Today’s blog continues my experiment with Hildegard of Bingen medicine – sharing my visions in the hopes of supporting the healing and release of 9 months of migraines, panic attacks, vertigo and other things! In today’s blog, I share the dream that started it all….the dream in which Mary Magdalene came knocking at my front door.
It’s been so many years since I was visited upon by “the dream that started it all”… that I can’t even be sure of the exact date, or even the year, but I know that it was when my children were quite young – 2 and 4 years old respectively, I think, and it was when their father and I were still together. The dream took place in the home in which we were living – a lavender, story-and-a-half Victorian cottage with a wrap-around front porch and two “front” doors – one on the front of the house that entered directly into the formal living room and the other on the side of the house which entered into the sitting room. The latter was the door we used to enter and exit the home and the door we thought of as “the front door.”
In the dream, I dreamed that I was sleeping beside my husband in our second floor bedroom and our children were fast asleep in their respective rooms, only feet away from our own. I was “awakened” from my sleep (in the dream) by a knocking at the front door of the house. I “woke up” (while still in the dream) and got out of bed. I walked out of our bedroom and down the hall to the stairs. I descended the stairs which emptied into the sitting room. The room was dimly lit and as I gazed across the room at the front door, I could see a hooded figure standing on the other side of the curtained window of the front door, standing just beneath the brightly lit porch light. I “heard” a voice say, “Open the door.” Strangely unafraid, I went to the door and opened it as I had been asked. Standing on the other side was a woman about my height – or maybe a little taller – with long, dark, curling hair, wearing a dark red hooded cloak. The hood of the cloak was pulled up over the crown of her head casting a shadow over her face so I couldn’t quite make out her features. Her face was gazing down toward something she held in her hands. I followed her gaze and saw that in her hands she held a smallish wooden chest crafted in dark, weathered wood. The wooden chest looked ancient, but well cared-for. She held the wooden chest out toward me and as my hands reached out to receive it, the curved lid of the box opened.
Inside the box, lying on a bed of purple velvet, was my own heart. As I took the box with my heart in it from her hands, a rush of images filled my mind – images of Snow White, the evil queen, the box that was to contain Snow White’s heart, a half-bitten apple, the Son of a King, and the kiss that awakened the sleeping princess.
Then I looked into the eyes of the woman in the red cloak and saw that the woman looking back at me was me. In silent words I heard her say, “I Am the Magdalene,” strangely something I had known all along.
In the past nine months, I have tried everything to be healed of the migraines, panic attacks and then vertigo brought on by a virus that attacked my inner ear. While I have found some relief through a combination of herbal remedies, chiropractics, acupuncture and physical therapy, the symptoms are still keeping me from being as free as I would like to be (specifically, being able to drive on the highway….driving at fast speeds is a HUGE trigger). When twice in as many months, “Hildegard of Bingen” came up for me through my spiritual director, I turned to her for guidance. It seems she was plagued by the same symptoms when she was unable (or unwilling) to share her visions with the world. So, I’m trying the Hildegard of Bingen cure for migraines…..I’m sharing my visions. Here’s the one through which I was given the command to “Be the Magdalene.” This vision came in April of 2014 while participating in a shamanic journey.
The vision begins with me standing inside the well house at the White Spring in Glastonbury, specifically at the shrine within the well house to Gwynn Ap Nudd. At the back of the shrine is a limestone pool in which the flowing waters of the white spring collect on their journey to the other holding pools and eventually out to the collection pools on the street. In the vision, at the back of the shrine is also a circular, iron portal, similar to a manhole cover, marked with the Vescica Pisces. As in other recent visions, I approach the portal and dive into it, which then leads to a long tube, submerged in water. I am swimming away from the shrine and toward the lower world, but as I swim, I find I keep turning back toward the shrine and away from the entrance into the lower world. With each forward stroke, I find myself closer to the portal into the lower world, but then turn back. I am making progress, but not quite reaching the portal into the lower world. On a final approach, a hand reaches into the water from the lower world, grabs my hand and yanks me into the lower world.
I arrive in the lower world, dripping wet, and Jesus stands before me. “You’re not supposed to be here,” I say to him, now wondering if this is really a journey or just my imagination, colored by my Christian fantasies. But Jesus remains. He then leads me through the meadow where the portal enters into the lower world and towards the woods. Once we reach the woods, he leads me to the clearing where mouse (my power animal) waits and then he disappears.
Mouse instructs me to sit beneath a tree in the clearing and wait. As I wait, a parade of animals and spirits present themselves – ones which have all been part of recent journeys – stag, snake, luna moth, bat, goddess and finally raven. Raven is perched on a tree above me and holds in his beak all the parts of me he consumed in the last journey with him. I ask my question, “What do I need to know to more fully live my soul’s purpose?” Raven comes down and piece by piece by piece, puts the pieces he has consumed back on to me, as if reassembling me….but in a different order and in a new and different form. It is like taking all the pieces of a puzzle and putting it together. This is relevant to several discussions I have recently had with spiritual friends about being aware of bits and pieces of my purpose but not knowing how they fit together and that there is something that needs to happen to put it all together.
Once I am reassembled, I climb on Raven’s back and we fly from the woods. We fly across open territory toward an old gothic cathedral that stands alone in the middle of a wilderness of wide open fields. The cathedral is dark in appearance, but not scary. It feels ancient, the stones are rough, and a dark, charcoal grey. They are the color of charcoal pencils. We fly into the cathedral and immediately descend. Down, down, down, through a series of ramps and chambers all the way to the bottom where the flight ends in a crypt of sorts. A dark, stone walled room which seems to have an altar, some sacred objects. The place feels close, intimate, sacred and forgotten. It also feels holy….as if something very ancient and sacred is housed in this space. As I’m looking around, I am invited to go toward the back, right corner of the crypt. In a recessed area in the wall, there is a standing skeleton wearing a red cloak. The skeleton is ancient. I am told to step into the skeleton and the cloak. I step into them and we become one. As I step away from the wall, one with the skeleton and cape, I look down and see there is a gold ring on my right index finger.
I ask my question again, “What do I need to know to more fully step into my soul’s purpose?” As I finish asking, a man steps to my side and takes my arm. My sense is that we are a couple – romantic, but also partners in our life’s work. For our purpose to be fulfilled, we have to come together. We leave the tomb through the front door of the cathedral (no need to ascend, we’re just there). We open the doors to a throng of people who enthusiastically receive us with cheers. It is a bright, sunny day filled with light.
From that space, I immediately find myself back in the clearing alone with mouse and I ask, “Ok, now what do I need to do to get there? To make this happen?” I’m still the skeleton woman with the cloak, the image I get is like the Day of the Dead masks and makeup. “Be the Magdalene” is that mouse says to me. Then I am instructed to be with the Magdalene, to feel her energy and feel and think of what it is to be her. I sit in this receiving for a long time…it feels like a transmission, a transference, an immersion. I am the Magdalene and I am becoming more of her.
After awhile, the return drumming begins. I feel myself yanked from the clearing and as I am being pulled toward the return tunnel, I feel the Magdalene drop something into my left palm. When I arrive at the other end of the tunnel in Gwynn’s shrine, I find a rough, raw, faceted garnet in my hand.
If you are interested in learning more about the hidden truths of Mary Magdalene and in being activated through her gifts, check out my Mary Magdalene Activation Course. Click on the picture below to learn more!
When we deny the gifts God has given us and the call to be a vessel of God’s love, peace, joy, healing, etc. in the world, we suffer – not because God is punishing us, but as a natural consequence of denying our gifts, our truth and our call. In this week’s Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church, find support for overcoming the fears that keep you from living your truth.
Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter
For Sunday, November 16, 2014
Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”
MT 25: 14-30
PV 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31
PS 128: 1-5
1 Thess 5: 1-6
The Consequence of Ignoring our Gifts
“For to everyone who has, more will be given … but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
Once upon a time, there was a young woman from, Bingen, a town along the Rhine. She was given the gift of hearing and knowing the voice of God. Hildegard was her name. Frightened of this voice that asked her to write about God, about God’s healing gifts, about God’s kingdom and most importantly, about God’s love, she held this voice at bay. The voice continued to pursue her while she begged for its silence. The voice, however, would not be silenced. Refusing to act upon the voice’s request, Hildegard began to experience excruciating pain in her head along with blinding and flashing lights. The priests and doctors knew not how to alleviate her pain. She took to bed, and there she remained for months at a time. In her convalescence, the voices continued. Finally, she relented, asking for paper, quill and ink, and began to record what she heard and saw. Immediately, her pain and the blinding lights ceased. (To learn more about St. Hildegard of Bingen, check out this Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen).
St. Hildegard of Bingen provides the perfect example of what happens when we ignore or deny the gifts God has given us. Her illness was not punishment for denying her gifts and her call, but instead, are the natural consequence of ignoring the voice of God (in her case literally), within us.
Each and every one of us has been uniquely gifted by God and is uniquely called to be a vessel through which God’s love, peace, joy, healing, contentment, guidance and truth are to be revealed in the world. When we take the time to discover, cultivate and eventually share these gifts, we know peace, contentment, fulfillment and joy. When we ignore, suppress, repress, deny these gifts and their call, we experience anxiousness, discontent, frustration, anger, sorrow, and even mental and physical pain – again, not as punishment but as a natural consequence for denying the voice of God within us.
How have you taken time to discover, cultivate and share the gifts God has given you?
How have you suppressed, denied, ignored, repressed the gifts and the call God has given you? What have been the consequences of ignoring God’s voice?
Spiritual Practices – Connecting with Gift
In this week’s spiritual practice, we acknowledge the sacral chakra (the energy center located in the center of our lower abdomen) as the center of creativity. The awareness and call of our creative gifts are housed in this energy center. In this practice, you will engage the “laying on of hands” as a practice for creating a safe space in which your gifts may emerge so that you may begin (or continue) the work of nurturing and cultivating these gifts.
Sit in silence, or with meditative music playing in the background.
Rub your hands together vigorously to stimulate the flow of energy and to create warmth.
Rest your hands, palm down, on your lower abdomen.
Breathe as you keep your hands on your abdomen.
Maintain an intention of safety, openness and allowing as you continue to breathe while resting your hands on your abdomen.
Imagine that you are creating space for your gifts to reveal themselves to you.
Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, images, emotions that may arise as you continue to hold your hands on your abdomen.
Continue this practice for 20-30 minutes.
Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.
In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge fear as the obstacle to living as our most authentic self – the person that God made us to be in the fullness of our human potential. The second spiritual fear – I will not be able to bring forth life that will persist is the specific fear that prevents us from identifying, cultivating and eventually sharing our most authentic self. Through Authentic Freedom, we are reminded of the sacred truth – that each of us is uniquely and creatively gifted by God to be God’s love (peace, joy, guidance, healing, etc.) in the world and that when we discover, cultivate and share this giftedness (in service to the betterment of the world), we experience peace, contentment and fulfillment and the world, in turn, becomes a better place.
In short – what are you waiting for?
Lauri Ann Lumby provides support in helping you to awaken to your gifts and your call, and provides the tools through which you can nurture and be empowered in sharing these gifts. Contact Lauri for a private session (920) 230-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s blog is a guest-post from Kathy Walczyk from Spiritual Middle Ground, about book burnings and freeing the feminine voice. Throughout history it has been men who have spoken for women, and Kathy and I had a great rant over the way two women (in particular) were spoken for by men who (in my opinion) may have missed the point. Kathy poses the question, “Isn’t it time we let the women speak for themselves?”
Hi, my name is Kathy Walczyk. In September I completed the Authentic Freedom facilitator’s course with Lauri. During our time together we sometimes talked about saints of old. Hildegard of Bingen and Rabi’a Al-‘Adawiyya (of Basra) were two spiritual leaders we discussed. On the evening following our last class together I had an impromptu ceremonial book burning.
If we go back in history, hundreds of years ago, we find a limited number of people who could read or write. The majority of them were men. The stories of historic women mystics and saints are often written from a male perspective, penned by a man or have been translated through the years by men. It was often men scribes, theologians, historians and storytellers who have interpreted the lives, thoughts and feelings of these women prophets. That is just the way it was. And if it weren’t for these gutsy male writers going against societal norms, many of the stories would have been lost. Thank you men! Still, I long to hear the voices of women and the interpretation of these matriarchs from a woman’s perspective!
In my late thirties, about 15 years ago, I picked up a bible and began reading. I began with the Hebrew Scriptures and then skipped around making my way through it all. It was the first time I really let the words sink in. And when they did, I was shocked and disturbed by many of the stories. But it was more than just the stories themselves; something else was disturbing. What was it? It wasn’t until one day when I found myself sobbing uncontrollably after reading Judges 19: 22-28 did I realize what was missing. The scripture stories lacked a view from the hearts of the women. Story after story, told from the perspective of men left me longing to hear the story from the woman’s mouth. It was during that time I wrote the following on the inside cover of my bible:
If women had written the bible, would they have written a book of: pain ~ suffering ~ sorrow? Would it have been of the small wonders and beauties they saw around them? Would it have been of birth and creativity? Would it have been about resentment…. resentment of how they were treated? How would they have written about the wars and suffering around them? How would they have written about God? In love? Anger? Pleading? They must have had so much to say. I long to hear their words ~ thoughts ~ prayers. Do I carry their voices with me in my heart? Do I let those voices and mine be heard?
The poems, words and wisdom of Rabi’a, Hildegard and other women have found their way through history and into our hands today. Beyond that, I believe that these women live on in the divine spirit that is within us and surrounds us all.
In the quiet of the evening and after my husband went to bed, I tossed the two books into the fire ~one Lauri’s and one mine. As I watched the books burn I could feel a gentle release. It was a sense of freedom permeating the atmosphere. In my arrogance I felt maybe I was helping to free Rabi’a and Hildegard. I have a sneaking suspicion that these women, already free, were helping to free me.
Kathy Walczyk in her own words: My specialty is challenging you to see your beauty and potential. I facilitate this discovery by supporting your spiritual growth through one-on-one mentoring and group classes. The tools I utilize include Authentic Freedom and creative expression, including photography. I am also an advocate for spiritual responses to trauma – specifically clergy sexual abuse. My undergraduate is in Art and Photography and I hold a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies and Pastoral Ministry. I have completed extensive study in the areas of spirituality, sexuality, trauma, and healing. I live and work in Green Bay, Wisconsin. You can reach me at email@example.com or (920) 609-2657. My website is www.spiritualmiddleground.com
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.
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.
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!)
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! 🙂
In today’s blog we continue exploring the charisms, magic, spiritual gifts with which you have been uniquely gifted to experience meaning, purpose and fulfillment in your life and through which you are called to serve the betterment of the world. In today’s blog, I explore a charism that is not listed among the twenty-six identified by the Catherine of Siena Institute. This charism is not explicitly stated in scripture, but is instead lived in and through the many women and men portrayed therein. Those embodying this charism include: Eve, Rebekah, Miriam, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, Solomon, Esther, John the Baptist, Mary, Judas, Mary the Magdalene, Paul, Peter, oh yeah…..and Jesus. 🙂
So too have we seen throughout history, men and women endowed with this charism: Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc, Oscar Romero, Gandhi, the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Day, Mother Theresa, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, etc. The list goes on an on of great people who stepped from out from the fold and said or did something that caused a radical turn of events. These are the people that DARED to see and speak the truth in a world immersed in denial. These are the people who rocked the boat, stirred the pot and got society to see its shadow so that it could then be brought into the light. These are the rock n roll change-makers because they DARED to see the truth, say, and do something about it. Of course, no one really welcomes this bunch, in fact, all of them have been criticized, condemned and persecuted, even killed, for daring to hold up the mirror to a world in denial and holding the world accountable to its “sins.”
We know who these people are and we understand the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in their life and through which they are empowered to work toward the betterment of the world. So, what are we to call this unique charism? I can only think of one word appropriate to this benevolent, albeit challenging gift: I hereby identify the unnamed charism as the charism of:
And to all the shit-disturbers out there, I offer the following poem as both an affirmation and a gesture of thanks!
“She doesn’t play well with others,” they said;
Most often by those with markers of red.
“Follow the rules, toe the line,
Then in our eyes, you will shine.”
“When words of authority are duly obeyed,
Only then will you make the grade.”
But what’s one to do when the truth inside
Screams, kicks and shouts when you tell it to hide?
Rolling, twisting, churning about
Promising unrest until you let it out.
Peace only found when truth given voice.
It’s not like I really ever had a choice.
It seems I was made to show and tell.
I can’t help the truth is their version of hell.
Copyright 2014 Lauri Ann Lumby
In the past several days, I have used the words mystic and contemplative somewhat interchangeably. While the two are similar and walk a common path with a common mission, I have learned there is a bit of a difference between the two. After today’s blog, let me know if you are a contemplative or a mystic.
The same, only different
There are common characteristics between contemplatives and mystics, most obviously is their intimate connection with the transcendent, or what I call God. Mystics and contemplatives both possess a deep inner calling to connect with God and to maintain that connection, sometimes through meditation and prayer, often through life itself, nature, the body, relationship and creative expression. Mystics and contemplatives both have an innate ability to see and be present to the world beyond this world and once encountered, mystics and contemplatives find ways to cultivate that connection through disciplined practice (again, sometimes in prayer, sometimes through other means). While mystics and contemplatives are similar in this regard, there are a few things that set them apart.
Examples in the saints
The Catholic pantheon of saints provides the perfect exploration into the differences between mystics and contemplatives. John of the Cross, Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating and Catherine of Siena are contemplatives. St. Francis, Hildegard of Bingen, Joan of Arc, Galileo and Teresa of Avila are mystics. The former tend to stay in line with the Institution…..the latter tend to rock the boat.
Contemplatives vs. Mystics
Contemplatives (as compared to mystics) are well-behaved. They are quiet and unobtrusive. Contemplatives are content to sit and pray and trust and wait (for the most part). Contemplatives gain the approval of the Institution. They color inside the lines. While speaking and living their truth, they don’t tend to rock the boat. A contemplative would be more likely to earn an imprimatur and a nihil’obstat – the Vatican Good Housekeeping seals of approval. Mystics, on the other hand, are a whole different story. Mystics, by their very nature are sh..t-disturbers, they rock the boat, are not content with status quo and generally tick people off (those who find security in the status-quo anyway!). Mystics also, tend to be a bit mad (aka crazy, insane, off their rocker…)….at least they appear that way to the general public and to those who maintain the current structure of power. Mystics are not “normal.” Mystics do not color inside the lines and they are certainly anything but quiet! Mystics are loud. Mystics make their presence known. Mystics are unlikely to gain the approval of the Institution – in fact, they might seek to tick them off. In fact, any mystic worth their salt has probably been called before the Inquisition to defend their crazy ideas….and some have been excommunicated or even killed for their truths, or at the very least, silenced. (Galileo, Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen for example). Some have survived the scrutiny of the Inquisition (Teresa of Avila, St. Francis, Martin Luther, ahem…Jesus!) and through their survival, initiated great reform!
Mystics are Reformers
Herein lies the other difference between contemplatives and mystics. Whereas contemplatives may be initiating reform through their quiet, prayerful presence, mystics are living their call to reform OUT LOUD. Like John the Baptist, mystics are the voice crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Mystics are the prophets and visionaries who see our potential as human beings and work toward helping us achieve this potential, for this is the call of the mystic – to know God, to see God’s higher vision for humanity, and to invite (challenge) the world to become this vision.
So…..are you a contemplative or a mystic?
As one who was raised Catholic, All Saints’ Day holds a special place in my heart. All Saints’ Day gives honor to all the men and women who became examples of the Christ message and were honored within the Catholic Church as “Saint”. For myself, it is the one “holy day of obligation” that I can actually remember and made a point to honor by attending mass and paying my own respect to the saints who have played a special role in my own life. Since All Saints’ Day falls on a Monday this year, mass will not be offered locally (I know, dumb, right!?), so I will give honor to my favorite saints (canonized and not) in prayer and meditation and through this blog:
Hildegard of Bingen
Joan of Arc
Teresa of Avila
Francis and Clare of Assisi
John of the Cross
Mother Theresa of Calcutta
Catherine of Siena
Mary, Mother of Jesus
Mary Magdalene (my personal all-time favorite!!!!!)
John the Evangelist
The author of “The Cloud of Unknowing”
HH Dalai Lama
Mary Jo Copeland
And I share with you today my FAVORITE litany of the saints that I learned while I was at the Newman Center at UW Oshkosh and that I looked forward to singing on All Saints’ Day and at the Easter Vigil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2Zyj1PwSfM
All you holy men and women, pray for us!
Who are the spiritual men and women who have been a role model and example for you in your own life?
How can you honor and remember them today?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/yourspiritualtruth