Holy Thursday through the eyes of the Magdalene

On the Christian calendar, today is Holy Thursday, the day we commemorate the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples, and the evening he spent in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying for the strength to remain strong in the truth God had revealed to him.  In honor of this holy day, I share with you an excerpt from my, as yet unreleased novel, Song of the Beloved – Jesus through the eyes of the Magdalene.  I hope you find this reflection meaningful and supportive of your own Holy Week observance.

supper1

 

In Mary’s words:

On the evening of the third day of the week, Jesus shared the Passover meal with the Galilean men. We had already celebrated our final meal together and as Jesus had communicated to me in prayer, Jerusalem had become too dangerous for us to join them for the Passover observance. “Mary, I have called you Magdalene for a reason. As the great tower, you must remain as a beacon of truth for those who have eyes to see and hearts open to enjoying the fullness of God’s love, and a mirror for all who long for that which they cannot name. Should I perish, you will need to carry out my mission of love – one that they will never expect from a woman – and the House of Lazarus must be protected so that it may support you in this mission.” While I wanted nothing more than to be by his side, I remained in Bethany where Martha, Mother Mary, Salome, Lazarus and I gathered in prayer. Mary’s brother Joseph was expected to join us the following day. In Bethany we held prayerful vigil as the events in Jerusalem took form.

 

After finishing their Passover meal, Jesus sought time for his own prayer and preparation. Feeling imprisoned in the Upper Room, Jesus invited John and James to accompany him to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ favorite site within the city walls. Simon stood up in protest, “John is but a boy and James will not be enough to keep you safe. Let me go along with you.” Jesus accepted his offer in hopes that Simon, too, could join him in prayer and that in these final moments he might find the softness of heart that had, at this point, eluded him. So under the cover of darkness, Jesus, John, James and Simon stole from the Upper Room and found their way to Gethsemane.

Jesus garden

 

For the first time, Jesus’ companions saw the vulnerability of the man they called Master – the kind of vulnerability that up to this time, Jesus had only shared with me. From my place of prayer, I felt within me the moment that my beloved Jesus fell to his knees in earnest supplication to God. As if sitting beside my beloved – or rather, within him, I felt his pain and saw his companions’ response. As Jesus’ heart tore open and he uttered his first plea to Abwoon, “Take this cup away from me.” Simon turned away. He could not bear the sight of his teacher in this desperate and weakened state. Confused by a mixture of revulsion and the tug of his own fears, Simon began to walk away. Just as he turned, Jesus called out to him, “Simon, you will deny me. I tell you, before the cock crows on the fifth day, three times you will deny me.” With this proclamation, my beloved looked deep into Simon’s eyes, deep into his soul and I felt Simon look away in shame as he realized the truth of Jesus’ words. Simon stumbled through the dusk and sank to his knees beneath an ancient olive tree, where he shed his own tears of grief and shame.

 

Jesus began to beg and plead with Our Lord, “Abwoon, I’ve done everything you’ve asked of me. This is a hard-hearted people and many refuse to see the light of truth. Must I be punished for the sake of a few? Am I a worthy sacrifice for their blindness? Are you so cruel – crueler to me than you were to Isaac? You spared Isaac, now prove your love and spare me!”

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James looked on as his younger brother groveled before our Lord. A proud and haughty man, filled with vanity over his own faith and adherence to Hebrew law, he could not tolerate his brother’s lack of faith. He strode over, slapped Jesus hard across the face, “Snap out of it brother. Show some dignity. If you are as special as mother always said you were, God will rescue you from the hands of your accusers.”

 

Jesus looked back with fire in his eyes – the kind of fire known only between siblings. “Oh you would love for me to die on the cross – to show the world that you have always been the favored one, and to take your role as leader, wouldn’t you? I’ll tell you what James, take the role as leader, I don’t want it. It is yours!” James turned his back on his brother and walked away in a huff.

 

All that remained was John – soft-spoken and gentle John, with the depth of kindness in his eyes. He gingerly approached his brother Jesus, knelt down beside him and placed his hand gently on his shoulder. “I am here brother. I will not leave you alone in this. Do not despair. God will somehow work the good in all this.” With tears streaming down his face, Jesus looked deeply into John’s eyes and saw in his light-filled irises, the depth of his compassion and love.

 

For what seemed like hours, Jesus poured out his fear, bargaining with God, pleading and begging, screaming and ranting with God for his cruelty. Finally, just before dawn when he had emptied himself of all that lay within him, he sighed and said, “Not my will but your own. Let it be done to me as you will.” A sense of peaceful surrender, if not resignation, took over his countenance.

 

At the moment of Jesus’ surrender, James began shouting from somewhere near the entrance to the garden, “Soldiers – Roman soldiers and temple guards – brother.” In haste Jesus and John rose to their feet as the sound of soldiers’ boots echoed across the garden. Simon was startled out of his sleep and drew his sword. He took his place of defense in front of Jesus and was ready to strike. “Simon, put down your sword,” Jesus pleaded, “or they will kill you too.”   I saw the soldiers enter the clearing dragging Judas by the nape of the neck. The soldiers held their grip on the struggling Judas, and he was no match for their weapons or their strength. The soldiers threw Judas at Jesus’ feet. “Show us the one they call King of the Jews,” they sneered.Judas slowly pulled himself up, shaking in fear and hanging his head in shame. The soldiers who had taken the bribe at the temple gates knew Judas to be one of Jesus’ followers and fingered him as one to follow if Jesus was to be found. He had been discovered at the market while procuring provisions for the disciples who remained hidden in the Upper Room. The soldiers captured him, and upon threat of death, forced him to lead them to Jesus.   Judas approached Jesus, kissed him on the cheek and with tear soaked eyes whispered, “Forgive me Lord. I had no choice.” Jesus embraced him, “Judas, there is nothing to forgive. All is as it should be. Remember that you are love.” Without ceremony, the soldiers wrenched Jesus from Judas’ embrace, quickly bound his hands behind him and marched him out of the garden to the streets of Jerusalem.

Jesusarrest2

 

Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Meditation Supplement

NOTE:  If you find these resources to be meaningful and supportive of your spiritual growth and personal development, please consider supporting Authentic Freedom Ministries through your financial support.  Donations can be made using the DONATE button to the right.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

Easter Sunday 2014

 

 

Scripture Reading:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”  Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb.  The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.  Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.  Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”  When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20: 1-18

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Additional Readings:

Acts 10: 34a, 37-43

Ps 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23

COL 3: 1-4

 

The First Apostle

The gospel is clear, Mary Magdalene is the first to witness the risen Christ and the first one sent to deliver the “good news.” As such, Mary Magdalene is the first Apostle and was in fact, The Apostle to the Apostles.  

Much doctrine has been constructed in an attempt to give explanation and meaning to the resurrection, but the fact remains, the resurrection is a mystery. We cannot, with reason or logic, explain what actually happened, what Mary (and eventually the other disciples) really experienced or what the significance of the resurrection might be.

As to what Mary saw and how, Jean-Yves LeLoup , in his translation of and commentary on the Gospel of Mary (2002, Inner Traditions), offers a clue:

Mary said to them: “I will now speak to you of that which has not been given to you to hear. I had a vision of the Teacher, and I said to him: ‘Lord, I see you now in this vision.’ And he answered: ‘You are blessed, for the sight of me does not disturb you. There where is the nous, lies the treasure.’ Then I said to him: ‘Lord, when someone meets you in a Moment of vision, is it through the soul that they see, or is it through the Spirit?’ The Teacher answered, ‘ It is neither through the soul nor the Spirit, but the nous between the two which sees the vision…’”                  Mary: 10: 7-25

In the Gospel of Mary, the nous is presented as the intermediary between the embodied self and the Holy Spirit; here interpreted as a unique collaboration between intellect, intuition and imagination, in connection with the Divine. Only those who have reached the level of anthropos (transcendence of duality and full integration of masculine/feminine, human/divine), were said to be able to see in this way. In this, LeLoup reveals the extent of Mary’s spiritual development and how she was able to be witness to the resurrection in a way, initially, only accessible to her.

Whether or not the resurrection was a literal event, the meaning to the disciples cannot be mistaken. The resurrection compelled the disciples to move beyond the death of their teacher into a new life, completely unknown to them before this time. They did not return to fishing or tax-collecting. Instead, the disciples went out to share the news of the resurrection along with the teachings of Christ what would empower others to enjoy the promise of new life. For the disciples, the resurrection became the catalyst through which they were able to believe the higher teachings of Jesus and through which they were empowered to share these teachings with others.

 

What are your beliefs about the resurrection?

How has the resurrection of Christ empowered you to look for the new life in every loss, disappointment and death you experience?

 

Spiritual Practices:

With this week’s scripture, you are invited to participate in an exercise in Imagination/contemplation.

  1. Slowly and meditatively read the above scripture from John’s Gospel.
  2. Re-read the story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene.
  3. Now, place yourself within the story as if you ARE Mary. Allow the story to unfold within your imagination, as in a daydream. Imagine every detail, the weather, what you are wearing, what you are feeling, the tomb and its surroundings. Do not censor your imagination as the story unfolds in your mind.
  4. After you have allowed the story to unfold in your mind and come to a natural conclusion, write the story in your journal or notebook, allowing additional details to surface as you write. Honor whatever comes through in your writing.
  5. After you have finished writing, go back and read what you wrote.
  6. Reflect on the story that emerged through your daydreaming and writing. How is the story that unfolded for you reflective of something going on in your own life? What might God be communicating to you through the unique story that emerged in your imagination? What is the guidance, comfort, support or nourishment you received from God through your story?

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom we talk about the many ways in which God seeks to reveal truth to us – through opportunities for learning, intuition, dreams, daydreams, through our everyday life-experiences, synchronicities, our visual sight, spiritual sight, and through our active imagination. The gospel accounts of the empty tomb, invite us to explore, once again, these vehicles for truth, and to explore the topic of belief. It is one thing to have an experience of truth being revealed, it is another thing to believe that what we are experiencing is true. As the disciples struggled to believe Mary’s vision, and then doubted when Jesus appeared before them, we too doubt the truths that are revealed to us. The invitation during these times of doubt is to turn to God for assistance and support. When I am plagued with doubt, I use the following mantra to open to God’s support:

 

Lord, help me in my unbelief.

 

 

How has God revealed truth to you?

 

Where have you struggled to believe the truth God has revealed?

 

When have you struggled with doubt?

 

How might you employ the mantra above as a tool to help you during periods of doubt?

 

 

Catholic Woman Shamanic Priest?

Why Are We Here?

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you found yourself here because you are searching for meaning, purpose, fulfillment and connection in your life. Additionally, you most likely find yourself haunted with a desire to do something to contribute to the betterment of our world.  In short, you were born a Changemaker and the Divine in you is urging you to do something about it.  I’m here because I’m a lot like you and because the Divine in me continues to urge me to speak to the process that brings us into the fullness of our Divine mission, quite often through my own journey of realization and self-actualization.

What Does This Have to Do with Lent?

As I write this, we are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week – the time on the Christian calendar when we journey with Jesus through the final days and hours of his life.  I know it’s no longer fashionable to call ourselves Christian, and this is especially true for those that were raised Catholic (or any other Christian denomination) and who currently find themselves either on the fringe our outside the Church all together.  It’s way cooler to be Buddhist or some sort of Western version of neo-Hinduism, or even better, agnostic or atheist. But, in my journey of being raised Catholic, becoming disillusioned with Institutional religion and eventually realizing I no longer felt welcome in the Church where I had been worshipping, Jesus NEVER came into question.  In fact, my relationship with Jesus only deepened and my faith in God became stronger.  Why?  Because the Jesus I have come to know is one of the greatest men to ever walk the earth, and from a Western, rational, pragmatic, logical and reasonable perspective, he is the perfect model for the rest of us on how to become fully human and to realize the fullness of our Divine call.  I look to Jesus during Lent, not as the sacrificial lamb, but as the perfect example of how to transcend the fears that prevent us from realizing our greatest potential.

Women and Shamans and Priests?  Oh My!

Here’s the my journey helping you with your journey part.  :)  I have already written much about my journey toward embracing my call to be priest and have accepted that call (in part) through the launch of the Virtual Church.  I naively thought that with this revelation, I was done….in my truth….living the fullness of my call.  HA! HA!  God,  apparently has something else up her sleeve!  I’m still in midst of allowing all the pieces to come together but suffice it to say that apparently it isn’t weird enough to be a woman, raised Catholic, with a call to the priesthood.  Just to make things even more strange, God has included some sort of shamanistic call into the mix.  Thanks to my PhD studies at the university I have come to affectionately refer to as “Hogwarts,” I have learned that for YEARS I have been undertaking shamanic journeys and I didn’t even know it!  Specific experiences I have had, usually accompanied by certain types of music, are apparently shamanistic in nature and not simply a product of my imagination or the fruits of contemplative prayer.   Instead, as I learn the traditional hallmarks of a shamanistic call, I find that I fit every one:

  • Able to achieve alternate states of consciousness at will.
  • Called to make a lifetime commitment of service to the community.
  • A mediator between the sacred and the secular.
  • Emerge where and when there is a need and called forth by the community.

Then there is the final proof of a shamanistic call, that when someone looks into the eyes of a shaman, they either choose to stay and grow, or they run away in fear.  I can tell you, this particular quality makes for some really interesting human encounters.

Bipolar Disorder-Windows to the Soul

 

What Does it Mean Jelly Bean?

In truth, I don’t really know what it all means.  As a species, we are in the midst of a significant period of evolution and change (which some might call ascension), and I think that all Changemakers are experiencing an enormous amount of flux – being hurled into the unknown, clutching a trail of clues in our hands, but having no idea what they mean or how we are being called to use them.  For myself personally, I am aware of the clues - pieces that have to do with Jesus, being raised Catholic, priesthood, some sort of shamanistic call, something that has to do with my Irish ancestry, gifts of counsel, discernment, writing, teaching, healing and leadership, all rooted in my unique reformer/recovering perfectionist/introverted/thriving on order and routine/intuitive/empathic temperament, but I have no idea what it will all look like.  So, again, in the spirit of Lent and Jesus’ journey toward the cross, I take up my own cross of HAVING NO FLIPPING IDEA, facing the fears of all the unknowns, and turning it all over to God.  My mantra for the past 6 months has been,”Let it be done to me according to your word.”  In the spirit of Lent, I change that to:

“Into your hands I commend my Spirit!”

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What is the unknown you currently find yourself facing?

What are the clues that might be part of your Divine call?

What are the fears that surface in connection with that call?

How can Jesus be a model for you of how to move through your fears and enjoy the fullness of you Divine call?

 

Re-Framing Jesus’ Death

Jesus died for our sins?

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week.  On this day, Passion Sunday, we reflect on Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, juxtaposed against the heightened tension around his teachings, his eventual trial and death by crucifixion. Having been raised Catholic, this was the time of year when we were vigorously reminded that, “Jesus died for our sins,” as we stood with heads bowed, striking our breasts in self-flagellation while chanting mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Jesus was portrayed as the sacrificial lamb that was sent here to be slaughtered in reparation for our sins.  While I have found personal comfort in praying with Jesus through his trial, crucifixion and death (allowing myself to experience the reality of Jesus’ suffering, thereby finding in him a companion in my humanness) I cannot reconcile the God of love that I have come to know with a god who would send his own son to die.

Was it really necessary?

While I acknowledge that the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection and eventual ascension ushered in a dramatic shift in the spiritual evolution of our planet, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if humanity hadn’t gotten in the way of the amazing message Jesus came to reveal.  It seems to me that Jesus could have been raised from the dead and ascended into heaven without the violence of the crucifixion.  Jesus crucifixion seems wrong, untimely and unnecessary.  While God revealed a higher good in Jesus’ untimely death, I have a hard time believing it was really part of God’s plan. I often wonder if God thought, “Darn it, they missed the point again!  I send them prophet after prophet after prophet to help them understand how much they are loved and instead of receiving my love, they turn against my prophets in fear! When will they learn?” As a result of these quandaries, I have a really hard time upholding the idea that Jesus died for our sins – at least not in the way it was presented to me growing up.   Instead, I have come to approach Jesus’ cruel death by crucifixion from another perspective.

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Another Perspective.

The turning point for me was diligent prayer and meditation on John’s gospel, and at least a million viewings or listenings of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEzEROSj11Q

In Jesus Christ Superstar, in the scene of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, we hear the following exchange:

Pilate:  Then you are a king?

Jesus:  It’s you that say I am.  I look for truth and find that I get damned.

Pilate: But what is truth?  Is truth unchanging law?  We both have truths.  Are mine the same as yours?

In John’s gospel, Jesus reveals the truth that he proclaims will set us free (John 8: 32) – the truth that he came to know within himself and the truth he lived by and tried to share with others.   Jesus came to know the truth of his Oneness with God in love (John 17: 17-23). Through this Oneness, Jesus found the remedy to the fears that are the cause of our sinful behaviors and the path toward our spiritual freedom.  This is the “I Am” truth that Jesus discovered.  This was the truth he tried to help others understand. Knowing, cultivating and embracing this truth is what saves us from the fears that are the ultimate cause of our sins.  So, yes, we can say that Jesus died for our sins, but not as a consequence of our sins, but for the sake of the truth that will heal us from our sin.

The Truth that kills

This truth that Jesus believed, the truth in his Oneness with God, is a dangerous truth.  It is because of this truth that Jesus was killed because it is a truth that seriously threatened the religious and political authorities of his time. If people find the God within and find peace in their Oneness with God and are no longer controlled by their fears, how will the outside perceived political and religious authorities be able to control and manipulate them? If people have found their Oneness with God, then what need do they have for an institution to intervene with a fickle god on their behalf?  If we are truly One with God in love, then what need do we have of the sacrifices and observances that have been put in place to appease an angry God or earn our way back into God’s good graces?  Jesus came to know and taught of a God that loves without condition – who loves us without merit and whose love does not have to be earned, neither can it be denied.  And to the religious and political authorities, a people who believed in their inherent goodness, who knew they were loved beyond measure and who could reason, discern and exercise truth for themselves, was a dangerous lot. It was ultimately his insistence in this truth that got Jesus killed, the truth that frees us from our sin.  As such, I prefer not to say that Jesus died for our sins. Instead, I prefer to acknowledge that Jesus died for the truth.

How would your life change if you believed that you were One with God in love?

How would your life be altered if you believed in your inherent goodness and that you are not only loved without condition, but that you are love itself?

How might your Holy Week observance change if you saw Jesus’ death as a consequence of standing in the truth of love instead of in reparation for sin?

 

Earth Changes – Hang on to your Hat!

  • Are you feeling a profound intensity in the world right now?
  • Are you observing an increase in stress, irritability, pressure?
  • Are you or your loved ones feeling ornery, snipping and snarking at each other?
  • Is time feeling rushed, compressed?
  • Do the things around you seem to be GRINDING TO A HALT, falling completely away or significantly changing in form?
  • Are you finding yourself longing to STAY HOME and in direct contrast, wanting to GO OUT, but only with people and in places that feel “safe” to you?
  • Have you had trouble sleeping or if you are sleeping, finding your sleep filled with intense and sometimes anxious dreams, leaving you tired and worn out in the morning?
  • Are you wanting to nap, nap, nap?
  • Are you worried about or at least wondering about the chaotic and ridiculous events going on in the political world?
  • Are you worried or wondering about the dramatic and often violent weather patterns?

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If any of the above resonate as true for you, you are observing what I have come to call, “Earth changes.”  Some refer to these “symptoms” as part of the current human evolutionary journey of ascension.  Whatever you call it, it is difficult to deny that SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT is happening.  There are a million and one websites that can give you the scoop in intimate detail (My favorites are Think With Your Heart, Power Path, Solara and Spirit Library).  I will leave them to the details.  Here is the message I want to share with you today as a source of support for you as you navigate these interesting waters!

INTENSE INTENSE INTENSE is the word that Power Path gave to the month of April, and I could not agree more.  Holy cow!  ENORMOUS transformational opportunities (for me it seems to be all about bats, priesthood and shamanism – who ever heard of a Catholic Woman Shamanistic Priest?????….more on that later!).  But I digress.  The energy this month is INTENSE and it is firmly anchored in its intensity by a plethora of powerfully significant astrological events!  (again, I’ll leave the details to the experts).  While all of this intensity is going on and I’m watching it come out sideways in my children, and hearing about the chaos from my clients, I am actually feeling pretty calm, cool and collected (except for the tiny matter of bats who keep finding their way into my house….sigh!).  Of course, as soon as I say this, my Irish is looking over her shoulder for the shoe to drop.  Mind you, it is not as if I haven’t been tempted by fear, doubts, concerns over money, work, school, etc., and I am concerned about the ridiculous political events going on in the world, and I’m worried about the death and destruction brought on by the currently violent weather patterns.  But, I am feeling surprisingly peaceful in the midst of it.  I sat down this morning to ponder this….wondering what I am doing that is helping me to feel calm in the midst of the chaos and intensity of April and I identified a few things that I think might provide you with some inspiration and support as you too try to navigate this INTENSITY.  So….here is what I have found to be helpful and supportive in helping me stay peaceful in the midst of the insanity:

1) My spiritual practice.  I can’t say enough about this!  The first thing I do every day is give time to my spiritual practice.  Scripture.  Meditation practice.  Some sacred music. Journaling if I feel so called. I have found that what I give to God in my practice, I receive back a hundred-fold.

2) BOUNDARIES. I have become diligent and somewhat militant about identifying and setting boundaries for myself and around inter-personal relationships.  I listen to my gut and if there is a “disturbance in the force,” I find out what that is and respond to it.  I say no when I mean no and yes, only when I am certain of the yes.  And for me, “maybe” means no (or not yet). I have learned time and time again the truth of the advice my spiritual once gave to me, “The most loving thing you can do for those you love, is to do what is most loving for yourself!”

3) Making room for EASE.  As a type-A, overachiever, workaholic, recovering perfectionist, my life has been defined by my work.  In this time of intensity, I am finding it supportive to MAKE ROOM FOR EASE.  Doing things simply for the sake of enjoyment.  Taking a nap when so-called.  Sitting and simply being and doing nothing.  Ceasing from striving.  In this, I feel my life opening up, the time around me becoming more expansive and in this space, I CAN BREATHE!

4) GET OUTSIDE!  For me, this has meant making the best of the late arrival of spring to get in the gardens, and to make my yard a sacred space (more on that later too!).  Getting my hands in the soil (no gloves for me….I love the feel of dirt!), planting seeds, making my yard a beautiful space, all has helped me to feel grounded and whole.  And, there is an enormous feeling of satisfaction after accomplishing a job well-done, that just happens to also be creative and joyful!

5) Be with the people you love.  And finally, setting time aside to be with the people I love and making this a priority.  I am suddenly finding myself wanting to meet more friends for coffee, having friends over for dinner, meet friends out at fundraisers and philanthropic events.  Friends friends friends and lots of love.  In the end, I think this piece is all about surrounding ourselves with love and through this magnifying its effects.  After all…..if these earth changes are about anything, they are about TURNING THE WORLD TO LOVE.

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Hang on to your hat as we ride the waves of intensity which are helping to support the birth of a new earth and a new experience of life on this planet.  And in the meantime, I hope some of the above help you to find the calm in the midst of the storm.

 

All love,

 

Lauri Lumby

Catholic Woman Shamanic Priest ;)

 

 

 

Virtual Church Service – Holy Week Retreat

This coming Sunday, April 13, 2014, marks the beginning of Holy Week with Passion Sunday.  During this week, we recall the final days of Jesus’ life, leading up to the observance of his death by crucifixion on Good Friday.  In preparation for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, we pause to remember the very human Jesus who faced the pain of betrayal, the temptation of doubt and the very real human fear of suffering and death. We also have an opportunity to witness the tools that Jesus used to help him continue through the worst of human experiences, and to learn through his example. Holy Week is a terrific time to remember Jesus as an example of what it means to be fully human so that we can grow in our ability and comfort with our own humanness. 

Maryanointsjesus

In the spirit of Holy Week, instead of offering a traditional service, I have created a Holy Week Retreat experience.  I am inviting you to set aside 1-2 hours this week to enter into your own Holy Week Retreat using the resources provided on the Weekly Service page. Please go to the “Weekly Service” page HERE for your video instructions and appropriate links in support of your retreat.  You may wish to divide the experience into two or three parts:

1) scripture reading

2) music meditation activity

3) processing the above meditation through journaling, etc.

I hope you find this retreat experience rewarding and an appropriate way to prepare for the celebration of Easter.

Remember, if you find these services helpful and supportive of your spiritual journey and inner growth, consider supporting Authentic Freedom Ministries through a financial donation. 

Book Review: The Hero’s Journey

As a lifelong student of religion, spirituality and psychology, I have long been a fan of Joseph Campbell.  Passionate about the process through which human beings become self-actualized, I have found enormous value in “The Hero’s Journey,” the archetypal roadmap that emerged out of Campbell’s lifelong fascination with and study of myth.  In acquiring this roadmap, Campbell demonstrated to the world the universal longing to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment, what to expect when attempting to satisfy this longing, and the way in which every culture has communicated this process through their respective stories.  In providing the map for individuation, Campbell brings us together through the revelation of our common story.

Click on image to order

Click on image to order

 

In The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, (New World Library, 2014) I had an opportunity, for the first time, to see beyond Joseph Campbell, the mythologist and the legend, to Joseph Campbell, the man.  In this delightful collection of archival interviews, Joseph Campbell’s life is presented within the framework of his own creation – “The Hero’s Journey.”  In his own words, Campbell reveals the story of his life and demonstrates his own journey toward self-actualization, proving that self-actualization is possible and what, indeed, it looks like.  In this collection, the reader will find in Campbell, an inquiring youth, a passionate student, a competitive athlete, a “man’s man,” a consummate scholar and researcher, a voracious reader, an enthusiastic teacher, a loving and adoring husband, a wise observer of humanity, a man driven by his curiosity, and an endearing and generous self-fulfilled human being.   Campbell’s life proves that the journey toward self-actualization unfolds on its own and is facilitated by our ability to observe and accept the subtle “call to adventure” and that self-actualization is defined by the gift that you bring to humanity, not how much money, power or status you have acquired along the way.

 

Lauri Ann Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com