Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Lessons, Mystics, order of the magdalene, priestess training, self-actualization

Reclaiming the Esoteric Priesthood

The Patriarchal/Hierarchical Priestess?

Until this moment, we have only been able to define, express and understand the calling of priestess (or priest) within the context of the hierarchical and patriarchal worldview.  As a result, those who have discerned and accepted this calling have done so within the only framework Western culture knowns – that of presider.  In this expression, the priest or priestess is charged with the task of performing and facilitating ritual – first for herself and then for those who are called into community around her.  She is called to honor the lunar phases and the turning of the year with proper rituals, offerings and intentions and to do so in a (somewhat) public way.  Beyond presiding, some priestesses are also called to be healers, to counsel, and in some traditions – to be an oracle through card reading, throwing runes, reading palms or speaking with the dead.  All of these external, exoteric, outward expressions of priestess are critical to the priestly calling, but in interpreting the priestly calling through the hierarchical/patriarchal worldview, we have missed a critically important task of the priestess – that of transformer.

(I am choosing the word transformer to describe the forgotten task of the priestess because I don’t know what else to call it!  If you come up with a better word, please let me know! )

Trying to Remember What Has Been Forgotten

This is where things are going to get a bit sticky as I try to describe something for which we have no historical context and therefore no conscious memory.  This forgotten task of the priest/priestess is one we have not seen in our patriarchal world for over 5000 years.  This hidden/esoteric/secret and mostly silent task of the priestess was left in the dust when the hierarchical/patriarchal hoards conquered the peaceful and egalitarian communities that preceded them.  What was left was an external model of priest – one who has power over the people and who is the intermediary between the people and their god.  This is not as it was before.

The Exoteric: Prior to patriarchal rule, the spiritual needs of the community were supported by women and men who played a wide variety of roles.  Some led ritual, made offerings to the gods, counseled, and healed.  Some read the stars and the earth for signs of impending change. Some were teachers. These were the exoteric (meaning outward or external) priestly roles.

The Esoteric: Alongside the exoteric, however, was the esoteric – the priestly role that was internal, quiet, and mostly done in separation or secret.  These were the women and men who spent their day communing with Spirit (praying), and who took into their bodies that which needed to be transformed/healed/released on behalf of the tribe and for the sake of the world and then transformed/healed and released it.  These were the transformers of ancient times and the task of the priest and priestess that is reemerging today.

The above is an excerpt from Authentic Freedom weekly lesson.  Full content reserved for Plus, Premium and Premium-Plus Members. Click here to learn more on how you can become a member and enjoy the tools that have helped me in my own journey.  Find an example of what is available in the full content HERE.

Posted in church, Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, priestess training

The Magdalene Priesthood – In the World

When I first launched the Order of the Magdalene Priesthood Training, I thought it had to do with building a “new church.” I thought it would be the training ground for women and men to come into their fullness and be ordained as priests and priestesses as was originally modeled in the Church.  Very quickly, I learned this was not to be the case and it seems I am learning this truth more and more every day. What is most interesting about this unfolding, however, is that it is turning out exactly according to what I have been saying all along about ordination in the institutional church:

There is no shortage of vocations. There is only a shortage of vision.

For the past many years, the institutional Church has complained about a vocation shortage. In the Catholic Church, especially, there aren’t enough men coming forward as candidates for priesthood.  This is a fact. The Church’s response to this has been to close parishes and to make a single priest responsible for multiple parishes. (Note, there is also a HUGE shortage in people attending church, but that is a whole other story.)

When I was still working in the Church, I would argue, “There is no shortage of vocations. Those who are called are sitting right here in the pews, we simply need to empower them to identify, cultivate and then use their unique gifts.  When we do this, we will never have to ask for the ministries of church to be fulfilled, people will willingly and enthusiastically come forward offering to share their gifts.”  My words fell on deaf ears, but with the Magdalene Priesthood, I am finding the fulfillment of these words.

In the Magdalene Priesthood we are doing just what I described to our priest (and anyone else who would listen) all those years ago. Through the Magdalene Priesthood training (for women and men), participants are given the resources and support they need to:

  • Discover their unique giftedness.
  • Cultivate these gifts.
  • Move through the fears, resistance and societal conditioning that might otherwise hinder them in the use of their gifts.
  • Be empowered in the use of these gifts 1) for the sake of their own fulfillment and 2) in service to the betterment of the world.

In short, the Magdalene Priesthood training supports participants in coming to know themselves and then empowers them to live that truth fully in the world. The end result is a community of self-empowered women and men who are living their unique gifts fully in the world and doing so in a way that is unique to them. With the Magdalene Priesthood, members are living these gifts IN THE WORLD. Graduates of the Magdalene Priesthood are living these gifts in a multitude of ways:

  • Accountants.
  • Massage Therapists.
  • Yoga Instructors.
  • Dance Educators.
  • Teachers.
  • Mothers.
  • Dental Assistants.
  • Office Managers
  • Physicians.
  • Professors.
  • Fathers.
  • Business Owners.
  • Registered Nurses.
  • Clerical Support.
  • Government Employees.

Participants and graduates of the Magdalene Priesthood Training are women and men from all walks of life. We are not locked away in an ivory tower or sequestered in a monastery.  Instead, we are IN THE WORLD doing every day jobs (even I am working part time as Office Manager for a local arts academy).  The difference is that we are no longer bringing our broken, wounded, fragmented selves to these jobs, we are bringing our WHOLE selves and in doing so, transforming the work we are doing, our workplace and even the people around us.  In completing the work of the Magdalene Priesthood Training, we are bringing the fullness of love into the very heart of where it is needed the most – in our broken and fragmented world.

This is what Mary Magdalene did. This is what Jesus did before her.  Jesus was not “in” the temple.  He was not a priest of the temple.  He, like any other rabbi, sometimes spoke within the temple grounds and at synagogue, but he was not a priest in the clerical sense of the word.  He served at table – but over ordinary meals.  He performed ritual – but they were not the rituals in the temple – they were the homey, earthy rituals that were part of everyday Jewish life.  The same was likely true of Mary Magdalene.  She was a woman of the world, ministering IN the world through her own unique calling and her own unique gifts – not in a temple, not in a church, but in the midst of the people wherever and however she was called.

Learn more about the Magdalene Priesthood Training by clicking on the icon below:

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, priestess training

The Order of the Magdalene Welcomes its 100th Candidate for Priesthood

The Order of the Magdalene has accepted its one-hundredth candidate for priesthood.  The Magdalene Priesthood Training, inspired by Jesus’ closest disciple, Mary Magdalene, is a twelve-month training program restoring women and men to their rightful place within Jesus’ vision for humanity. The priesthood training supports participants in becoming self-actualized and empowers them in fully living out their Divine and Human natures as love.

The Order of the Magdalene Priesthood Training continues the work begun by Jesus and fulfilled by Mary Magdalene by empowering candidates to live out the fullness of their unique giftedness – both for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.

The Order of the Magdalene, founded by Minneapolis native, Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS, is named for Mary Magdalene who became fully empowered under the guidance, direction and support of Jesus of Nazareth. Mary was Jesus’ closest disciple; the only one identified to have completed the full course of Jesus’ public and secret teachings; and initiated as co-equal partner.  It was to Mary whom Jesus first revealed his resurrected self, and it was Mary he commissioned to share the good news with the other disciples and who Jesus ordained to continue his work in his stead.

The Order of the Magdalene supports its members in their work of carrying out Mary Magdalene’s mission of Love – turning the world from fear into love through the use and sharing of their own unique gifts.

The Magdalene Priesthood is not hierarchical, patriarchal nor clerical in nature. The Magdalene Priesthood is grounded in the egalitarian model favored by Jesus – one in which every individual is honored as uniquely holy and sacred. The Magdalene priesthood seeks only to serve the common good of the all through the mission of love.

You can learn more about the Order of the Magdalene and the Priesthood Training HERE.

Posted in church, Forgiveness, Raised Catholic

Shining the Spotlight on Clergy Sexual Abuse

I was not sexually abused by a priest, but I know and have counseled many people who were.  I was not sexually abused by a priest, but I worked in the Church when the insidious legacy of priests sexually abusing children and having inappropriate relations with other vulnerable populations began to come to light.  I was also still working in the Church when the sexual abuse scandal exploded and other “sins of the institution” came to be known.

So, when I watched the recent Academy Award winning movie, Spotlight, which tells the story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into clergy sexual abuse, uncovering and then exposing the unconscionable cover up of hundreds of priests (249 in the Boston Diocese alone!) who had been sexually abusing children and the thousands of victims, I was already long-acquainted with the story, but was so deeply moved and startled by the true extent of the crime, I could hardly speak for days.  What I didn’t know, was that a dear friend, professionally a Lay Ecclesial Minister, was also watching the movie at the very same time, reliving her own experience of clergy sexual abuse and reflecting on her on-going path of healing.  Here is her response:

Original photograph by Kathy Walczyk
Original photograph by Kathy Walczyk

I watched the movie Spotlight five times. I cried every time. I cried because the reporters knocked on doors, they came in search of listening and learning. They came to give a voice to the voiceless. They opened doors of truth. In the middle of watching Spotlight for the fourth time, I wrote to thank them, the real reporters. I got a personal reply in six minutes. Six minutes!!!

I wish it were like this in the church. I wish the church had come knocking on doors in search of us, our story, listening with the intent of learning our needs, and inviting our voices. Greater dignity was lost in this lack.

And I wish all the walls of defense were not so high and the finger of blame would lower. I wish humility, responsibility, and a desire for mending and reconciling would replace what we have now.

I wish we could bring the sacred to conversations, uplift the holy in each other.

I wish the church could talk about the beautiful, sacredness of our sexuality, our life essence, and our lifeblood that is good, and is within every human. And I wish we could talk about how our desire for God, for wholeness is found through relationships with each other. I wish we could talk about how this same sensual spirit is creative and life giving. Without healthy dialogue of our human sexuality there will be no understanding of how sexual violence in holy places, by people wearing crosses, can affect one’s communion with God and with each other. Reconciling divisions will come when we can address this in a spiritual, caring way.

There is a better way.

+++++++

Read Kathy’s original post HERE.

Kathy’s artwork and poetry are currently on display as part of the “Co-Workers in the Vineyard” exhibition at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN.  Learn more HERE.

Kathy’s work will be displayed locally at The Norbertine Center for Spirituality in DePere September 1 – 30, 2016.  Watch the Norbertine Center’s website for details HERE. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, church

A New (Original) Way of Being Church

This past Sunday, I suddenly realized that I am DOING what I came here to do, and what I have KNOWN for a very long time was my mission and purpose on this planet – to bring forth a new/original paradigm for being Priest in a new/original paradigm for being Church. I sit in awe-filled wonder over the fact that I have arrived and that I am HERE doing what I have been trying for twenty years to do. Here it is, right in front of me. It’s been here all along, but now it seems it has wholly (holy) and completely arrived.

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What I thought was the final piece of the puzzle (the Sunday Service which is launching this Sunday, August 16th 8:00 am at Inner Sun Yoga Studio), was it, but it seems there was more. It’s not enough to simply show up on Sunday morning and facilitate a worship/prayer service, being Church and being Priest is about being a vessel of God’s love through the overall care and wellbeing of those in your community. Part of that care is to provide opportunities for your community’s psycho/spiritual nourishment, growth and development which I am already providing via Authentic Freedom Academy. Part of the responsibility of a priest is pastoral counseling and support which I provide as a Spiritual Director. Part of the job of a priest is to be a vehicle through which God’s healing is more fully present to individuals – which I provide through Reiki, Spiritual Direction, etc. Another task of a priest is sacrament – rites and rituals that bring people together in community and which help them to consciously connect with God’s grace. This I have had an opportunity to do through the weddings, ordinations and other rites of passage I have facilitated. This past Sunday, I had an opportunity to witness how the sacramental part of this task is even more present for me than I originally thought and how it is unfolding in a way that reflects the manifestation of a new/original paradigm of priesthood and a new/original paradigm of being church in the world.

This past Sunday, the sacramental part of being “priest” and being “church” presented itself in what would traditionally be called “anointing of the sick.” I was intuitively led to offer this service to a client who had been recently diagnosed with cancer and who is facing surgery this week (today as a matter of fact, please keep her and her family in your prayers). As I sat with my client and her family in a “make it up as we go along” service I realized that THIS is the new/original model of priesthood and church. There were no rubrics to follow, only the guidance and prompting of the Holy Spirit and the immediate needs of the family. We prayed. We shared in ritual. The family told stories, hugs and tears. We read from a sacred text chosen by my client. We sang a song that held great meaning for the family and that uplifted everyone with humor. The service ended with my client offering cake and coffee (if that isn’t communion, I don’t know what is!). It was perfect. It was sublime. It was AWE-some! As I sat in reflection of this experience, all I could do was feel humbled and in awe over whatever it was that allowed me to be witness to this sacred experience.

This is what it means to be priest. This is what it means to be church. No rubrics. No doctrine. No collar or special robes. No golden vessels or special laws. Only rapt attention to the immediate needs of those before us – their need for healing, comfort, nourishment and support in a way that honors their own unique beliefs and personal experiences of the Divine. I am humbled and in awe over twenty years of holding onto a vision, believing when everyone else (sometimes me included) thought I was insane, only to suddenly realize it is here – a new/original way of being priest and of being church in a world desperately in need of both.

If you live in the Oshkosh area, please join us this Sunday for our first Sunday Service. 8:00 am (doors open at 7:40) at Inner Sun Yoga Studio. Learn more HERE.

 

Posted in church, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, women

Church of the Magdalene?

Consider today’s blog as a pondering of sorts – musing on what would it have looked like if the Magdalene’s perspective on the Jesus message had not been supplanted by fear, power and control, but instead, had been allowed to flourish?  I entertain these thoughts not in opposition to the Institutional Church, because ultimately, I believe that the only way for the Church to survive is if both the feminine and masculine are honored, but, not unlike the feminist movement, we have to start the conversation somewhere.  So….here goes…..

 

Mary Magdalene  by Robert Place
Mary Magdalene by Robert Place

1) To begin with, I believe the Church of the Magdalene would be less concerned about saving us from sin and death, and more concerned with empowering us in life.  If there is such a thing as hell, I often believe THIS IS IT!  The Church of the Magdalene would give us tools for learning how to navigate the human condition and would help us find comfort in our losses while celebrating our joys.

2) The Church of the Magdalene’s second task would be to empower us in fulfilling the mission God intended for us.  We would be given the tools and support we need to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives through the uniquely creative way in which God desires to be known in the world through us.  We would also be given the help and support we need to overcome the inner obstacles to living that purpose.

3) In the Church of the Magdalene, the priesthood would not be one of exclusivity, but instead, would empower a priesthood of ALL believers.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON would be ordained into their unique, special and necessary mission for the betterment of humankind and our world.  Some would be ordained as healers, teachers, counselors, prophets, welcomers, nourishers, sustainers, supporters, stewards of the environment, growers, inspirers, bringers of beauty, shadow walkers, hand holders, receivers of healing and compassion, etc. etc. etc.  Yes, some would be called and empowered to pastor and lead communities, but this role would be no more important than any other vocation.  All are needed….all are empowered.

4) The Church of the Magdalene would be less about showing up for church to “fulfill your Sunday obligation” or to receive your “get out of hell free” card.  The Church of Magdalene would also be less about watching and more about doing.  In the Church of the Magdalene, everyone is the presider.  We gather together to share our lives, our stories, our journeys and we do so through contemplative prayer, as Jesus did.  Then, we are all empowered to go out and do the work that Jesus calls us to do.  Love one another.  Heal the sick.  Feed the hungry.  Give sight to the blind.  Set captives free.  In this way, it is all Eucharist. And if there is a sacred meal to be shared, it could just as well be cookies and milk as bread and wine.  In the Church of the Magdalene….Christ is ever-present…in the word, in the people, in the prayer, in our sorrows and in our joys, in the rivers and the trees, in the very air we breathe – and we are invited to see the world in this way!

5) As all of it is Eucharist, so all of it is sacrament.  In the Church of the Magdalene, EVERYTHING we do, we do with God, when we hold that as our desire and as our intention.  Yes, we may ritualize our doings through public ritual, but none of the rituals are in order that we might receive another “get out of hell free” card.  Instead, through our rituals we celebrate the amazing God that we have and we give honor to each other and mark our life transitions as sacred.  Baptism is not for the forgiveness of sin, but, like Jesus’ baptism, a time to acknowledge that we are each God’s beloved sons and daughters and with us God is well pleased!  Reconciliation is returned to its original intent as an opportunity to take responsibility for our non-loving behaviors and ask God to heal us of the fears that caused these behaviors in the first place.  Anointing of the sick becomes an opportunity to share energetic healing with another, acknowledging that we are simply the vessel through which God is facilitating healing in another.  Ordination, again, is offered to everyone when they are ready to name, claim and be empowered in their own unique vocation of service to God.

6) The Church of the Magdalene would be firmly rooted in a deeply intimate and personal relationship with God.  Love would be the only ultimate truth and God, as Love, the source of authority with Jesus’ law of love being the guiding principle

Love one another as I have loved you.

and the Beatitudes of Jesus as a way to measure our personal growth.

7) Finally, the Church of the Magdalene would be less hierarchical and more collaborative, less about power and privilege and more about honoring all as sacred, less about patriarchy and more about honoring both men and women as sacred and calling forth their unique and magnificent gifts, less about fear and more about love, less about having and more about giving, less about separation and more about unity and most importantly, less about judgment and more about compassion.

I know there is more…..but this seems like a good start.  I’m interested in your thoughts.  What would the Church of the Magdalene look like to you?

 

 

Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, church, Empowerment, Jesus, Raised Catholic, Virtual Church

A Different Kind of Priest

Each of us are uniquely gifted to be a vessel through which God’s love is known in the world.  Often, the way in which God has gifted us and the call God extends to us transcends institutional definitions, boundaries and controls.  I share the way this has been made known in my own life as a way of encouraging you to look outside the box for how God might be calling you to be love in the world…..sometimes the answer is right under our nose and has been there the whole time and sometimes it is so obvious we wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that before?”

Priest All Along

I wrote last week about the lightning bolt awareness of how for the past 20+ years I have been a priest and I didn’t even know it!  Looking back on the ways in which I have been called to be God’s love in the world, they all take the form of duties frequently associated with a priest – preaching, teaching, healing, counseling, leading, pastoring, serving, ministering.  Of course, being raised Catholic, the path to ordination is not open to me (in the Roman Catholic Church anyway), and at this point in my life, even if ordination were made available to women, I don’t think I would pursue it.  I prefer to serve as a priest in my own way (rather, the way in which God is leading me to be priest), instead of being subject to the limitations of the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church where clericalism frequently reigns over humility and compassion.

Lauri Lumby, mother and priest
Lauri Lumby, mother and priest

A Different Kind of Priest

What does priesthood look like outside the boundaries of tradition?  What is a priesthood without hierarchy, patriarchy and clericalism?  What is priesthood without a church?   As it is currently being revealed to me, for myself personally, it is a priesthood of a different kind, but in truth, it looks very much like a priesthood of the original kind.  When I look for a model of priesthood that feels appropriate to me, the example is obvious in Jesus.  To me, Jesus represents the quintessential example of what priesthood should look like.  What does it mean to be a priest like Jesus?

1) For me, it starts with the clothes.  Nowhere in scripture does it describe Jesus as wearing special clothes, in fact, in several instances, he challenges religious leaders who don special vestments (phylacteries) as a way of drawing attention to the way they are better, separate, or more special than ordinary folks.  I have a very strong sense that Jesus dressed in the same fashion as the people to whom he was ministering. What that means for me is that I dress in ways appropriate to the occasion.  In presiding over weddings, I dress up in ways similar to the guests.  In facilitating spiritual formation in circle, I dress casually.  When seeing people one-on-one, I wear business casual.  And when networking with business professionals, I dress appropriately. There will be no Roman collar or guilded vestments for me.

2) While Jesus sometimes taught in the temple, he was mostly seen ministering to the people where they were at.  He moved about the marketplace, in the desert and on the mountain, in people’s homes, teaching, healing, ministering to people where the people were.  Jesus was not a member of the official hierarchy of the Jewish temple, instead, he was priest to the people in their midst.  A related key point – Jesus did not have a church.  Instead, it seemed his church was anywhere he found himself.  For me, this means being open to all the ways in which God is calling me to meet people where they are at – and in this day and age, it is often in front of their computer.

3) Jesus’ primary audience was those no longer welcome in the temple and for this he was often condemned.  Jesus spent much of his time in the midst of “sinners and tax collectors,” and he often ministered to lepers.  Jesus made himself available for those who had been rejected by the Institution in which he was raised.  This is highly reflective of the audience God continues to place before me – women and men who no longer feel welcome in the religious institution in which they were raised….and for me, 90 -95% of these folks were raised Catholic.

4) Jesus prayed – a lot, and he taught his disciples how to pray.  Before, during and after every ministerial encounter, Jesus can be found in prayer.  Prayer, his intimate relationship with God, seemed to be the foundation upon which everything else was built.  I can only hope to be following this example that Jesus set.

5) Jesus’ priesthood served to support and satisfy the deepest longing of the human heart – to know that we are loved, and Jesus did this primarily through his loving regard of the people to whom he ministered.  Jesus did not judge or condemn the “sinners and tax collectors,” or the sick to whom he ministered.  Instead, he helped them to find healing for the deeper spiritual wounds that told them they were anything less than love.  Jesus built people up.  He empowered them.  He gave them dignity and respect.  And, he admonished anyone who would treat ANY of God’s people with anything less than love.  Jesus did not pile up a burden of tasks or rules that had to be accomplished in order to earn God’s love.  He taught that we are loved by God without condition and that when we turn away from God, God is anxiously waiting with open arms for us to come home to the truth of who we are – one with God in love.

How is the truth that God is revealing to you and the gifts God has given you, calling you to step outside the traditional or familiar?

 

Posted in Empowerment

Already Who We Are Meant to Be

I suddenly realized today that I have been living the life of a priest/pastor for the past twenty years and I didn’t know it.  This realization crashed in on me after a busy morning of appointments and administrative work and as I reclined on the couch for a brief nap before venturing into a full afternoon and evening of client appointments.  I was taking “the pastor’s nap,” as my Catholic priest colleagues and former employers used to call it.  I received this awareness like a bolt of lightening and thought to myself, “Oh my God, I’ve been a priest all along…..I just never gave myself credit for it.”  These are the kinds of situations that make me really appreciate God’s twisted sense of humor.  Here I’ve been, wandering through the past 20 years of my life moaning and groaning with the question, “Ok God, what do you want from me?  What am I supposed to be when I grow up?  How am I supposed to serve you in my life,” when apparently I’ve been doing it all along.  As I surrendered to the pastor’s nap, I realized that I am already being who God made me to be.  So, I guess I can stop wondering and get on with being the priest/ess that God made me to be.

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How you are already being who God made you to be?

 

 

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!

LauriPriest

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvFUw9HvRf8

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Midlife Journey, Raised Catholic, Returning book

Church of the In-Between

The midlife journey is about birthing our Soul – the unique way we are spiritually and creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, fulfillment and connection in our lives, and the way in which we are called to share our gifts for the betterment of humanity.  Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself, chronicles the journey toward my own spiritual and creative fulfillment while providing creative tools through which you may do the same.  Today, I share with you a recent poem that surfaced in response to my own continued Returning and the unfolding answer of what it means to be priest in the post-modern world and beyond my own Catholic upbringing.

lauridocmartinwebshotcolor2013

Priest to the Church of the In-Between

Priest to those in-between

in an in-between world

in an in-between time

A Church free of walls

Free of name

A name-less, face-less God, or no God at all.

Free of doctrine

Free of Creed.

A Church, not of my own making

 It making me according to its need.

Priest without collar or stole

privilege or power

chalice or blade.

Heart and arms open

Meeting where you are at

in the places in-between.

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL.  Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.