A Modern Priesthood

Proposing a new model of what it means to be “Priest”

For the past 2000-5000 years, priesthood (across religions) has meant one thing: a position of power and authority held by men acting as an intermediary between the undeserving flock and their god. These men have given themselves the power to interpret the word of their god and to dictate doctrine around their interpretation of that word.  They have appointed themselves determiners of who is saved and who is not and have created rituals and practices to be observed by the undeserving so that they might earn the “love” of a jealous and fickle god and therefore their heavenly reward after death.  These men have used the threat of eternal damnation to manipulate those they “serve” and have benefited from a culture based in fear. These men have been held as separate, more important and more powerful than the people they “serve” and have benefited from this separation, given places of honor and becoming rich on the backs of those who are expected to pay, pray and obey.

Whereas not every man who has followed the call to be “priest” (or woman who has taken on this kind of priesthood) has lived their priesthood in this way, all are complicit in a culture and a structure that places one in a position of power over those they are meant to serve. The current structure of the priesthood – especially as it is expressed in the Catholic Church in which I was raised, is a culture of (often white) privilege rooted in separation lived out through power and control.  I can’t help but believe that this is not what Jesus had in mind.  In fact, it seemed that Jesus spoke openly against those who placed themselves in positions of authority and who lauded their power over others.  Instead, Jesus provided a completely different model of what priesthood might be which seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way.

In order to understand the kind of priesthood that Jesus lived and then modeled for those who spent time in his company, we don’t have to look very far. Scripture is quite clear about the priesthood that Jesus embodied – one of healing, comforting, teaching and empowering with Jesus hanging out, not at the top of the pyramid, but at the bottom of an inverted triangle upholding and uplifting those he sought to serve.  In this, Jesus created a container in which those to whom he ministered might be supported in doing what Jesus did – coming to know themselves as One with God in love, and in this oneness coming to know their own unique giftedness and then supported and empowered in the development of and then sharing of these gifts – for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.

The heart – an inverted triangle!

This is the priesthood that Jesus embodied and the priesthood that Mary Magdalene was empowered to embrace. When we turn to those scriptures that didn’t make the cut of the emerging hierarchical/patriarchal institution that became Christianity, we clearly see Mary in this role:  comforting, healing, teaching and empowering the other disciples to go forth and continue the work that Jesus empowered them to do.  In this, Mary was living not as a priest within an institutional church, but as High Priest in the spirit of the ancient tradition of mystery schools which served to support women and men in achieving the fullness of their personal, psychological, emotional and spiritual development.  In short, Mary, like Jesus, did the work to support what modern-day psychologists call self-actualization.

What would our world look like if we lived priesthood in this way – coming to know our own self-actualization and then empowering others to do the same?

If this model of priesthood speaks to you, check out the Magdalene Priestess Training by clicking on the image below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A New Rosary for a New World

Click on the image above to register for this FREE course.

The rosary is a traditional Catholic devotion and mantra meditation/prayer using a specific formation of (mala) beads. The intention of rosary prayer is to attune our hearts and minds to that of Mother Mary (who among other titles is called “Divine Mother” in the Catholic tradition), and to invite her intercession in our lives.  If you were raised Catholic, you are familiar with this meditation/prayer practice.

Praying the rosary is a beautiful way to cultivate peace in our minds and in our hearts. Through rote repetition, meditation on the words and phrases and through the tactile sensation produced by moving our fingers from bead to bead, we are brought out of our restless minds and into the peace that dwells within our own Immaculate Hearts (another title for Mother Mary).

Since the time that Mother Mary imparted the rosary practice on St. Dominic (1214), millions, perhaps billions, of people have devoted themselves to its practice. In every Marian apparition since, Mary has implored her children to pray the rosary for the sake of peace in our world.  What the recipients of the Marian apparitions didn’t realize was that it was their own inner peace Mary was referring to, with the larger vision that peace in our world is dependent on people finding peace in their own hearts first.

While the rosary continues to be honored as sacred among devout, practicing Catholics, for many who were raised Catholic but no longer consider themselves part of the Church, the rosary often falls into disuse. The reason many give is that they can no longer utter prayers that speak of the separation out of which the Catholic Church was born.  Instead, they are looking for more inclusive images of the Divine, and for belief in a Divine whose love does not have to be earned, and one who loves without condition – the Divine about whom Jesus spoke.

It is for these people that Our Blessed Mother imparts a new rosary – a rosary that speaks of inclusion, that honors all images of the Divine as sacred, that recognizes the Divine that dwells within us and seeks to be known in the world through us. Mary asks that the new intention of the rosary be for the purposes of:

  • Cultivating our own inner peace.
  • Attuning our minds and hearts to the Divine (in whatever form we experience it).
  • That we offer ourselves to be vessels through which Divine love and the Divine purpose of love be made manifest in our world.

As we pray the new rosary, Mother Mary offers her loving guidance and support so that we might fulfill the purpose the Divine has set forth for us – as she was able to do in her own life. In addition, all those saints who went before us and who dedicated themselves to the Mother offer their support as well, including:  Bernadette Soubirous, Catherine of Siena, Catherine Laboure, Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Therese Lisieux, Edith Stein, Dorothy Day, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Thank you for your dedication to this practice and through your intercession, changing our world from fear into love!

Click HERE to register for this FREE course!

From Mother Mary through me to you!

Lauri Ann Lumby,

Modern Magdalene Priestess

 

Honoring Mary Magdalene

Today, July 22nd, has been designated The Feast of Mary Magdalene by the Catholic Church.  Please join us in celebrating this amazing woman who became the fulfillment of Jesus’ message of love.  Please join us for the FREE online service which you may participate in anytime between now and July 20th.  Click on the image below to join:

Click on image to register

Click on image to register

Please also enjoy this beautiful reflection on Mary Magdalene and her feast day from my friend and fellow-Magdalene, Kathy Walczyk:

Last month the pope uplifted Mary Magdalene. He officially elevated the day of her memorial to a full Feast Day in the Catholic Church. In making this change, the pope calls her an apostle to the apostles.

In a letter announcing the change, a Vatican secretary wrote, this decision means one “should reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the New Evangelization, and the greatness of the mystery of Divine Mercy.”

We get a glimpse of Mary Magdalene through the male writers of the gospel. What would women writers have said about her? About Jesus? What would Mary say to us, today, if she could speak?

Mary Magdalene: She walked upright, with dignity when she was with him. She carried her own light as she walked alongside of Jesus. When she was with him she was included and worthy of discipleship. Like others treated as second-class citizens, Jesus uplifted those deemed unworthy by society and by religion. Was she ridiculed and judged? Was she allowed to speak, and did she ask questions?

She followed him to the cross and stayed, when the others had left. She watched him suffer for she knew what it was like to suffer. She watched eyes look upon him in judgment, for she knew the look of judgment herself.

Did she sleep that night, the night after Jesus died? Was she afraid, alone, or in shock? What gave her the courage to risk the journey to the tomb?

At the tomb, was it tears that clouded her vision or was it the heartache of loosing her teacher, her friend, her savior? What was it that made it difficult to recognize his face? Jesus called her by her name, Mary. What if, it were one of us there with Jesus after he had risen? If he called our name, what would awaken inside of us? Would we recognize him?

She went on her way to deliver his message and her testimony. Did the others believe her? Did she run with excitement or walk with trepidation? Did the soldiers try to stop her?

We do not know what became of Mary Magdalene. Without Jesus’s earthly presence, did the others include her, uplift her, and give her responsibility worthy of her calling? Did she continue to walk in dignity and with purpose?

Today we read of Jesus’ choice in Mary. He elevated her not by curing illness but by asking her to serve his people. She is today’s example. She is an inspiration to people called to go the extra mile, to stay when others leave, to go against the grain, to seek out what we cannot yet see and to believe despite our disbelief.

 

KathyWalczykKathy Walczyk’s specialty is challenging you to see your beauty and potential. She facilitates this discovery by supporting your spiritual growth through one-on-one mentoring and group classes.  The tools she utilizes include Authentic Freedom and creative expression, including photography.  Kathy is also an advocate for spiritual responses to trauma – specifically clergy sexual abuse.  Her undergraduate is in Art and Photography and she hold a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies and Pastoral Ministry.  She has completed extensive study in the areas of spirituality, sexuality, trauma, and healing.  She lives and work in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Kathy can be reached at wals4@aol.com or (920) 609-2657.  Her website is www.spiritualmiddleground.com