suffer depression, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic pain, and unexplainable illnesses. This is the price of hiding our magic.  We might fit into the too- small world, but we find no joy in doing so.

Even when we hide our magic, we still don’t fit, however, because our magic can never be fully hidden. Our magic leaks out of the corners of our being and no matter how hard we try, others know we are different.  We are thought of as strange, weird, unconventional.  People grow uncomfortable in our presence and for no fault of our own, they try to stay clear of us.  Our magic, even when we are hiding it, wakes people up….and some people do not want to be awakened.  Our magic, even when we think we have it contained, triggers other people’s unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears.  They are then sure we are to blame and they project their wounds upon us.  This is the price of our magic – whether we hide it or not; but this is why we were given our magic in the first place.

We were given our magic for the sake of turning the world from fear into love. We were gifted with our magic to serve the betterment of the world and the conscious evolution of the human race.  We were given our magic so that we might be healed and so that others might find healing through our presence and support.  We were gifted with our magic so that we might know love and all the world with us.

Don’t you think it’s time to stop hiding our Magic?????

Click HERE to learn more and register for the online course, "What's Your Magic?"
Click HERE to learn more and register for the online course, “What’s Your Magic?”





Posted in codependency

The Gift of Celibacy?

This afternoon, one of the students of my “What’s Your Magic – Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts” course, asked me to further elaborate on the “gift of celibacy.”  “Who would EVER think of celibacy as a gift?” you might ask.  Find out here…..and while you’re at it, ask yourself what your unique spiritual gifts might be…..and if you are still searching, check out my online course What is Your Magic?  (33% off the normal price for the remainder of the month of February)


Voluntary Celibacy is listed as one of the spiritual gifts in the 26 traditional charisms of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This is a bit of “magic” that tends to grab the attention (and maybe even raise a few eyebrows) of those raised in a Western culture, especially the American culture where sexuality is so suppressed that it ends up coming out sideways – as evidenced in an overabundance of pornography, sexual violence against women and children and the objectification of women and men – using sex to sell everything from toothpaste to pickup trucks and beer.  As our suppressed sexuality is busy coming (no pun intended) out sideways, our culture, especially our politicians, vehemently defend our Puritan/Christian/Victorian roots of sexual conservativism.  Hah!  I think we protesteth too much!

In an oversexed and sexually suppressed culture, the idea of voluntary celibacy sounds like blasphemy. This is even more true when the culture privileges partnership, especially sexual partnership, effectively condemning those called to a single life – either as a life vocation, or temporarily in support of their own psycho-spiritual or emotional development or wellbeing.  This is further compounded when the cultural model of intimate relationship is based in lack, men and women looking for the perfect partner to “complete” them, thereby casting those who are purposefully choosing celibacy, or those who are celibate due to circumstance, as “less than” those who have been lucky enough to find “love.” (note:  love based in lack is not love…it is co-dependency).

Beyond our cultural confusion regarding authentically healthy human sexuality, voluntary celibacy is a gift which empowers one to live singly, and absent sexual partnership for the sake of their psycho-spiritual growth and emotional wellbeing, or in support of a larger vocation. For some, it is a conscious choice appropriate to a larger vocational choice, freeing the creative energies (sexual energy is ultimately creativity in action) that might otherwise be engaged sexually for the purposes of their personal mission and life’s purpose.  Dorothy Day, for example, chose celibacy so that she could dedicate more of her time, passion and attention to her mission to support and be an advocate for the poor.  Some might choose temporary celibacy to support their own healing from an unhealthy, co-dependent or even abusive relationship.  Others might not make the choice consciously, but are facing life circumstances where an intimate partnership is not currently in the cards.  In this case, the magic of voluntary celibacy gives one the ability to be content (and not terribly bothered) by this time of temporary celibacy.  Not everyone has this capacity to be single, celibate and content.  This capacity is the ultimate hallmark of those in possession of this gift – the magic of voluntary celibacy.


If you are interested in learning about your unique magic, (whether or not it is voluntary celibacy) check out my online course, What is Your Magic?   33% off the regular price for remainder of the month of February! 


Or, if you are interested in moving beyond patterns of co-dependency toward a more rewarding and enduring Beloved Partnership, check out my online course, “Happily Ever After” 

Register HERE
Register HERE


Posted in 6D, Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Magic, Superheroes

What is Your Magic? 8 Week Series

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to be a vessel through which LOVE is made manifest in our world.   In service to this unique giftedness, we have also been blessed with a certain kind of magic which allows these gifts to be used in service to the betterment of the world and in ways that are no less than miraculous.  In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, this magic is referred to as charisms, known in other traditions as spiritual gifts or in the yogic tradition as siddhis.


From the perspective of the Catholic tradition, The Catherine of Siena Institute has identified twenty-six charisms or spiritual gifts:

  • Administration
  • Celibacy
  • Craftsmanship
  • Discernment of Spirits
  • Encouragement
  • Evangelism
  • Faith
  • Giving
  • Healing
  • Helps
  • Hospitality
  • Intercessory Prayer
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Mercy
  • Missionary
  • Music
  • Pastoring
  • Prophecy
  • Service
  • Teaching
  • Voluntary Poverty
  • Wisdom
  • Writing
  • Speaking in Tongues
  • Interpretation of Tongues

A charism is not, however, to be confused with a gift or a talent.  Talents are something we learn.  Charisms are something with which we are endowed.  The mark of a true charism is in its effortless accomplishment and in its miraculous fruits.  When we are engaged in our charism, we find that the work of doing it is effortless and the results are far beyond what we know ourselves to be humanly capable of.  The reason for this is that when engaged in our charism, it is not ourselves who are doing the work, but God doing it through us.

If you are in the Fox Valley, WI area, join us for the next eight weeks while we explore the question, “What is your magic?” All part of the weekly Superhero Gatherings.  Choose from:

Monday 6:30 – 8:30 or Tuesdays 9:00 – 11:00 am

Authentic Freedom Academy

1103 School Ave. Oshkosh

Suggested Fee:  $20.00 per session

Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, Magic, Superheroes

What is Your Magic?

Authentic Freedom Academy

8 week special series:

Weeks of July 13 – August 31, 2015

(as part of our regular Superhero Gatherings)

Choose from two options:

Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm


Tuesdays 9:00 – 11:00 am


Facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby

Authentic Freedom Academy

1103 School Ave.  Oshkosh, WI

Suggested Fee:  $20.00 per session

Each and everyone of us has been Divinely blessed with our own unique giftedness so that we might enjoy a life of meaning and purpose for our own fulfillment and for the sake of the betterment of our world.  In this 8 week series, explore the charisms (spiritual gifts) that have been identified by traditional cultures and how you may be blessed and called to more fully utilize these gifts.  We call these gifts magic because the fruits of their use is far greater than what you imagine yourself to be capable of.

To learn more, contact Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 or 

Posted in creativity, Empowerment, Holy Spirit

What is Your Magic? Part 7

Today’s blog continues to explore the gifts of the Holy Spirit (charisms) – the uniquely creative way in which God seeks to be known in the world through us and the magic through which we are vessels for God’s transformative love in the world.  A charism is not, however, to be confused with a gift or a talent.  Talents are something we learn.  Charisms are something with which we are endowed.  The mark of a true charism is in its effortless accomplishment and in its miraculous fruits.  When we are engaged in our charism, we find that the work of doing it is effortless and the results are far beyond what we know ourselves to be humanly capable of.  The reason for this is that when engaged in our charism, it is not ourselves who are doing the work, but God doing it through us.Today, we specifically examine the charisms of pastoring, prophecy, service and teaching.

Using the charism of teaching
Using the charism of teaching

The Charism of Pastoring

A woman or man with the charism of pastoring, is uniquely gifted to nurture the relationships and long-term spiritual growth and connectedness of a group.  Pastoring, in a Christian sense, is often associated with a priest, bishop or even the pope, but can be present within any individual working within a faith community who has the gift of building community and a sense of interconnectedness.  Pastoring, however, is not limited to religious communities and is often witnessed in any work or even family environment when one person has a remarkable capacity for building a sense of community and connection within a group of people.  Pastoring is similar to the charism of leadership, except that the latter is directed toward moving the group toward the accomplishment of a task, the former is specifically directed toward building a sense of community.

The Charism of Prophecy

To speak of the charism of prophecy, I will borrow from Albert Nolan’s amazing book, Jesus Today:

“Defining the prophet:

Prophets are people who speak out when others remain silent. They are watchful of the areas in need of reform in their own society, their own country, or their own religious institutions. True prophets are men and women who stand up and speak (or act) out about the practices of their own people and their own leaders – while others remain silent. True prophets are not part of the authority structure. Prophets are never appointed, ordained or anointed by the religious establishment. They experience a special calling that comes directly from God, and their message comes from their own personal experience of God. (Thus says the Lord) Any attempts to practice the same spirituality of Jesus would entail learning how to speak out boldly as he did – and face the consequences.”


  1. Ability to read the sign of the timesProphets are typically people who can foretell the future, not as fortune-tellers, but as people who have learned to read the signs of the times. Prophets are able to see where it is all heading.
  2. Devoted to a life of prayerProphets experience not only a special calling from God, but also a special closeness to God that enables them to understand God’s feelings and thoughts about what is happening and what will happen in the future. It is this mystical experience of union with God that enables them to speak on God’s behalf.A life of constant prayer and contemplation is required to cultivate this union.
  3. Courage!

Through the Holy Spirit, prophets are empowered to speak God’s truth freely, openly and without reservation, even in the face of sure persecution.

The Charism of Service

What distinguishes one with the gift of charism is their sense of personal responsibility to a task.  Uninterested in delegating a task to another, they prefer to do it themselves – typically because they are usually the only one who sees the task that needs to be accomplished and because the tasks they see as needing to be done are usually quite simple and practical in nature.  Additionally, those with the charism of service are not interested in accomplishing someone else’s work, they see themselves as filling in the gaps between what leaders and administrators seek to accomplish and what leaders and administrators often fail to see.  The tasks of a server are usually simple – seeing that a volunteer failed to show up and stepping in to do their task, remembering to set out extra toilet paper rolls for a large event, making signs to help direct people to a conference, getting a glass of water for a conference speaker.  Servers see the little things that need to be done and they do them.

The Charism of Teaching

The charism of teaching empowers one to help others learn information and skills that help them to reach their fullest potential as a human being.  Teachers are voracious learners themselves and are constantly looking for ways to share what they have learned with others.  One can affirm the charism of teaching within themselves by the way in which others learn through their teaching.  The learning effect is the true mark of a teacher.

Lauri Ann Lumby is an ordained interfaith minister, spiritual director and author.  Lauri works with individuals in the fulfillment of their greatest potential, which includes the discovery and cultivation of their charisms.  To set up a personal session, call (920) 230-1313 or email



Posted in Being Human, creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Mystics, teachers, Virtual Church

What is Your Magic? Part 6

Continuing the conversation on charisms – the unique and special way each of us is called to be a vehicle through which Divine love finds its expression in the world.  Charisms are our own special magic and the way in which we participate in God’s unfolding plan of turning the world from fear into love (aka “salvation”).  Charisms are gifts that we possess that when utilized facilitate results far beyond which we know we are humanly capable.  In today’s blog, we will explore the charisms of leadership, mercy, missionary and music.


In speaking of the charism of leadership, I’m going to borrow from the Catherine of Siena Institute in their Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory: “People with the gift of leadership are God’s catalysts (Weddell, 1997, p. 40).  Those with the charism of leadership are problem-discoverers, able to see the world through the eyes of “what needs are not yet being met,” and “what could be made better here?”  Leaders have the ability to come up with a vision and share that vision in a way that makes others want to come together to make it happen.  Leaders tend to see with an eagle vision, seeing the big picture and content to leaving the details to others.  As problem-discoverers, leaders are not to be confused with the gift of administration which is about problem-solving. When I reflect on this distinction, I am reminded of the relationship between myself and my editor (who has interestingly found herself in administrative roles with a wide variety of people I suspect as possessing the gift of leadership).  I see the big picture, I write the big picture, she challenges me to pay attention to the details.  She sees the problems in the text, and I’m content to let her fix it.  🙂



While all human beings are called to tend to the needs of the hungry, the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, the sick, and the disenfranchised, those possessing the charism of mercy, are called to do so in a unique and special way.  Possessing a deep sensitivity to the needs of the marginalized and oppressed, are sensitive to their suffering, those with the gift of mercy are compelled to help and do so in a cheerful and effective way.  Careful to respect the dignity of those with whom they work, those with the gift of mercy lift up the lives of the oppressed and in the process feel energized and renewed.  It is through their deeds that that lives of others are transformed.  Mother Teresa is the perfect example of one who possesses the charism of mercy.



Again quoting the Siena Institute, “Men and women with this gift (missionary), love to live cross-culturally and are remarkably effective channels of the love of Jesus when they do so. (Weddell, 1997, p. 42)”  I would argue that this gifts goes beyond those of a Christian faith and is present within anyone who is passionately attracted to cultures outside their own and who effortlessly and passionately adapt to another culture’s language and customs.  The distinction around what makes simple interest in the culture of another a charism is that the cultural interest leads and blossoms to a service to that culture.  In this I think of my friend, Peggy who yearns and hungers for opportunities to travel to third-world (specifically Asian) cultures to be of service to children.  In Peggy, the missionary and mercy charisms are combined and she does so with an effortless grace and ease.  Peggy’s example reminds us that the missionary charism never stands on its own, but is accomplished in conjunction with one or several other charisms.

oscar romero


Amy Grant anyone?  Click on the following YouTube link and you will see the perfect example of music as a charism put to action!  🙂

As you have reflected on the charisms presented so far, what do you think might be your magic? 

Click HERE to find out more about the Authentic Freedom virtual church.

Posted in creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Holy Spirit, Inspiration

What’s Your Magic? Part 5

In all the excitement of launching the virtual church, I have not forgotten the discussion on charisms.  Charisms are your own personal magic, rather God’s magic working through you.  Charisms are the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and through which you will find fulfillment in contributing to the betterment of our world.  Read Part 4 on the “forgotten charism” HERE.  Read Part 3 on faith, giving and healing HERE.  Read Part 2 on discernment, encouragement and evangelism HERE.  And read Part 1 HERE, and introduction into charisms. Today, we will explore the charisms of helps, hospitality, intercessory prayer and knowledge.


The Charism of Helps

Those who possess the charism of helps are usually hanging out in the wings or content to be in the background as their call is to be a source of support in empowering the success of one particular individual.  They are the person who is content to be unknown (in a sense) because they truly, and enthusiastically, live for the sake of another’s success.  We all know men and women empowered with this charism.  I think of some mothers I know who are authentically called and are enlivened by the things they do for the sake of their children.  They are content to be stay-at-home moms and love every minute of it.  I also think of many of the church secretaries I have worked with who are truly content in the way in which they are able to make (usually) the priest successful.  I think of an administrator I know who says, “My job is to make him look good.”  The difference between unhealthy enabling and helps is that the person helping is enlivened and fulfilled in the work they are doing toward another’s success.  Those who are enablers are drained by the work they are doing and often resentful.

The Charism of Hospitality

The charism of hospitality is a communal charism, meaning that it is centered on making others feel welcome.  Hospitality, in this light, is specifically directed toward providing food, shelter and friendship.  Those with the charism of hospitality are especially sensitive to the presence of strangers or newcomers and their needs and are compelled to work toward the fulfillment of those needs.  They are energized and enlivened by the presence of guests and joyfully welcome those unexpected.  At their table, there is always room for one (or 10) more.

The Charism of Intercessory Prayer

In speaking of this charism, I can’t help but think of my sister, Dana Lumby.  Dana is magic in her employment of intercessory prayer and through the time and attention she gives to praying for the needs of others, miraculous things have come to pass.  This is the mark of one gifted with the charism of intercessory prayer – not only are they (seemingly) irresistibly drawn to the desire to pray for others, their prayers effect miraculous change.

The Chrism of Knowledge

The charism of knowledge could just as well be called the passion to learn.  Those gifted with this charism possess an unmatched passion for seeking and acquiring intellectual knowledge, but not knowledge for its own sake, but knowledge and learning to be shared.  As such, those empowered with this gift are usually given other charisms to help them share their knowledge with others: teaching, writing, prophecy, encouragement and/or leadership.  The marks of this charism is an insatiable desire to learn and the equally insatiable desire to share this knowledge ( in helpful ways) with others.


Posted in creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Faith, Holy Spirit, Raised Catholic

What is You Magic? Part 3

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to be a vessel through which LOVE is made manifest in our world.   In service to this unique giftedness, we have also been blessed with a certain kind of magic which allows these gifts to be used in service to the betterment of the world and in ways that are no less than miraculous.  In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, this magic is referred to as charisms, known in other traditions as spiritual gifts or in the yogic tradition as siddhis. This is part 3 of an ongoing exploration.  Read Part 2 HERE, and Part 1 HERE.  Today we will explore the charisms of faith, giving and healing.

Mary Jo Copeland - and the charism of giving
Mary Jo Copeland – and the charism of giving


St. Paul said, “Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1)  Faith as a spiritual gift is possessed by those who have an unusual ability to trust in the love, power and goodness of God and who as a result of this level of trust, experience a remarkable proportion of inner freedom to act on this trust.  Faith in this form allows us to BELIEVE that God is working for our highest good in all things and to act on this believe, often without physical proof or anything else, for that matter, on which to base this belief – except our belief in God.  The proof of this faith arises in the accomplishments of these faith-filled people who are somehow able to accomplish big visions with no visible means of support because they have believed that God would provide – and miraculously, God does.


When I think of the charism of giving, I am drawn to the life of Mary Jo Copeland.  I attended elementary and middle school with Mary Jo’s children and were mutual parishioners at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Brooklyn Center, MN.  Mary Jo is the founder of Sharing and Caring Hands in downtown Minneapolis which serves the needs of the urban poor.  Mary Jo is the perfect example of the charism of giving.  Mary Jo’s exceptional generosity to the community and to the people she serves is demonstrated not only in the services provided through her ministry but is perhaps best exemplified by the tender care she offers to those she ministers to through loving touch.  The charism of giving is known by the heartfelt desire to give of ones resources in support of others, typically in enormously generous ways.


As a Reiki Master Practitioner, I have often wondered if the charism of healing is one of my gifts.  Humbly, I must admit that it is not.  Yes, I provide a healing ministry, but the charism of healing goes beyond the work that I have seen accomplished in the hands-on-healing sessions I have facilitated.  Yes, there have been a few instances of miraculous results, but one who possesses the charism of healing witnesses results far greater than mine.  Specifically – the charism of healing is known by a curing of illness and a restoration of health where healing was unlikely to occur quickly or to happen at all.  It is this remarkable and miraculous healing that distinguishes the charism of healing from other charisms which may support the healing process such as encouragement, hospitality or mercy.

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Holy Spirit

What is Your Magic? Part 2

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to be a vessel through which LOVE is made manifest in our world.   In service to this unique giftedness, we have also been blessed with a certain kind of magic which allows these gifts to be used in service to the betterment of the world and in ways that are no less than miraculous.  In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, this magic is referred to as charisms, known in other traditions as spiritual gifts or in the yogic tradition as siddhis. This post continues the conversation from February 17th and will continue the exploration of the spiritual gifts or charisms of Discernment of Spirits, Encouragement and Evangelism.

the results of evangelism
the results of evangelism

Discernment of Spirits

The charism of discernment of spirits is not to be confused with discernment in a general sense.  Discernment is the responsibility of each and every person to take time to distinguish the voice of God vs. the voice of the ego in seeking guidance for the direction of ones life.  Discernment in a general sense is a kind of informed decision making.  Discernment of Spirits as a charism is the immediate and intuitive ability to capture the spiritual source of certain behaviors or ideas or to grasp the nature of the spiritual presence in people, places or things (Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory, Weddell, 1997, p. 27). Traditionally, it might be thought of being able to detect “the devil in the room,”  I think of it more as being able to see the truth beyond the illusion and to hear the truth beyond the words.  What distinguished discernment of spirits from being able to “sense” the energy of a space or person is the powerful and immediate way in which this sense is received.


The charism of encouragement is traditionally present within spiritual directors, counselors, psycho-therapists, life-coaches, pastoral ministers.  Encouragement allows you to be a channel of God’s love by nurturing others with your presence and words of comfort, encouragement and counsel.  Encouragers are more apt to be found working with people one-on-one than in a group and the charism is measured by the results expressed by those receiving your gift of encouragement. I will quote Sherry Weddell (creator of the Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory) in offering affirmation to those who may possess the gift of discernment:

“If you receive strong, continuous feedback that new freedom, well-being, or personal growth is the result of your time (listening, comforting, encouraging, counseling) with others, you may have been given this charism. (1997, p. 28)”


Traditionally, evangelism is thought of as one who is powerfully compelled to share their Christian faith and to invite others to become disciples of Christ.  Personally, I tend to believe that this definition of evangelism is too limited.  Christians are not the only possessors of the spiritual gifts and these gifts are often used in ways not directly related to the church.  Instead, I like to believe that we are all uniquely gifted to reveal God’s love in the world and we often do this through unexpected ways.  The hallmark of a charism in this respect is that which helps us to be a channel of God’s love by helping to contribute to the betterment of the world – by whatever means is at our disposal.  For the gift of Evangelism, I think of those who are overwhelmingly passionate about something they are involved in and are highly gifted in enthusiastic invitation.  I have to use my friends Derek Toshner (with the support of Shannon Toshner) and Melissa Schmidt, all from TNT Fitness Results and TNT Adventure Obstacle Course and AdvoCare representatives, as examples of this charism.  Both Derek and Melissa possess the spiritual charism of evangelism and have done so through their mutual business ventures and have produced nothing short of miraculous results in providing enthusiastic invitation and welcome, motivation, encouragement and support for their clients’  physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and they are all doing so in service to God.  If that isn’t evangelism, I don’t know what is!



Lauri Ann LumbyIf you are looking to understand how you are uniquely gifted to find meaning, fulfillment and purpose in your life Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring in person, over the phone or via Skype.  To schedule an appointment, call (920) 230-1313 or email

Posted in church, Discernment, Empowerment, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Raised Catholic, world changes

Priest in a Post-Modern World

Yesterday, I began the discussion on charisms by asking the question, “What is your magic?”  In the next several posts, we will be exploring spiritual gifts (as they are defined by the Catholic faith in which I was raised), ultimately with the hope of giving you some tools to assist you in your own discernment.  What is your magic?  Today, I am going to press pause on that exploration to share a bit about my own discernment around this question and the answer that keeps showing up – and one I most often believe I can do nothing about.  With the assistance of today’s blog, I hope to change that!


So…here it is.  I am called to be a priest and have been given every charism to fulfill this vocation.  I am a fantastic presider (I just officiated my brother’s wedding and was confirmed in this gift).  It has been reflected to me that when proclaiming the Word, people are moved and that I’m an adequate preacher.  I have been given the gift of healing through the ministry of hands-on-healing and spiritual direction.  I have been given the gifts of faith, leadership, pastoring, teaching, knowledge, and wisdom.  I have even learned to accept voluntary poverty and celibacy(ahem…not by my choice!).  I know that I have been a source of encouragement and many have reflected on my most obvious charism which is discernment of spirits.  Oh yeah, and I seem to know how to write and am rarely without inspiration in this regard.  So……God gave me all the gifts to be not just an adequate priest, but an amazing one!  Unfortunately, God put me in a place where I have been unable to respond to this call.  In the Catholic Church in which I was raised and where my heart still remains, there is no place for women called to the priesthood.  So, the question is, how is one supposed to respond to that call to be priest when the Church they love cannot accept their gifts (even if I am no longer worshipping there….and that is a whole other story)?

Sure, I could change teams and seek ordination through another faith, but that does not resonate with my truth because even bigger than my issues with Catholicism are my issues with patriarchal, hierarchical institutions.  No, I’m not some rabid, militant feminist who hates men.  In fact, I adore men.  However, I am deeply troubled by the separation, power, control and manipulation through fear that has been promulgated by many (if not most) patriarchal, hierarchical institutions.  And, I don’t believe there is one church, corporation, educational institution, medical, government institution that is not guilty of using their hierarchical, patriarchal power to uplift themselves while keeping others small.  It is primarily for this reason that I do not bargain away my Roman Catholic upbringing for another hierarchical, patriarchal institution, none of which have anything to do with what, I believe, Jesus had in mind.

So, how does one respond to their call to be priest when the faith they grew up in won’t take them and when they can’t support any other institution founded on the same hierarchical, patriarchal sin as the one they came from?  Ultimately, this strikes me as a post-modern question.  The old guard is dying and the new is yet to be revealed.   This is a time ripe with opportunity, but fraught with danger and anxiety.  How will we tend to the grieving in the face of the death of the old?  What will the new world look like?   How will we tend to the spiritual, pastoral, religious and communal needs of a culture beyond hierarchy and patriarchy?  What will this look like?  In the meantime, what do we do?  For me, the answer can only be this:

  • Continue to preach (through this blog and other opportunities).
  • Continue to heal (through spiritual direction and hands-on-healing).
  • Continue to preside (through weddings, naming ceremonies, funerals, etc).
  • Continue to teach, counsel and lead.
  • Continue to use my gifts of discernment to help guide myself and others.
  • Continue to be open to sharing the gifts of prophecy when they emerge.
  • Continue being priest in all the ways that I know how and in all the ways in which I am free to do so.

Now, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  Thanks be to God!