Posted in 6D, Divine Revelation, End of the World Prophecies, Healing, Inspiration, Magic, Mystics, world changes

Do Not Be Afraid

BIG CHANGES are coming into our world- everyone seems to know it and are feeling it. Just yesterday I shared a blog post with my Facebook community that heralds these BIG CHANGES and speaks of some of the potential consequences of these changes. (here is the post: http://www.foreverconscious.com/huge-shifts-in-consciousness-coming-in-september-2015). I have to admit, I was a little bit shocked when reading this blog to find their predictions of financial market collapse echoing the very words I hesitatingly shared with my children just the day before, “I don’t want it to happen this way, but I have a feeling there might be a collapse in the financial markets. With China having issues, I have to wonder.”

I don’t share this blog post or my curiosity about financial market collapse to trigger your fears. Instead, I am posting this blog today as a source of encouragement and support and to assure you NOT TO BE AFRAID because if you are reading this blog (and sharing it with your friends), you are NOT the ones who will experience the BIG CHANGES as devastating. Instead, as the changes unfold, you will experience a great sense of relief, excitement and joyful anticipation because THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR.

creation

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For our entire lives, we have been preparing for this. We have done the (sometimes) excruciatingly painful work of expunging the fear and perceived separation from our consciousness so that we could remember our original Divine nature as LOVE. In this great work we have broken every rule of Western society to follow the truth that has been guiding (HOUNDING) us through our hearts. We have left careers that were no longer life-giving in pursuit of our truth, often at great financial risk. We have shown up again and again and again as harbingers of LOVE and vessels of peace, in service to humanity – more specifically, to a vision of a kinder, gentler, more loving and harmonious world. And in this work, we have suffered – physical pain and exhaustion, emotional collapse, anxiety, depression, financial hardship, and rejection – rejection from those afraid of the change they intuitively know us to be bringing forth. THIS is what we came here for and WE ARE READY to step fully into our roles as teachers, healers, visionaries, prophets, leaders, servants, counselors, missionaries, administrators, builders, gods and goddesses in the creation of the new world – the world that is not new to us because for a lifetime this world has lived in our heart. We already see it. We know it. We live in it. Therefore, the creation of the new world, for those of us who have been doing the work, will be effortless and filled with ease (including lots of time for creativity and play!).

newworldvision

Such, however, will not be the case for those who currently “hold the gold.” This is where the devastation lies. To those who have made their gold through fear, power and control, these changes will SEEM catastrophic, but only to the extent that they are clinging to what they have known – their positions of status, power, wealth, privilege, etc. For as the Buddha reminds, it is only our attachment that causes suffering. We can already see the symptoms of this devastation and it is happening on every front – government, judicial, banking, agriculture, commercial trade, manufacturing, medicine, education, religion. Every institution that was founded on a hierarchical, unholy masculine (not to be confused with the HOLY MASCULINE which is currently being reborn in our world) model based in fear, power and control is in the midst of collapse and they know it but are in deep denial over the reality facing them. They are afraid and their fear is coming out sideways in rash decisions, ridiculous policies, violence, projections of blame, etc. etc. etc. We need look no further than the current presidential race, funded solely by corporate interests, to see the evidence of a system in the state of complete collapse. When Kanye West thinks he would make a good president how can we take any of it seriously?

angelpower

We don’t. The system collapse is none of our business – except to be a source of hospice and support for a system that is dying, and to be a source of encouragement and healing for those who will wake up because of the collapse. They will be needing tools for grieving the loss of what they have known and resources for finding the new life in the midst of the systemic death. THIS IS WHAT WE CAME HERE TO DO – first for ourselves (which we have already successfully done!), and then because of the expertise we have gained in doing this for ourselves, we are now ready to help show others the way.

So, DO NOT BE AFRAID as you watch the BIG CHANGES as they happen around you, because ultimately, these changes are not for you. They are only for you to the extent that they are clearing the surface on which the NEW WORLD will be built and if you are reading this blog, YOU are the builders of this new world and OUR time is NOW!

newworldvision2

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Posted in church, grief, Surrender

Emergent Church – The Call for Compassion and Surrender

Today’s blog continues the discussion about Emergent Church – inspired by Phyllis Tickle’s book The Great Emergence. In Tuesday’s blog, I spoke specifically about the role and challenge of the innovators/prophets who have been gifted with the vision and feeling of the new way of being Church that is trying to be born into our world, and who have been commissioned to carry and bring forth this vision.  Today, I want to offer a show of compassion for the traditionalists, or as Phyllis Tickle calls them, the “re-traditioners” who are frightened of and therefore resist to this change.

StMarysinterior

Greater even than the fear of dying is the fear of change

The re-traditioners, as Phyllis Tickle calls them, are those who are happy, content and comfortable with the model of Church as it currently exists.  The re-traditioners are made up of people in the pew (because they are still going to church) and those in leadership – specifically deacons, brothers, priests, pastors, ministers, bishops, popes, and even some of the women religious. Often, re-traditioners are those who have benefitted from the current model of being Church and who might actually have something to lose should things change.  Some have simply never been called to question the current model of Church and would rather not rock the boat.  “Why fix what isn’t broke?” they might ask.  The problem is that the current model of Church is broke, and many, fearing what a change in the Church might mean for them, choose denial as a way of managing the grief that threatens to overwhelm them over the thought of change.  For you see, even greater than death, human beings fear change.

Holding out for more celibate priests

Here is a case in point.  I remember years ago, when I was asked to be our parish representative in local discussions on how to deal with the Catholic priest vocation crisis.  As a group, we were charged with the task of figuring out how to manage six Catholic parishes with only two priests, and eventually how to manage them with only one priest – as these were the priestly vocation projections for the next ten years.  As an innovator, the solution was obvious to me – close four parishes and eventually all but one and hire lay ministers to staff non-sacramental duties.  While participating in these meetings, I was flabbergasted by the power of denial as I listened to the response to our task by several of the parish representatives present, “We’re sure priestly vocations will turn around, and we won’t need to worry about closure.”  Instead of entering into a discussion about practical solutions based on the cold, hard facts of declining priestly vocations AND declining church attendance, they chose to bury their head in the sand.  My compassion understands that what was really at work here was not ignorance, but grief – these re-traditioners were afraid of the impending change that would dramatically alter the experience of Church through which they had found comfort, predictability and safety.  The world, as they had come to know it, was about to change – dramatically.

Confronting our fear of change

We are facing a similar experience today as we stand in the tension between the Church as it has been known and the new way of being Church that is trying to be born in our world.  The innovators can’t wait for the new Church to be born and the re-traditions are hanging on with all their might to what they have known.  What often happens in the face of this kind of tension is one side projecting their fear onto the other thereby creating enemies where enemies do not really exist. I know this has been done to me, and that I, in turn, have done this toward “the other.”  It doesn’t have to happen this way, however. In the face of this transition, we can turn it into a tug of war – each side battling for power as the Church and its people get torn to shreds (which I’ve seen happen WAY too many times) – or we can:

1) Acknowledge our fears

2) Do something about them

For the re-traditioners, this will be about naming and claiming their fear of change and communicating this fear to those around them, and then allowing themselves space to grieve this loss.  For the innovators, it is about naming our fear of not being heard and of things not changing quickly enough.  For both of us, it is about sitting around the table and being present to each other’s fears and holding each other in compassion and love while the Church changes before us.

We Are Not in Charge

Here then is the trickiest part of emerging Church – WE ARE NOT IN CHARGE!  It is GOD who is calling forth this change – not us.  And this is a difficult pill to swallow for re-traditioners AND innovators alike – because ultimately, as human beings, we all want to be in charge and in control.  Instead, we are ALL invited to get out of the way so that the Church God wants to be born can be brought forth into the world – not according to our personal agenda’s, but according to God’s will.  And in this, our prayer is the very same prayer that Jesus prayed in the face of his own death, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”

Posted in church, Discernment, Empowerment, Holy Spirit, Jesus

A Prophet’s Pain in Birthing a New Way of Being Church

At the risk of unleashing my inner martyr, I’m feeling called to explore a topic that is as close to my heart as it is excruciatingly painful.  I share this topic, not for my own self-mortification, but in support of those, like me, who have been born with a different vision of Church – different, at least, from the one our parents grew up with and one that as yet, is unknown. While this Church is yet to be known, there is a very real sense of what it feels like and this “feeling like” Church is kicking, screaming, shouting and stomping its feet for its realization in our world.  And, this Church that is not yet known is the exact topic of the book that tickled (pun intended) me to write today’s blog:  The Great Emergence – How Christianity is Changing and Why, by Phyllis Tickle.  🙂

In this book, Phyllis Tickle acknowledges the enormous transformation that is currently taking place in Western culture and specifically how this transformation is ushering in a new way of being Church – much to the chagrin of those clinging to old models of being Church (“re-traditioners”) and much to the joy of those called to dream forth new models (“innovators”).  The problem is that for the former, this unfolding transformation feels like the work of the devil and for the latter, it cannot possibly happen soon enough.  As terror and impatience are not the best of bedfellows, Tickle warns us not to repeat the bloody patterns of those who have ushered in similar transformations – interestingly, every 500 years or so, since the beginning of time (think Protestant Reformation (1500’s), The Great Schism (1000’s) and The Fall of the Roman Empire (500’s)).  Sadly, I fear Tickle’s warning has come too late.  While in the strictly Christian experience of this transformation (let us not minimize the massive deaths of the past century that have ultimately been a part of this cultural change), literal blood has not been shed.  But, believe me, gallons of metaphoric blood have been, by innovators in particular.

sacred-heart-jesus-chambers-featured-w480x300

Here’s where my martyr, or at the very least, my empathy, steps in.  As an innovator (using Tickle’s term) myself, and knowing HUNDREDS of others like me, I can tell you that the pain is excruciating. And the experience of this pain is nothing short of a broken heart and often requires the loss of one’s soul – at least the part of one’s soul that hopes for acceptance in the Church one loves while dreaming forth the Church GOD implanted in one’s heart.  For those who are innovators/prophets, we know the routine.  We’re going about our daily business (ahem…this probably started in childhood).  We kinda like the Church – in fact, we might even love it.  BUT….there is something in us that says, “This thing here, isn’t quite right.  This doesn’t feel right in my heart and something in me seems to be DEMANDING that the Church look like this…”  We experience dissonance when what we hear from the pulpit or see in the actions of “Church people” messages or actions inconsistent with what we know to be Jesus’ message of love.  When we ask someone about this, or dare to confront these inconsistencies, we are told, “Sit down. Shut up.  Do what you are told.”  But how are we supposed to do this when we were genetically programmed to question authority?  For prophets and innovators, authority isn’t assumed, it has to be earned.  And quite frankly, most of Western religion hasn’t done a very good job of earning that authority.

Most of the time, we can tolerate “sit down and shut up.” We simply seethe in resentment over not being heard and for having our needs denied, while we go about doing what we want anyway.  We use birth control.  We eat meat on Fridays.  We skip mass (most of the time).  We vote democrat.  We might even vote pro-choice (understanding that abortion is merely a symptom of deeper issues that need to be addressed). We divorce and remarry.  We support gay rights.  We go to yoga.  We explore Buddhism, Wicca, Judaism, Islam, Unitarianism, Paganism, etc.  And we meditate.

Much to the chagrin of the re-traditioners, we fully embrace and live our primacy of conscience. And while they may be content to judge and condemn us as sinners, they can’t because while we are doing what we want, we are also continuing the mission of Christ – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the poor, setting captives free, giving sight to the blind, working for the marginalized in our society and in our world.

This is where it tends to get personal.  Re-traditioners like things black and white, cut and dried, reasonable and practical.  The motivations and actions of innovators and prophets are everything but this.  Instead, we thrive in the margins and in glorious shades of grey (or is it gray?).  “I’ve seen her praying the stations of the cross and attending Saturday afternoon rosary….and yet she does Reiki too….isnt’ that the work of the devil????  It certainly hasn’t been handed down by the magisterium!  She must be a witch….BURN HER!”  While I say this a little bit tongue in cheek….it really isn’t far from the truth – at least in its effect.  Condemned, rejected, painfully cast out for listening to the voice of God in our hearts that guides us and leads us toward our truth and toward the new vision of Church trying to be born.

Here then, is the key.  As Phyllis Tickle observes, each of the past “great” transformations has ultimately been about the question of authority.  WHO HOLDS THE AUTHORITY?  I can tell you without a doubt that the authority for which we are currently vying is INNER AUTHORITY.  As Joachim de Fiore prophesied in the twelfth century, we are entering fully into the Age of the Holy Spirit – when authority will rest within the individual and their personal relationship with that which some might call God.  DISCERNMENT and personal empowerment will be the key and if the Church (which is currently dying on the vine) hopes to survive it would do well to provide the tools through which these goals might be successfully accomplished.  In the meantime, my heart and my prayers of support go out to the innovators and prophets who are working on the margins – in the real world, seeing, believing and LIVING the new Church.

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Mystics

What is your Magic? Part 4 – the forgotten charism!

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.  🙂

www.richardstodart.com
www.richardstodart.com

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:

Shit-disturbing

And to all the shit-disturbers out there, I offer the following poem as both an affirmation and a gesture of thanks!

Shit-disturbers

“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