Posted in Being Human, church, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Raised Catholic, Reiki, self-actualization

Righting a 2000 Year Old Wrong

Thank you in advance for indulging my rant!

As much as I am still fasting from the Eucharist (read here about the whys and hows of my exodus from the institutional Catholic Church), I still view Jesus as my teacher and in this, spend time every day with scripture. I go to the USCCB (United States Council of Catholic Bishops) website and read and meditate on the daily readings.  Every day!  Usually I find guidance, support, healing, inspiration, nurturing, nourishment and comfort in the scripture.  Not so much this week.  Instead, this week’s readings made me want to barf!

Peter. Peter. Peter. All I heard was about all the ways in which Peter delivered the message of Jesus’ resurrection and how he was THE ONE who started The Church.  Ok, from the perspective of a hierarchical, patriarchal, white, male privileged, misogynistic, fear-based, rooted in power and control institution, I guess this is true.  Peter did (or as some scholars would argue – Paul – or even Constantine) establish the institutional Church.  The Church that I can no longer bring myself to participate in because:

  1. I’m a woman who happens to be called to the “priesthood” (though certainly not in the clerical sense of the word!!!!!), and this path is closed to me.
  2. I’m divorced and refuse to pay a tribunal of single, white, men $750.00 to determine if my marriage was sacramental or not!
  3. I’m a mystic.
  4. I believe that all paths ultimately lead to God (by whatever name we give to SOURCE/LOVE/TRUTH).
  5. I believe all religions/spiritual paths contain kernels of the TRUTH and have practices and tools which help us to arrive at that TRUTH and that all are sacred and holy in their own right.
  6. I do not believe the Eucharist should be denied ANYONE who is sincere in their heart in their desire to connect with Christ in this way.
  7. I do not believe in original sin (not in the way the Church teaches it anyway).
  8. I believe we are all sons and daughters of God – regardless of our religion or beliefs!
  9. I practice Reiki (Which the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has called “witchcraft and sorcery.”….don’t even get me started on this one. A) I can’t believe that in the 21st Century the Church still believes in witchcraft and sorcery….and B) how is Reiki witchcraft and sorcery and the “in hoc est corpus meum” that turns bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is not? Just sayin’!
  10. I’m an uppity lay person who believes the Church should be worrying less about women Reiki practitioner, mystic, yoga practicing meditators and more about cleaning up the mess they have made with the millions who have suffered abuse at the hands of the institution. And if they aren’t willing to clean up this mess – how about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing homes for the homeless?????? Really…..Lauri Ann Lumby (who apparently has a HUGE file with her name on it in a Diocesan office that will not be named – Hey, Diocese who shall not be named and those who have nothing else to do but police what Lauri Ann Lumby is saying and doing…here’s another piece for that big fat file! ) is SMALL POTATOES!

I digress! This week’s readings…..raving about Peter’s greatness made me want to barf!

WHAT ABOUT MARY?????????

Mary Magdalene by Dana Lumby
Mary Magdalene by Dana Lumby

What the hell happened to Mary Magdalene?

  • Jesus’ most devoted and faithful follower.
  • The ONLY one who was said to have completed her own self-actualization under Jesus’ guidance (“healed of seven demons” is a metaphor for having completed an initiatory process through which one attains self-realization).
  • ONE of few who remained by Jesus’ side through his trial, suffering, crucifixion and death (other than John, the men were not up for this…including Peter!).
  • THE ONE Jesus appeared to in the resurrection at the tomb… and…
  • THE ONE Jesus ordained to tell the others. (YES, I said ordained!)

What happened to Mary? The last we hear of her (in canonical scripture anyway) is when she went to tell the other disciples (who were hiding in the Upper Room) that Jesus was raised from the dead.  That’s it.  No more Mary!

 

Did she die or disappear into the mist? Or….did she simply get edited out?

 

Well, thanks to some boys (or shepherds) playing in some caves in the desert in Egypt, we know, at least for a time, what happened to Mary. And thanks to some linguists, translators and antiquities scholars, we now have Mary’s own words (at least in as much as the other gospels are the author’s own words) and a glimpse into what happened to Mary after the resurrection.  (See Jean Yves-LeLoup’s book, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for the full text, translation and an absolutely beautiful and insightful commentary!!!!! Or, for a fictional account, read MY book, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. )

 

SHE TAUGHT THE OTHER DISCIPLES.

 

Because, Jesus taught her things the guys wouldn’t or couldn’t get. Jesus taught her in secret and he taught her after he had died and been raised from the dead.

 

SHE had eyes to see and ears to hear what the others could not….and

 

SHE TAUGHT THEM.

 

But as has always been the case in the Western world, the woman’s word could not be received and was therefore discounted and later, demonized.

 

BOO!

 

But not anymore. In a million ways through a million teachers, Mary Magdalene has resurfaced and has come to teach us….

 

HOW TO BE HUMAN.

 

Or rather, how to be FULLY human.

 

Not the half-humans we have been for the past 10,000 years – dominated by fear, power and control, wreaking havoc on our planet and on each other.

 

Mary teaches us what Jesus taught her:

 

HOW TO LOVE and HOW TO BE LOVE.

 

Listen to her!

If you are interested in learning more about Mary Magdalene and the fullness of her role in the Jesus story, check out my online courses.  Click on the corresponding icons to the right of this blog, or click on the links below:

Girl posing with red cloth. Concept, abstractionResurrecting-the-Magdalene-with-Magdalene-Activation-and-Ordination-by-Lauri-Ann-Lumby-Mystery-School-of-the-Goddess

 

 

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 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 church, Mary Magdalene, Mystics

Call of the Magdalene

In my email on Sunday in regards to Sunday’s blog, I received the following response from a reader of the masculine persuasion who I have come to know as somewhat of a wise and wonderful wizard:

Greetings Lauri, nicely done. On that morning, the messenger was a woman, sent to awaken the men. 

We should have learned from that story not to be afraid, to be calm and to change the world! 

I could not have said it better myself and in these words, we get a glimpse into what it means to have received the call of the Magdalene!

Yesterday, I wrote about some of the common characteristics of men and women who have received the call of the Magdalene.  Today, I hope to flesh out what the call of the Magdalene looks like and if you have received the Magdalene’s call, what that might mean in your life.

MaryMagdalene

Who Was Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene was a close and intimate disciple of Jesus.  Mary was NOT the adulterous or sinful woman portrayed in scripture – Pope Gregory, something or other, made a mistake when he preached on this, thereby sealing Mary’s fate in the institutional church.  But, the demise of Mary probably didn’t start there!  Canonical scripture (the ones that made the cut) tells us that Mary was healed of seven demons by Jesus.  Modern scholars suggest that the seven demons metaphorically represent a process of spiritual healing and initiation completed by Mary and facilitated by Jesus.  Canonical scripture also tells us that Mary accompanied Jesus in his ministry and supported him and that she bore witness to his death by crucifixion (unlike the male disciples, with the exception of John, who hid in the Upper Room in fear) and that she was the first witness to the resurrection and the one commissioned to bring the news of the crucifixion to the other disciples.  Non-canonical scripture tells us that Mary was much more than even this.  In the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Philip, along with the Pistis Sophia, Mary was shown to have been kissed by Jesus, suggesting a the possibility of a romantically intimate relationship and that she received secret teachings from Jesus that the other disciples were not privy to.  In the Gospel of Mary, in particular, Mary demonstrates higher levels of receptiveness and understanding, compared to the other disciples, and that Jesus appeared to her for instruction that the other disciples did not have access to.  These writings also reveal that Peter was jealous of Mary and her relationship with Jesus and that he struggled to accept Mary’s words, often refusing outright to do so.

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Reading Between the Lines

Reading between the lines, what this conflict between Mary and Peter hints at is the origin of the split between the Mystical and Institutional church – Mary representing the mystical church and Peter the institutional.  The Mystical Church seeks to know God through direct and personal experience, most commonly through contemplative prayer and meditation practices and trusting these direct and personal experiences as authority.  We see glimpses of the Mystical Church within religious orders who have guarded and maintained the ancient traditions of contemplative prayer and in priests and lay people who have heard and adhered to the inner call to contemplation – regardless of their specific religious affiliation, or lack thereof.  In the simplest terms, the Institutional Church seeks to know God through tradition and dogma as handed down by the pope and his bishops.  Here, authority lies in the hands of single, (mostly) white, men.

History of the Mystical Church

There have been no direct histories written about the Mystical Church because the Institutional Church, for the most part, denies its existence.  In order to see the history of the Mystical Church, we have to read between the lines.  In spite of the attempts of popes and bishops to suppress the Mystical Church, it has always lived within the shadow of the Institution  – usually presenting itself strongly in times of grave peril within the Institutional Church when dramatic reform was needed.  The Mystical Church as been seen in the prayers of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, in the radical nature of the Franciscan call as pioneered by Sts. Francis and Clare, in the mystical visions of Hildegard of Bingen and promoted by her spiritual companion Brother Volmar, and through the ecstasies of St. Teresa of Avila and the writings of her spiritual brother, John of the Cross. (Interesting that the Mystical Church often presents itself in pairs!)

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The Mystical Church Awakens

We have arrived in a time in history when the Mystical Church is trying to rise again, this time, not in order to change the Church, but instead, so that it may change the world (PS Pope Francis might be part of the Mystical Church!)!  As the wise wizard stated above, it is time to awaken, to cast off our fear, to be calm and do the work of changing the world!  It is for this reason that the Magdalene has planted herself within the hearts and minds of so many men and women.  She is calling us to awaken, to do the work Jesus asked us to do, not because some institution told us to, but because we have heard the call directly from Christ (by whatever name you call the inner voice of compassion and love) and because we are choosing to obey the voice in our hearts and in our minds that commands us to:

Love one another.

Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked.

Set captives free.

Heal the sick.

Give sight to the blind.

If you find yourself called to accomplish any of the above, if you consider this drive to love and serve as part of your innate nature, then, regardless of your religious affiliation (or lack thereof) you have received the call of the Magdalene.  You are already awakened, now cast off your fear, cultivate peace and start changing the world!  🙂

Posted in Death, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Virtual Church

Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Meditation Supplement

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Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

Easter Sunday 2014

 

 

Scripture Reading:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”  Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb.  The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.  Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.  Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”  When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20: 1-18

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Additional Readings:

Acts 10: 34a, 37-43

Ps 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23

COL 3: 1-4

 

The First Apostle

The gospel is clear, Mary Magdalene is the first to witness the risen Christ and the first one sent to deliver the “good news.” As such, Mary Magdalene is the first Apostle and was in fact, The Apostle to the Apostles.  

Much doctrine has been constructed in an attempt to give explanation and meaning to the resurrection, but the fact remains, the resurrection is a mystery. We cannot, with reason or logic, explain what actually happened, what Mary (and eventually the other disciples) really experienced or what the significance of the resurrection might be.

As to what Mary saw and how, Jean-Yves LeLoup , in his translation of and commentary on the Gospel of Mary (2002, Inner Traditions), offers a clue:

Mary said to them: “I will now speak to you of that which has not been given to you to hear. I had a vision of the Teacher, and I said to him: ‘Lord, I see you now in this vision.’ And he answered: ‘You are blessed, for the sight of me does not disturb you. There where is the nous, lies the treasure.’ Then I said to him: ‘Lord, when someone meets you in a Moment of vision, is it through the soul that they see, or is it through the Spirit?’ The Teacher answered, ‘ It is neither through the soul nor the Spirit, but the nous between the two which sees the vision…’”                  Mary: 10: 7-25

In the Gospel of Mary, the nous is presented as the intermediary between the embodied self and the Holy Spirit; here interpreted as a unique collaboration between intellect, intuition and imagination, in connection with the Divine. Only those who have reached the level of anthropos (transcendence of duality and full integration of masculine/feminine, human/divine), were said to be able to see in this way. In this, LeLoup reveals the extent of Mary’s spiritual development and how she was able to be witness to the resurrection in a way, initially, only accessible to her.

Whether or not the resurrection was a literal event, the meaning to the disciples cannot be mistaken. The resurrection compelled the disciples to move beyond the death of their teacher into a new life, completely unknown to them before this time. They did not return to fishing or tax-collecting. Instead, the disciples went out to share the news of the resurrection along with the teachings of Christ what would empower others to enjoy the promise of new life. For the disciples, the resurrection became the catalyst through which they were able to believe the higher teachings of Jesus and through which they were empowered to share these teachings with others.

 

What are your beliefs about the resurrection?

How has the resurrection of Christ empowered you to look for the new life in every loss, disappointment and death you experience?

 

Spiritual Practices:

With this week’s scripture, you are invited to participate in an exercise in Imagination/contemplation.

  1. Slowly and meditatively read the above scripture from John’s Gospel.
  2. Re-read the story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.
  3. Now, place yourself within the story as if you ARE Mary. Allow the story to unfold within your imagination, as in a daydream. Imagine every detail, the weather, what you are wearing, what you are feeling, the tomb and its surroundings. Do not censor your imagination as the story unfolds in your mind.
  4. After you have allowed the story to unfold in your mind and come to a natural conclusion, write the story in your journal or notebook, allowing additional details to surface as you write. Honor whatever comes through in your writing.
  5. After you have finished writing, go back and read what you wrote.
  6. Reflect on the story that emerged through your daydreaming and writing. How is the story that unfolded for you reflective of something going on in your own life? What might God be communicating to you through the unique story that emerged in your imagination? What is the guidance, comfort, support or nourishment you received from God through your story?

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom we talk about the many ways in which God seeks to reveal truth to us – through opportunities for learning, intuition, dreams, daydreams, through our everyday life-experiences, synchronicities, our visual sight, spiritual sight, and through our active imagination. The gospel accounts of the empty tomb, invite us to explore, once again, these vehicles for truth, and to explore the topic of belief. It is one thing to have an experience of truth being revealed, it is another thing to believe that what we are experiencing is true. As the disciples struggled to believe Mary’s vision, and then doubted when Jesus appeared before them, we too doubt the truths that are revealed to us. The invitation during these times of doubt is to turn to God for assistance and support. When I am plagued with doubt, I use the following mantra to open to God’s support:

 

Lord, help me in my unbelief.

 

 

How has God revealed truth to you?

 

Where have you struggled to believe the truth God has revealed?

 

When have you struggled with doubt?

 

How might you employ the mantra above as a tool to help you during periods of doubt?