Posted in Freedom, God, Inspiration

God/dess Talking

Today’s blog explores God.  What would God say to us today if we had the ears to hear?  Yes, I am writing this, but read it as if it is God/dess speaking to you.  🙂 

Who I AM

My dearest children: 

My blessings of love, joy and peace on you this day….and on every other day.  Lauri asked me to speak to you on behalf of MYSELF and for your benefit.  You are living in a time where there is much conflict and so much of that conflict seems to be centered around ME.  Am I man or woman, spirit or light, presence or essence, up or down, inside or outside, on a mountain or in a temple, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Hindu, Buddhist, Black, White, Asian, Gay, Straight, Republican or Democrat, etc. etc. etc.  In this moment,  I invite you to imagine ME as a beautiful, gentle, compassionate and wise woman, and in this imagined vision of ME, you may call ME, Sophia, but know that this is only one possibility among an infinite number of possibilities about how you can imagine and experience ME.  So, over this arguement about what I AM and what I AM not….you can stop all your fighting.  Because……I AM all of it…..and even more than that.  You cannot begin to imagine or even experience all that I AM, because I AM infinite.  But, if it helps you to know ME in a particular form: Black or White, male or female, Spirit or Light….then go for it.  It makes no difference to me, except when you fight about it.

PS:  If you need help finding your way home……call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or Buy her book: Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy!

Enough with the fighting

While I AM a tolerant, compassionate and unconditional loving God/dess and in you there is never really anything to forgive, I AM getting a little tired of all this fighting.  But then again, I only have MYSELF to blame since I did create you and in your decision to become human, separation is the lens through which WE will have this experience.  This might be a good time in your history, however, to recognize that separation is a choice and it is a choice that you can undo at any moment.  When you turn away from the separation you have chosen and remember your ONENESS in ME……then all this fighting will end.  Why….because all these things you perceive as different – race, religion, political party, nation, gender, sexual orientation, are really all the same.  In ME, there is no separation….we are all ONE….in a constant state of love, harmony, unity, bliss, peace, joy, awe and wonder.  You make things so difficult with all this separation and like Dorothy and her red shoes, you have always had the power to change this.  And you know, her little mantra, “There’s no place like home….there’s no place like home….” could have the same magical effect on you….to bring you home to ME!  So if you are tired of all this fighting, struggle, challenge, separation, then click your little red heels and COME HOME!

PS:  If you need help finding your way home……call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or Buy her book: Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy!

All I Want to Do and BE

Come home!  I am sitting here waiting for you to come home to remembering your true nature which is LOVE.  And, I want nothing more than to hold you in that love, comfort you from your fears, enfold you in peace and stroke your hair as your highest truth gently rises to the surface.  I made you for joy.  I made you to create.  I envisioned you having fun, playing in fields of daisies and making bubbles through bubble wands.  I created this amazing, beautiful, magical, full of wonder, world for your pleasure.  I want you to skip through the woods in search of magical mushrooms, to dance with the fairies and play hide and seek with the gnomes.  Your world is supposed to be magic.  Instead, you have made it your own personal hell.  STOP Right now!  Click your ruby red heels and COME HOME.  You have the power.  You know how to get here.  And if you forgot, read some more of Lauri’s blogs, she has given you a MILLION tools to help you remember and maps to help you find your way.  I am here….waiting…….and all you have to do is CHOOSE: love instead of fear, harmony instead of separation, peace instead of anxiety, joy instead of sorrow, hope instead of dread, compassion instead of hatred, forgiveness instead of anger.  CHOOSE ME.  CHOOSE ME.  CHOOSE ME……and you will have peace.

Love,

Sophia (or whatever name by which you want to call me!)

PS:  If you need help finding your way home……call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or Buy her book: Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy!

Posted in church, Raised Catholic

Where Have All the Catholics Gone? Part II

Today’s blog continues the discussion about the 42.7 million people who still identify themselves as Catholic, yet no longer participate in the Church.  Today’s discussion explores where they might be and includes those who were raised Catholic but no longer identify themselves as such.  PS  I’m probably going to get a little “up in my ego” on this one……so I acknowledge this ahead of time.  I’m still human afterall.  🙂 

Why They Left and Where They Went

The last two blogs explored the why’s of the Catholic exodus:  change in priest, Church teachings, bad liturgy, sex abuse scandals, told they weren’t welcome, etc.  Today I will share with you my theories on where the Catholics went.

Evangelical, Congregational and Unitarian Churches

It has been my observation that when Catholics leave, they don’t normally trade Catholicism for something that looks similar such as Anglican, Lutheran or Methodist.  While I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, Catholics who are liturgy inclined, are more likely to seek out a worship experience different from what they have known.  For those who are in search of vibrant worship, uplifting music, motivational preaching and who want to know more about scripture, they might find themselves drawn to Evangelical and Non-Denominational Christian churches.  The Congregational Churches draw the Catholics looking for community.  And for those Catholics who are kind of done with the whole “God” thing, and are looking for something more embracing of all practices and beliefs, the Unitarian church might do it for them.

If You Want to Learn More About Scripture and how to Know Yourself and God through Scripture, click HERE. 

Wicca/Neo-Pagan

Did you just fall out of your chair?  It is really true……the majority of people I know who are currently practicing Wicca were raised Catholic.  And if you know anything about Wicca, it is an easy transition from Catholicism to Wicca for many reasons, not the least of which is polytheism.  As much as the Institution would quake in its shoes to hear me say this, Catholicism is about as polytheistic as it gets.  No, the teachings and theology of the Catholic Church are not polytheistic – professing One God (oops….in three!).  🙂  But let’s get real, in practice, Catholics worship many “gods”.  Yes, these “gods” are cleverly disguised as “Mary and the Saints” but who do we think we are fooling?  I know, I know, we aren’t worshipping Mary and the Saints and we really do only believe in ONE God, but our practice of honoring the Communion of Saints and having altars to our favorite saints, wearing their medals, hanging their pictures in our home,  saying novenas to them, etc. etc. etc. is no different than the practices we judge as polytheistic from our Wicca or Hindu or Pagan brothers and sisters.  So let’s pull the splinter of the true cross out of our eye before we yank the broomstick out of our Wicca brother and sister’s eyes.  The other reasons Catholics gravitate toward Wicca are rituals and sabbats.  Wicca rituals look a lot like ours and their holidays…..well, let’s just be really honest here and admit that we stole our holidays from THEM!  Check your history books if you don’t believe me!

Buddhism

For many Catholics, their true heart resides in contemplation.  The problem is, they don’t know it and the Church hasn’t done a good job of helping them identify or find this within their own faith.  So…….for many of these Catholics, the restlessness that drives all of us to our truth, causes them to seek the remedy to this restlessness and for many, instead of finding the remedy within the rich tradition of Christian Contemplation, find it in the contemplative practices and philosophies of Buddhism.  Here, they find the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of God, (known in peace, contentment, love and joy)  that they found elusive in their experience of Catholicism.  Buddhism is also an easy resting place for those who have had trouble with the negative images of God sometimes propogated by the Church.  In Buddhism, there is no sense of a “personal” God.  Instead, it is described as Essence or Presence – something transcendent, but not separate from us, something that is part of us and it our truest self, highest self, truest nature.  HMMMMM…..sounds a little like Jesus’ teachings on Oneness.  🙂

If You are Interested in Learning More About Christian Contemplation and Jesus’ Teachings on Oneness, click HERE. 

Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong

One HUGE thing that has been neglected in Catholicism is the spiritual nature of our physical bodies.  Our bodies house our Spirit and are therefore sacred, holy, amazing.  In its attempt to demonize physicality, the body has all but been neglected or worse yet, effectively destroyed.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, Dance, SEX, allow us to rediscover the intimate relationship between physical movement and God.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, etc. allow Catholics to fill an ENORMOUS gap in their religious/spiritual experience.  Sadly, the Institution hasn’t been very supportive of these practices and in some cases have tried to dissuade Catholics from participating. If you have found yoga to be supportive in your search for inner peace and your priest tells you it is evil, how are you going to respond?  Hmmmm…..I’m thinking some might decide to leave, especially if their experience of Church isn’t providing them with the same kind of spiritual fulfillment.  Just sayin’!

New Age Groups, gatherings, on-line communities

Several years ago the Vatican published a document on the New Age Movement.  In short, they don’t like it and in the document condemn many of what they are calling “New Age” practices (Eastern meditation practices, hands-on healing, yoga, meditation, among other things).   The New Age Movement is drawing many Catholics away from the Church because it meets the needs that are not being met in the Church.  DUH!  And this is where I get to do a little of my own pontificating……What would happen if instead of condemning the New Age Movement, the Vatican took the time to explore WHAT in the New Age Movement was drawing Catholics and offer these things in their own communities.  Because I’m here to tell you that whatever we are finding in the New Age Movement exists within our Catholic Tradition.  It is just that nobody bothered to teach us and show us how we could get the very same needs met within our own Church.

If you are interested in learning more about the connection between “new age” energy medicine and Jesus, click HERE

Isolated and Alone

This is the group of non-practicing Catholics for whom I feel the deepest level of grief.  These are the folks who were told they weren’t welcome or felt as if they were not accepted by their Church and who have been unable (or unwilling) to find supportive and accepting community elsewhere.  So, they sit home, alone and unfed.  This makes me sad.

If you were raised Catholic and no longer attend mass, why not?

What spiritual and communal needs are you finding satisfied outside the Catholic Church and where are you finding them met?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Inspiration, Jesus, Spiritual Formation

Jesus Out with the Bathwater?

Today’s blog explores the searching stage of spiritual development and how for many Christians, Jesus gets lost along the way…..but more importantly, why Jesus is still relevant and why we don’t need to set him aside in our quest for spiritual fulfillment.

Questioning, Asking, Challenging our childhood beliefs

I believe that the searching stage of spiritual development is absolutely critical to becoming spiritually and emotionally mature adults (and all the experts on spiritual growth like Fowler and Maslow, etc. agree with me).   The searching stage of spiritual development is when we start asking the questions, challenging dogma, doctrine, rules, wanting to find reason in mystery and wanting to believe in something that we can believe in because it resonates with me, not just because I am told to do it.  The searching stage is when we start looking both within and outside the religions of our youth for that which speaks to our heart, that which nourishes and feeds us and that which might have a bit of reason added to it.  Searching is healthy, necessary and exciting and eventually leads us to spiritual fulfillment and ultimately to our life purpose and mission.  If we don’t search, we are doomed to be a pew potato, doing what we are told and believing what we believe because someone told us to.  And for any churchs out there reading this blog, you really want your members to be more than blindly obedient – mature disciples give and serve WITHOUT being asked because it flows naturally out of who they are and who they have become.

Ripe with Opportunity, Ripe with Dangers

As the symbol of the ouroborus suggests, this time of searching is ripe with opportunities and ripe with dangers.  The opportunities are there to learn and to grow, to mature and evolve.  The dangers, however, require a stout and courageous heart.  Sometimes in the searching, we find that the religion of our youth no longer fits who we truly are.  This is only a danger, however, if we are unduly attached to our childhood religion (which many of us are) or to the approval of our tribe (parents, clergy, members of the community, etc.).  The greatest danger, however, in this searching phase of spiritual growth, however, is really the danger to the religious institutions to which we had been affiliated.  It is for this reason that most religious institutions DO NOT provide the tools, the permission, the processes by which members can effectively searched.  They are afraid that if we search, we will no longer be obedient, and that we might leave.  And people are……in droves.  (What would happen if our religious institutions actually gave us permission, tools and proceeses for the searching stage of spiritual development?  Might we be grateful for their support, openness and acceptance and find a way to make the faith of our childhood our own?????  HMMMMMM  I wonder!!!)   For men and women raised in Christian traditions, however, there is an even more catastrophic danger in this searching stage and a frequent casualty that makes me really sad.

How Jesus Got Dumped

The catastrophic danger and resulting casualty that I am referring to is the loss of Jesus.  There are so many people I know who were raised in Christian traditions, start their searching stage of spiritual development (largely without the support of their church), find fulfillment and meaning in practices from the East (yoga, zen meditation, tai chi, etc.) or in the rituals of Wicca or Native American spirituality,  and decide that Jesus is no longer relevant and might even be ridiculous.  This makes me really sad!  Why do we have to throw Jesus out with the bathwater?  Even though the religion of our youth may no longer speak to us or we have found fulfillment in other traditions and practices, that doesn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t a profound teacher, healer and spiritual leader.  Just because our religions have often twisted Jesus’ teachings to further their power agendas doesn’t mean his teachings are not relevant to our spiritual growth and development.

Bringing Jesus Back

People might think me insane, but I think it is time to bring Jesus back!  To restore him to his rightful place as teacher, healer, prophet, spiritual leader, way-shower.  Bringing Jesus back does not mean we have to believe he’s the messiah, was raised from the dead,  or even the Son of God…..it just means that we can look beyond the constructs of doctrine and institutional manipulations and see the man for who he really was – a man of purpose who tried to teach us how to love.  I know it is really cool these days to give honor to the Buddha, the Hindu dieties, Pagan gods and goddesses, (which all deserve their place of honor) but do we dare to make it cool to also give honor to Jesus?  I’m going to try it for awhile and see what happens.  Wanna join me?

How is Jesus relevant in your own journey?

What parts of the Jesus message ring as true for you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com