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

Righting a 2000 Year Old Wrong

Thank you in advance for indulging my rant!

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Magdalene by Dana Lumby
Mary Magdalene by Dana Lumby

What the hell happened to Mary Magdalene?

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

SHE TAUGHT THE OTHER DISCIPLES.

 

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

 

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

 

SHE TAUGHT THEM.

 

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

 

BOO!

 

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

 

HOW TO BE HUMAN.

 

Or rather, how to be FULLY human.

 

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

 

Mary teaches us what Jesus taught her:

 

HOW TO LOVE and HOW TO BE LOVE.

 

Listen to her!

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

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

 

 

Posted in Christ Consciousness, Jesus, Mary Magdalene

Raising Jesus from the Dead

Two thousand years ago Jesus died and rose from the dead.  Just as quickly as he rose, we killed him again.  We killed Jesus when we:

Changed his message –

  • From love to fear.
  • From Oneness to separation.
  • From an unconditionally loving God to one who condemns.
  • From peace and harmony to conflict and war (in his name!)
  • From a community that treats all human beings as equal, governed by collaboration and cooperation to one rooted in white, male privilege; governed by fear, power and control.
  • From welcoming all to the table to only those who believe as we want them to believe and who are “in good standing.”
  • From a movement within Judaism to a new and separate religion.

2000 years ago, Jesus died and rose from the dead.  And 2000 years ago, we killed him.  This Easter of 2015, let us cooperate in allowing Jesus to raise from the dead and to stay there!

I must humbly acknowledge that this seems to be exactly what is happening for those who are reading my most recent book, a novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  The feedback I’m getting from readers is just that – Jesus being raised from the dead.  Every single person who has offered feedback has expressed conflict with the institutional images of Jesus given to them and through my book, have found healing and transformation of these images, opening them to Jesus’ deeper message of unconditional love.  Right before their eyes, Jesus is being transformed from a far-off creature standing in judgment to a dear and intimate friend teaching them how to love.

In celebration of Easter and as an invitation to all of us to let Jesus be raised from the dead, I offer you this excerpt from Song of the Beloved. 

laurilores.jpg

On the morning after the Sabbath, I awoke before dawn in the same way that I had every day after Jesus healed me and raised me from the death in which I had existed.  Upon waking, I expected to feel nothing but the numbness of the days past.  I expected to desire nothing but to roll over and return to the world of sleep.  Instead, I felt the urge to resume my ordinary routine of morning meditation in the garden.  I arose and proceeded into the garden to the bench I had shared with Jesus every morning for the past three years.  I approached the bench and lovingly ran my hand over its marble seat recalling what Jesus and I had shared in this sacred space.  The grief of this loss suddenly overtook me and I collapsed on the ground as my tears splattered over our bench. 

 

As I knelt beside the bench weeping with head in hands, I felt a faint shift in the air around me.  I lifted my head slightly to see if perhaps Lazarus had come out to join me. As I looked up, my heart leaped into my throat and ceased beating.  My beloved Jesus stood there before me.  I rubbed my eyes to make sure it was not some trick of the rising sun, but there he was as real as he had been all those past times in prayer and even more so, he stood before me in flesh and blood. 

 

I stood and reached out to embrace him, to feel his skin on my cheek, and he opened his arms to return my embrace.  We had held each other for but a moment, when Jesus gently pulled away.  He took my face in his hands, lightly kissed me on the lips and said, “Mary, I am with you always, even until the end of time and it is time for you to come into your own power, to embrace your own Christhood.  In this, I must ascend. And, you must not cling to me so that you too may rise.  You must go to my brothers in Jerusalem to let them know I have risen and you must explain to them its meaning.”  With that he kissed me again on the mouth. “Mary, be empowered in the flame of the Shekinah, God’s Holy Spirit.”  He departed from my sight as quickly and as silently as he had arrived.

 

I stood there in silent wonder.  Even death had no power over my beloved.  As sure as he had been here just one week ago, he stood before me again.  I felt his touch, the brush of his lips on mine, the comfort of his embrace.  Just as suddenly, he was gone.  I inhaled deeply in the hopes of comprehending this experience and the cock crowed.  I remembered Simon’s denial of Jesus and was provoked by Jesus’ words, “Go to my brothers in Jerusalem.”  I ran into the house to be greeted by Martha, Salome and Lazarus’ sleepy faces.  “I have seen the Lord.  He is risen just as he said he would.”  I ran to each of them in turn, took their hands in mine, and looked into their eyes, “It is true.  He has conquered death. He came to me in the garden.  He is risen!”  As I relayed the message to their open minds and hearts, they were able to see the truth as I had witnessed it.  As a group we embraced in celebration.  “We must go to Jerusalem!  Jesus instructed me to tell his brothers there that he has been raised from the dead.”  We immediately departed for Jerusalem where we knew the Galilean disciples stayed in hiding.

Song of the Beloved – The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  copyright 2015, Lauri Ann Lumby.  Buy it HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Available NOW!

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene is available NOW in paperback and kindle versions on Amazon!  Buy it NOW! 

laurilores1.jpg

Every story is true, some of them actually happened.

Song of the Beloved is a provocative retelling of the Jesus story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.  After fourteen years of suffering the debilitating effects of trauma, Mary is healed by Jesus.  She then becomes his most enthusiastic and devoted disciple; later becoming his companion, co-minister, beloved and wife.  Designated the Magdalene, Mary is appointed to carry on Jesus’ ministry after his death.

A great work of fiction, inspired by scripture, historical documents and ancient sacred texts, Song of the Beloved provides nourishment and inspiration for those in search of a relevant Christianity – with Jesus and Mary as two who lived the fullness of the human experience while teaching us how to love.

What reviewers are saying about Song of the Beloved:

At a time when Christianity as we know it is reaping the harvest it has sown in denying the feminine, as Mary Magdalene herself was denied, Lauri Lumby offers us a devotional outpouring of that love between her and Jesus that was the foundation of his teaching and healing ministry. Rooted in the Gospels, and skillfully echoing their resonance in her use of language, she tells Mary’s story first hand by ‘being her’, embodying her passion and her memory and bringing alive the female half of Christianity that is the church’s only hope of re-integration and resurrection.

– Jay Ramsay, author of Crucible of Love—the alchemy of passionate relationships and The Poet in You.

Song of the Beloved is a vivid and deeply moving memoir that transports the reader to another time and place. While reading, I felt I was actually there, witnessing and experiencing events and feelings first hand and being filled with the golden light of love emanating from the heart of Jesus and the Magdalene.

– Toni Carmine Salerno, bestselling artist & author of Magdalene Oracle.

The phenomenon of Jesus Christ is a mystery so great it invites different ‘takes’ on it. This is a vivid and moving one written from the wise depths of the heart.

– Gabriel Bradford Millar, poet and co-founder of Poetry Stroud and Celebration of the Word.

 

 

Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Here’s Your Sneak Peek!

 

 

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene is uploaded to Amazon and will available in the next 10 days!  Below is a sneak peek! 

laurilores1.jpg

Prologue:

As I face the twilight of my life, I find myself drawn to thoughts of the past. Although I am grateful for the hospitality of the sisters of the holy isle of Avalon who have provided a home and a sanctuary for me in my dying years, and have found a great joy in their presence and our shared work, my heart still aches for the life I have known, and those I have loved.  It is of one life and one love that the holy sisters have asked me to write so that they may preserve these stories for the generations to come.  Sixty years have passed since that time but the experiences remain etched in my heart.

The life and love of which I speak belongs to the time I shared with my beloved, Jesus bar Joseph. It was through Jesus that I was healed of the demons that destroyed the innocence and wonder I had enjoyed as a child and it was through Jesus that I was restored to my original nature, remembering my Oneness with God in love.  It was also through Jesus that I discovered the calling of my soul to be a vessel of God’s love in the world, to bring healing and comfort to many and to share the Good News of God’s unconditional love.  And it was with Jesus that I first lived out this calling.  Jesus became not only my teacher, but my closest friend and companion, my partner in ministry, my beloved and my husband.

The love that Jesus offers, however, was never just for me alone. The love that Jesus embodied was for everyone and was intended to bring freedom and liberation to a world trapped in fear.  Through his words, his touch, his very presence, he acts as a mirror, showing those with eyes to see, the truth of their Divine and loving nature. In Jesus’ presence, we are empowered to remember our truest nature as beloved sons and daughters of Abwoon – the name by which Jesus calls God.  This awareness of our truest nature brings the peace and joy for which every man, woman and child hungers, and then compels us to go out into the world to be that awakening love for others as Jesus has done for us.

This is the true wonder of Jesus – not the miracles he accomplished, the stories he told or even the courage that allowed him to face death on the cross. Neither was it the resurrection. Instead, the miracle of Jesus bar Joseph is that his love transcends all fear, for all time. It is this love that beckoned me to boldly stand beside him in being an example of God’s love in the world and to courageously continue this mission despite the sword that pierced my heart on the day of his death.  It is the transforming power of his love that has raised many from suffering and darkness to discover new life.  I cherish the words he offered as comfort to me in my own times of darkness, “Do not be afraid. I am with you always, even until the end of time,” and now understand these words are meant for all of us.

Although the loss of Jesus’ physical presence has caused me great sorrow, I am filled each day with the joy of experiencing and sharing the fullness of his love. Jesus’ presence has healed me, given me comfort, guided my steps and led me to truth.  It is for this reason that he has come, not to me alone, but for the whole world – that we may all know peace and so that we may come to know the God that dwells within us and who seeks to be known in the world through our own unique giftedness and call. Much has been and will be written about Jesus’ life and teachings, but the limitations of words and perceptions prevent the fullness of Jesus’ message from being understood.  It is for the sake of this message that I bare my heart and soul, and proclaim the song of my beloved.

Mary, of the House of Lazarus, “The Magdalene”

Excerpt from Song of the Beloved, the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  Copyright 2014


Posted in About Lauri, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

My Journey with Mary Magdalene – Part 1 of 4

I can’t presume to write a novel about the life and love of Mary Magdalene without first giving credit to the 35 year journey that led me to this place. (This is Part One of a Four Part Series.  Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene coming SOON!)  This is my journey with the Magdalene!

DSCF3295

I first “met” Mary Magdalene in seventh grade music class when Miss Klosterman played for us the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.  This was the soundtrack of the original London cast featuring Ian Gillan as Jesus (later played by Ted Neely in the movie version) and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene.  To say this soundtrack changed my life would be an understatement!  Up to this point, Jesus was sitting up on a pedestal, the “Son of God” who we could pray to and whose grace we sought, but who in truth felt very far away and unapproachable.  Having been raised Catholic and attending Catholic schools, Jesus was presented as the image of perfection.  How could we, lowly humans, even presume to approach him except by gazing up to “heaven” where he sat on a throne, the image of perfection and holding up the standard of perfect human behavior? Well, Jesus Christ Superstar changed all of that.  For the first time in my life, Jesus was HUMAN.  He was vulnerable, afraid, got frustrated and angry, grew impatient and tired – just like the rest of us.  Now this was a Jesus I could relate to!  What I didn’t know at the time is that this Jesus – the human, approachable Jesus was the very Jesus that every Christian mystic had come to know in very personal and intimate ways for upwards of 2000 years.  The awareness of Jesus as a living, breathing, flawed human being opened the door for the development of a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Jesus that continues to this day.

The second thing that Jesus Christ Superstar did for me was to introduce me to an example of female discipleship.  Mary Magdalene stood beside Jesus, equal to, or perhaps even more equal, than his male disciples.  She stood so close to Jesus, in fact, that it was to Mary that he turned when tired and worn out from preaching, healing and ministering to a stiff-necked people.  Mary presented a model of presence, nurturing, support and comfort that seemed to be lacking in the male disciples.  Although Andrew Lloyd Webber didn’t go there, the tenderness and intimacy portrayed in both the theatrical and movie versions of this “rock opera” seemed to hint at the possibility that Jesus and Mary had more going on than just being teacher and student.  Again, while neither the play nor the movie portrayed it, whispering under the dialog, the interactions, the tenderness and tension, one had to wonder if there was in fact a romantic love between Mary and Jesus.  This question remained in my consciousness as a very real possibility in spite of the Catholic insistence that Jesus was single and chaste, like the priestly celibacy they were trying to uphold.

Jesus Christ Superstar continued as the model of a Jesus I wanted to know and the female disciple that stood at least equal if not more intimate than his male disciples. I turned to the soundtrack over and over and over again in search of the connection with Jesus that Mary seemed to enjoy and to come to know Mary Magdalene more fully. To this day, I can sing the entire soundtrack from beginning to end without pause….”What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happenin….what’s the buzz….tell me what’s happenin….tell me what’s happenin…” 

Stay tuned for parts 2-4! 

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, the novel, is coming soon!  Watch this blog, or subscribe to my email newsletter HERE for updates!

 

Posted in About Lauri, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

My Journey with the Magdalene – Part 2

I can’t presume to write a novel about the life and love of Mary Magdalene (learn more about the book HERE.)  without first giving credit to the 35 year journey that led me to this place. Here is part 2 of my journey with the Magdalene.  (Read Part 1 HERE.) 

DSCF3295

Fast forward fifteen years, past high school, college, work in the corporate world, and to where I was standing in the choir at the Newman Center at UW Oshkosh. The homily that particular Sunday was about “call.”  I heard the priest say, “If there is something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t done it yet….get off your butt and do it now.”  I will swear to this day that at the utterance of these words, a brick flew through the air and hit be square between the eyes.  I called a meeting with the priest, “I hate what I’m doing.  I’ve never been happy in corporate work.  I know I’m supposed to be doing something else.  I think it has to do with God, but I don’t know what that means.”  I consider this encounter my “call to active ministry” which began seven years of education and training as a Pastoral Minister and Spiritual Director and ten years of employment within the Catholic Church.  Not only did this encounter change the trajectory of my life, but through the class Integrative Spirituality with Sr. Marie Schwan, I discovered Christian Contemplative Prayer through which I found the intimate, personal, fulfilling, informing, guiding relationship with Jesus that I first glimpsed through Jesus Christ Superstar.  I discovered not only validation, but support for my inherently intuitive and contemplative nature and through these practices found tools for discernment, comfort, healing and guidance.  What I did not know in all of this was that not only would Jesus become deeply important to me, so too would Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene presented herself to me through my course in Christology. I wrote my final paper on Mary Magdalene and discovered centuries of misinformation that maligned Mary Magdalene and placed her in the role of repentant whore.  What I discovered in this research (though I think I already intuitively knew this), was that there is NO SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT for Mary as a prostitute or even as an adulterous woman.  Instead, every single scriptural reference regarding the Magdalene places her in intimate proximity to Jesus as devoted student, companion and supporter.  Even more important than all of her supporting roles, it is to Mary that the resurrected Christ appears and SHE is the one first commissioned to share the good news of the resurrection.  (read John’s gospel account of the resurrection closely and you will see where the text was altered to give Peter a more prominent role in the discovery of the resurrected Christ).  Also in this research, I discovered that even the early church gave credit to Mary Magdalene as the first witness to the resurrection and honored this truth by referring to her as “the Apostle to the Apostles.”

Stay tuned for parts 3-4. 

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, the novel, is coming soon!  Watch this blog, or subscribe to my email newsletter HERE for updates!

Posted in Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Coming this Fall!

 

A HUGE thank you to Toni Carmine Salerno for sharing his artwork and to my dear friend, Gretchen Herrmann of Primary Colors for the spectacular cover design of up my upcoming book….drum roll please…….

LauriCoverFinalPdf

Every story is true, some of them actually happened.

Song of the Beloved is a provocative retelling of the Jesus story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.  After fourteen years of suffering with the debilitating effects of trauma, Mary is healed by Jesus.  She then becomes his most enthusiastic and devoted disciple; later becoming his companion, co-minister, beloved and wife.  Designated the Magdalene, Mary is appointed to carry on Jesus’ ministry after his death.

A great work of fiction, inspired by scripture, historical documents and ancient sacred texts, Song of the Beloved provides nourishment and inspiration for those in search of a relevant Christianity – with Jesus and Mary as two who lived the fullness of the human experience while teaching us how to love.

 

Song of the Beloved is a vivid and deeply moving memoir that transports the reader to another time and place. While reading, I felt I was actually there, witnessing and experiencing events and feelings first hand and being filled with the golden light of love emanating from the heart of Jesus and the Magdalene. – Toni Carmine Salerno, bestselling artist & author of Magdalene Oracle.

 

Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Song of the Beloved

Song of the Beloved – Coming this Fall

Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene

Coming this Fall!

In anticipation of the Fall 2014 release of Song of the Beloved, I am sharing with you a note to the readers laying out the genre of this much awaited book.  Hint:  IT IS FICTION!  PERIOD!  🙂

"The Magdalene" by Toni Carmine Salerno
“The Magdalene” by Toni Carmine Salerno

A Note to the Reader

 Midrash:  (from “to study” or “to investigate”) designates an exegesis which, going more deeply than the mere literal sense, attempts to penetrate into the spirit of the Scriptures, to examine the text from all sides, and thereby to derive interpretations which are not immediately obvious.                                                                                                                          jewishencyclopedia.com

Parable: signifies in general a comparison, or a parallel, by which one thing is used to illustrate another. It is a likeness taken from the sphere of real, or sensible, or earthly incidents, in order to convey an ideal, or spiritual, or heavenly meaning.  Parable indicates a deliberate “making up” of a story in which some lesson is at once given and concealed.  –   Catholic Encyclopedia

 

As one of my teachers, Jeff VandenHeuvel used to say, “Every story is true, some of them actually happened.”  This is certainly the case with Song of the Beloved –The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  While inspired by scripture, historical documents and other sacred texts, this story is a work of fiction – period. If I were to define its literary genre, I would suggest that it falls somewhere between midrash and parable.  As such, many readers will find within this novel things that resonate with them as deeply true.  For others, this book will provoke, confront and challenge.  My invitation to you, the reader, is to approach this book with an open heart and an open mind, embracing that which speaks to you as truth, while disregarding the rest.  If you get hung up on the details, it may help you to know that my intention is not to present a historically accurate, or scientifically verifiable document, but to express what it may have been like for Mary Magdalene to have been in the presence of and walked in the footsteps of Jesus. This perspective was born completely out of my own imagination while being true to the personal relationship that I have found with Jesus and the Magdalene through meditation and prayer. I hold the spirit of this novel to be true, regardless of whether any of it actually happened.

Lauri Ann Lumby, author