Temple of the Magdalene Priestess Training Program

Temple of the Magdalene Priestess Training Program
Format:  50 weeks of coursework plus 5 one-on-one sessions with Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS, course creator and facilitator:


Through the Magdalene Priestess Training, we hope to restore women to their rightful place within Jesus’ vision for humanity as empowered individuals fully living out both their Divine and Human natures as love.  The Magdalene Priestess Training continues the work of the Magdalene/Christ by empowering you to live out the fullness of your unique giftedness – both for the sake of your own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.

 

Magdalene Priestess Training may be completed in 52 weeks (or at your pace) and includes 50 weeks of coursework plus 5 one-on-one sessions with Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM,MATS, course creator and facilitator.

Included Coursework (if you have taken any of these courses, contact Lauri to have your course fee applied):

Resurrecting the Magdalene– 6 weeks

The purpose of this course is to reveal and share in the deeper and hidden truths about the Magdalene and her time with Jesus; including her roles as student, initiate, co-equal partner, wife, facilitator and witness to the resurrection, and the one sent to continue Jesus’ mission of being love in the world.  Participants are empowered through the course to reclaim their own Divine Feminine and are activated to be a vessel of Divine Love in the world.

What is Your Magic?– 13 weeks

Discover your own unique gifts—the gifts you have been given to experience meaning and purpose in your life and through which you will find fulfillment for yourself and in service to the betterment of the world.

Authentic Freedom* – 10 weeks

Learn the seven core fears that prevent you from being your most magnificent and fulfilled self, along with proven tools for moving through and overcoming those fears.

Deepening Freedom**– 9 weeks

Learn and apply the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus as a powerful tool for moving through the fears and inner obstacles for living your truth and fulfilling your life purpose.

Living in Freedom– 12 weeks

Exploring the Enneagram as a tool for self-empowerment and as a resource for balancing your fear-based perceptions and behaviors, ultimately harnessing your Soul’s purpose as a reformer,   helper, achiever, muse, sage, strategist, enthusiast, champion or peacemaker.

*Required Text: Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy by Lauri Ann Lumby

**Required Texts: Prayers of the Cosmos and The Hidden Gospel by Neil Douglas-Klotz and CD Abwun – The Prayer of Jesus.

Magdalene Priestess Training integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

Click on the image above to learn more.

 

Payment plans are available through Paypal HERE

If you have questions about this training, please contact Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS at lauri@templeofthemagdalene.com to discuss your next steps and how the process might unfold for you.

If you would like to read more, please explore the FREE Magdalene Priestess Training preview course

Specific Tools used in Magdalene Priestess Training:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

From Western Psychology, Magdalene Priestess Training draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

From Western Spirituality, The Magdalene Priestess Training has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which Mary, called Magdalene fully understood and which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

Magdalene Priestess Training Testimonials

Honouring and living in the energy of the Divine Feminine is what many women (and men) seek these days.  This is certainly what I was looking for when I came across Lauri’s website and her course on training to be a Magdalene Priestess.  I particularly wanted to learn more about the Mary portrayed in the Bible, but without the religious dogma. 

And this is where Lauri has presented a series of workshops that have captivated me for the last 8 months.  It is a safe environment where I can release my internal struggles whilst Lauri supports and guides me with compassion and a deep knowing of exactly what I need on my journey to becoming an enlightenment woman and Priestess.

Mary H, New Zealand

 

The Magdalene Priestess training program has enabled me to understand myself through the eyes of the Magdalene energy. To see my magic. My gifts that I always knew where there, but could never own them. 

Through the program I feel I can share this gifts with others to help heal and support through a Divine Love and understanding that we are all one.  Allowing each of us to share our uniqueness and giftedness, and give back to the Divine Universe, and the Divine in all us. “

Maria De Robertis Geltrude

 

I have found all the levels and layers of the Priestess training to be deep and truly helpful in my life long search for growth and connection with the Source. It has taught me to listen to my inner awareness and affirmed universal truths  in beautiful ,poetic ways. I am grateful for this and having Lauri’s feedback on personal issues when working on the classes. I’d highly recommend these classes to anyone seeking a depth and inner awareness to  enhance their lives and find meaning in a difficult world. Thank you.

Jane G. 

 

Over the past several years, I did so much spiritual research that I literally researched myself into a “Dark Night of the Soul.” Just recently, for the first time, I prayed to my women ancestors for direction and within days I was led to Lauri Ann Lumby’s ‘Temple of the Magdalene Priestess Training Program.’ This training is one of the best gifts I have ever given myself! It has presented me with a new direction in life, opened new doors of spiritual thought and ways of being for me, and reconnected me not only with the Divine itself, but the Divine within my OWN SELF as well. 

And Lauri is a true “kindred spirit.” She is encouraging and completely genuine, and offers personal feedback through the online classroom to each and every one of her students, as well as privately via personal sessions. She is a true mentor. I truly mean all of these words from my heart.”

Kimberly E., Texas

 

The Magdalene Priestess Training was life changing for me.  After having Mary come to me in a shamanic vision six months prior I had begun to explore her world intensely, finally coming across this wonderful experience.  The training was rich, filled with love, challenging and insightful and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to walk a path with Mary Magdalene as a modern woman or Priestess.

Julie Parker, www.juliesuzanneparker.com

 

I’m very grateful first off to know Lauri for at least a decade. I have had the privilege of taking all of her courses. The Magdalene Priestess course solidified an anointing into a higher ideation of woman elevated to priestess, goddess and queen. Mary Magdalene has been forgotten, shamed and misrepresented for millennia and it is time to receive the energy, purity and strength of this mystical woman’s desire – all she embodied and claimed – the truth of who she was and who you are. I highly recommend this course as well as any of Lauri’s other work or books.

Linda J.  Larsen , WI

 

The Magdalene Priestess Training has been life-changing for me! This training has helped me change my perspective on things happening in my life and how I can discern my gifts and live my most authentic life. Her classes are so empowering to women in a world where we are taught to keep our heads down and our feelings to ourselves. Honestly one of the very best things I have ever done for myself!

Kerry E.

As a business owner, nutrition counselor, and and thought leader in the health care field, I chose to take the Magdalene Priestess Training with Lauri Lumby. I am always interested in learning how to become the best version of myself, and also empower those around me to do the same – to use one’s gifts and express them without regret! I’ve found that on this journey, taking a deeper look at my calling in life and god-given gifts has allowed me to thrive in areas that feel natural to me. Never did I imagine that someday I would be a business owner, boss, speaker, writer, and figure of influence in the community. With that being said, taking care of oneself in order to succeed at those things is key. Lauri has taught me to practice self care, claim my needs and boundaries in life, and it is through her course that I have grasped a better understand of who I am. Knowing my gifts and utilizing what’s unique about myself is very freeing and empowering. And being able to share that love and message with those around me in my professional and personal life is an honor. There’s no need to compare when you know who you, what you bring to this world, and love yourself completely. Thank you, Lauri!

Kimberly Stoeger

 

 

 

If you believe you may be called to the Magdalene Priestess Training but are still unsure, enjoy this FREE Preview course (click on the image below to register):

Also available:

Temple of the Magdalene Weekly Newsletter Subscription

 

 

 

 

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My Latest Book – ONLY LOVE – Available NOW!!!!!

Only Love –

The Secret Teachings of Mary Magdalene

A collection of writings received by Lauri Ann Lumby on behalf of Mary Magdalene. The ultimate purpose of these teachings is to support the world as it moves out of the fear that has held it imprisoned to the Love that is its original nature. Thank you for being a vessel through which you, and then the world, shall know that even in the human experience, there is Only Love.

Buy it NOW on Amazon.

Click on image above to Buy it on Amazon. In paperback and Kindle.

 

A note from the Magdalene:

My beloved sisters and brothers,

We are in an exciting time in the evolution of human consciousness. If you have found yourself drawn to these words, it is because you agreed to incarnate on the earth plane at this time to help usher in the age of Love.  You have agreed to this on behalf of the Divine intention of Love and for the sake of all of humanity.  As you know, this has been no easy task.  In order to support humanity in its next stage of evolution you have first had to do it for yourself.

Now you are the Body of Christ. Whether or not this is your chosen language, you have worked toward clearing past programming rooted in fear so you can more fully embody the Love /Light that is your true Divine calling. Congratulations and thank you!

The words you now hold in your hands are my gratitude gift to you. I thank my beloved Lauri Ann Lumby for being the vessel through which these teachings may now come forth.  The world is now ready and able to receive the Divine encodings presented herein.  Some of these teachings I’ve given to Lauri directly.  Some are her personal reflections.  Others I wrote directly through her hand. 

Some of what you receive here may seem unreal or even shocking. Worry not about that.  Take in what speaks to you and allow the teachings that might confront or challenge to simply be.  If they are meant for you they will find their roots at a time divinely ordained for you.

The ultimate purpose of these teachings is to support the world as it moves out of the fear that has held it imprisoned into the Love that is its original nature. Thank you for being a vessel through which you, and then the world, shall know that even in the human experience, there is Only Love.

 

All my love,

Mary, called Magdalene

(as written through the hand of Lauri Ann Lumby)

Wild Woman Renaissance Starts TODAY!

Please join me TODAY as featured speaker in the Wild Woman Renaissance hosted by Shellie White Light.  Click on the image below to register and participate for FREE!!!!

FREE online Summit

August 1 – August 21

Join us HERE.

Do you know deep inside that your wild, creative light is being called to shine? Are you feeling stifled, stuck or even unworthy of stepping forward into this radiance? Then keep reading. Feminine leaders all over the world are being called to SHOW UP, and serve through their TRUE passion at this revolutionary time on earth. If you’re reading this, you’re one of them. ‘She’ has risen, and ‘Her’ voice is calling us to heal and serve NOW!

I understand how difficult it can be to have the courage to share your passions and align them with your Divine Purpose, especially if you are unaware of the true power your sexuality holds. Sexual sovereignty is directly linked to how to expression your God given gifts and unique contribution. When we are numb to our pain, we are also numb to our purpose. It’s time to TALK about those areas that have been silenced, shamed, objectified and oppressed, so we can rise and shine! No more waiting.

That’s why I’m so excited to let you know about The Wild Woman’s Renaissance that my sister Shellie White Light is hosting. This FREE online series of sacred conversations is empowering, life-changing, and transforming!

Shellie is a sought-after Sacred Sexuality and Spiritual Mentor, a vessel for Divine Mother’s Love. Growing up the only daughter to a long lineage of Baptist Preachers, she knows the wounding of religious and societal shame around sexuality and self expression all too well. However, her studies of the deeper Feminine-centered teachings of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, along with traveling the world studying with many shamans, healers, teachers, visionaries and creators of the highest caliber, has given her a unique set of tools and perspectives. Through these life experiences she birthed a passion for helping women acknowledge their own self-sabotage and break free from the chains that hold them back from a FULLY expressed existence; using a unique blend of intuitive shamanism and confidence coaching to guide women to embody their gifts and sensuality to courageously share their greatest service. That is what The Wild Woman’s Renaissance is all about!

I am one of 21 featured speakers on an experts panel of powerhouse female visionaries. It is an honor to share stories and tools along side these other women who are doing their work in the world as priestesses, shamanic pelvic floor practitioners, doctors of fertility and menstrual flow, womb wisdom carriers, mojo recovery specialists, orgasmic manifesting experts … and beyond! Together, our collective experience and skill sharing will help to embody and embrace sexual sovereignty so that you can begin to live from your own *juicy* creative connection.

This event starts on August 1st and runs live through August 21st, ending on the same day a Total Solar Eclipse crosses coast-to-coast across the USA!

This is a very powerful conversation happening at a *very* potent point on the timeline of our lives.

Join now by clicking here http://wildwomansrenaissance.com/LauriLumby

Shellie is a stand for all women everywhere living and expressing themselves, sexually and creatively, from a place of devotion and wholeness. This shift needs as many awakened lights as possible. Will you be a spark, a candle in the darkness?

Don’t wait, The Renaissance has begun.

http://wildwomansrenaissance.com/LauriLumby

Warmest blessings,

Lauri Ann Lumby

Join the Wild Woman Renaissance

Click on image above to register. It’s FREE!

FREE online Summit

August 1 – August 21

Join us HERE.

Do you know deep inside that your wild, creative light is being called to shine? Are you feeling stifled, stuck or even unworthy of stepping forward into this radiance? Then keep reading. Feminine leaders all over the world are being called to SHOW UP, and serve through their TRUE passion at this revolutionary time on earth. If you’re reading this, you’re one of them. ‘She’ has risen, and ‘Her’ voice is calling us to heal and serve NOW!

I understand how difficult it can be to have the courage to share your passions and align them with your Divine Purpose, especially if you are unaware of the true power your sexuality holds. Sexual sovereignty is directly linked to how to expression your God given gifts and unique contribution. When we are numb to our pain, we are also numb to our purpose. It’s time to TALK about those areas that have been silenced, shamed, objectified and oppressed, so we can rise and shine! No more waiting.

That’s why I’m so excited to let you know about The Wild Woman’s Renaissance that my sister Shellie White Light is hosting. This FREE online series of sacred conversations is empowering, life-changing, and transforming!

Shellie is a sought-after Sacred Sexuality and Spiritual Mentor, a vessel for Divine Mother’s Love. Growing up the only daughter to a long lineage of Baptist Preachers, she knows the wounding of religious and societal shame around sexuality and self expression all too well. However, her studies of the deeper Feminine-centered teachings of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, along with traveling the world studying with many shamans, healers, teachers, visionaries and creators of the highest caliber, has given her a unique set of tools and perspectives. Through these life experiences she birthed a passion for helping women acknowledge their own self-sabotage and break free from the chains that hold them back from a FULLY expressed existence; using a unique blend of intuitive shamanism and confidence coaching to guide women to embody their gifts and sensuality to courageously share their greatest service. That is what The Wild Woman’s Renaissance is all about!

I am one of 21 featured speakers on an experts panel of powerhouse female visionaries. It is an honor to share stories and tools along side these other women who are doing their work in the world as priestesses, shamanic pelvic floor practitioners, doctors of fertility and menstrual flow, womb wisdom carriers, mojo recovery specialists, orgasmic manifesting experts … and beyond! Together, our collective experience and skill sharing will help to embody and embrace sexual sovereignty so that you can begin to live from your own *juicy* creative connection.

This event starts on August 1st and runs live through August 21st, ending on the same day a Total Solar Eclipse crosses coast-to-coast across the USA!

This is a very powerful conversation happening at a *very* potent point on the timeline of our lives.

Join now by clicking here http://wildwomansrenaissance.com/LauriLumby

Shellie is a stand for all women everywhere living and expressing themselves, sexually and creatively, from a place of devotion and wholeness. This shift needs as many awakened lights as possible. Will you be a spark, a candle in the darkness?

Don’t wait, The Renaissance has begun.

http://wildwomansrenaissance.com/LauriLumby

Warmest blessings,

Lauri Ann Lumby

 

Celebrating Mary Magdalene

The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves–
I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
in the streets and crossings I will seek
Him whom my heart loves.
I sought him but I did not find him.
The watchmen came upon me,
as they made their rounds of the city:
Have you seen him whom my heart loves?
I had hardly left them
when I found him whom my heart loves.

Song of Songs 3: 1-4B

Please join me in celebrating, on her feast day, Mary Magdalene – disciple, co-equal minister, beloved of Christ, first witness to the resurrection, sent to tell the disciples, and ordained to continue Jesus’ ministry in his stead.  The Magdalene (meaning Great Tower of Faith) represents all that has been suppressed and oppressed in the patriarchal and hierarchical manipulation of the Jesus message.  She represents the inner journey of coming to know the Divine within and in coming to know the Divine, coming to know ourselves.  Mary represents the process of self-actualization that Jesus modeled and tried to teach others.  Mary completed and embodied this process and in doing so, became co-equal with Christ.  Mary is revealing herself to us now to help usher in the second coming – a time when all human beings will seek to know the love that they are and will then seek to bring forth a new world made out of this love, thereby completing the mission that Jesus began 2000 years ago.

Please join us in celebrating the Magdalene with the following special events:

Click on image to register.

NOTE:  I am today’s guest speaker for the Magdalene Mini-Summit.  Please join us!

Click on the image above to register.

 

Click on image to register.

 

And don’t forget to read, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene available on Amazon.com.

Kindle version only $4.99 through August.

Join Us for Our Live Magdalene Course

Scripture through the Eyes of the Magdalene

Live online Course with Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

6 Live Sessions 

(via teleconference)

July 31 – September 11, 2017 (no class on Labor Day)

Mondays 7:00 – 8:30 pm (Central Time)

(Archived recordings available for students who are unable to make the scheduled time)

$113.00 

Register Early!  Course Limited to 25 participants.

Learn more and register HERE.

For 2000 years, scripture has been interpreted to meet the needs of a hierarchical/patriarchal institution with a specific political agenda.  As a result, scripture has been used to justify all sorts of non-loving behaviors, even unspeakable acts of violence against those who cannot (in their good conscience) adhere to the institutional agenda.  Many people have been directly harmed by this approach to scripture and have turned away from scripture, missing its original intention which is to be a key to unlock the door to our higher consciousness and to create a pathway through which we might have access to the wisdom and power of the Divine.

Scripture through the Eyes of the Magdalene frees scripture from its institutional, doctrinal and dogmatic constraints and restoring it to its rightful place as a beautiful piece of wisdom literature.  When scripture is approached through the three-layer process of interpretation and then experienced through specific contemplative and creativity practices, it gives us access to our highest truths and guides us along the path of our highest good. This is the approached that the Magdalene learned through Jesus and which she then sought to share with others.

Each 90 minute live session will include:

  • A scripture reading.
  • A presentation on the reading’s historical/cultural background.
  • A contemplative or creative practice for use with that scripture.
  • Lecture.
  • Sharing and Discussion.

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Please also join us for the FREE Magdalene Mini Summit with Mystery School of the Goddess.  Learn more and Register by clicking on the image above.

Who Are the Magdalenes?

We are the Magdalenes. We live and walk and work among you.  We come from all walks of life, from every tribe of the human race.  We are women.  We are men.  We are those who have completed the task of Love.  We have been supported in applying the original teachings of LOVE offered by and modeled by Jesus (and all other great spiritual teachers like him) – the teachings on Love which were then fulfilled through Mary, called Magdalene, and which has continued to show itself throughout history through those who have seen beyond the veil to the love concealed within.

We have come to know the Love that we are in our Oneness within ourselves, with the God of our understanding, with each other and with all of creation. In being open to this Love, we know no separation.  Love transcends all beliefs, all creeds, all nationalities, all genders, etc.  In this Love, there is no race but the human race.  There is no sexual orientation but love.  There is no nation, only one world.  There is no religion – only love. Love is all there is and Love is all we work to see and to know. Any perceived division is only a temporary veil over the love that has not yet been fully realized.  When division arises, we seek out the wound that is at its core, and support the healing of that wound wherever possible, as Jesus and Mary, called Magdalene, did before us.

For two thousand years we have been concealed among you, waiting.  At this critical juncture in human evolution, we come forth to be seen and to be known so that you might find hope in a world that is dying and faith in a new world that is seeking to be born.

We are your teachers, your guides, your mirror. Through our eyes you are seen as Love and in our eyes, you see that Love.  From this Love you will either turn away in fear, or, come forward in Love.  Either way, we love you for who you are and for the path you have chosen, for we have come to know that even when we choose fear, this too is a choice for Love.  As the prophet once said, “In you, darkness and light are but one.”  Of course, we hope that your choice will be for Love, because we have seen the fruits of this Love.

In this Love, we have found our unique purpose through our Divine gifts, which we then utilize for the sake of our own fulfillment and then in service to the betterment of the world. In this, you will find us using our gifts in all walks of life whether we are mother, father, teacher, minister, physician, healer, counselor, businessperson, athlete, entertainer, artist, banker, accountant, educator, administrator, etc. etc. etc. There are no limits as to how or where we can apply the Love that we know, for this Love is infinite and universal.  It is this life of meaning and purpose that too shall be yours when you make the choice for Love.

But even more than meaning and purpose, the promise of Love is peace. In the depths of the Love that we are, we know a deep and abiding peace.  This is “the peace that surpasses all understanding,” and which allows us to navigate the twists and turns, ups and downs, joys and sufferings of the human condition.  While fear is always present as a consequence of choosing the human condition, Love provides the key to finding our way through that fear.  It is here that we come to know the “kingdom of God within” that Jesus promised – not in some heaven light years away, but right here, in the midst of the human experience.  It is for the sake of this purpose that we are here, to help you know what those “who have eyes to see” have come to known – the Love that has been here all along!

We are the Magdalenes. Our mission and purpose is Love – the Love that is YOU!

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS, is the founder of the Temple of the Magdalene and the creator and facilitator of the Magdalene Priest/ess Training Program.  Learn more about becoming a Priest/ess of the Magdalene HERE.

Click on the image above to register for the FREE Magdalene Priestess Training preview course.

 

Surviving Ecclesial (Church) Trauma

Lauri Ann Lumby shares her story of being raised Catholic, receiving her vocational calling and training in the Church, ministering in the Church and then being abandoned by the Church.  Her story is an “everywoman” story and reflective of the same trauma that has archetypally befallen Mary Magdalene in the history of the Church.

 

The File with My Name On It

This morning, I received in innocent inquiry from an online acquaintance about “the file with my name on it” that I have factiously mentioned several times in my writing. The file, I have come to understand is very real.  While I have not seen the file, I know that the effect of the file is that I have been blackballed by the local diocese and anything associated with me or my name has been banned.  After I explained the file to this acquaintance and tried to go on with my day, I found I could not.  Instead, I found myself fighting off a panic attack and if it weren’t for a combination of yoga and tears, I know that would have been the consequence of sharing my truth.

filepixabay

For years I have tried to explain, make sense of, get over, my painful experiences with the Church. I have tried and tried and tried to do what the Church says to do which is to “forgive” and no matter how many layers of this I have processed, I find I am still heartbroken, hurt, angry, feeling betrayed, disappointed, and I guess, traumatized by the past experiences – which explains why I am not able to simply “let this go.”  When we experience something as trauma, it lodges in the limbic portion of the brain, ever-vigilant for the next sign of potential or perceived danger.  Having to share the story of the local self-appointed inquisition and the ways they have hassled me over the years and the way in which the Church failed to support me was enough to trigger my nervous system into a state of panic.

Ecclesial Trauma

I know I am not the only person who has been wounded by the Church and who now suffers from what I will refer to here as Ecclesial Trauma.  Ecclesial trauma is not listed as a disorder in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), but it should be.  The challenge is that unraveling Ecclesial Trauma is like trying to untangle a slinky or unknot earbuds….and to those who have not experienced this kind of trauma….it makes no sense at all as there is nothing logical or rational about Ecclesial Trauma.  Instead, the trauma occurs in a very deep, invisible place related to our Soul (as one friend recently observed) – the center of our being that defines who we are, our ground of being and the way in which we find our place in the world.  To state it in mathematical terms:

 

The Church = God

The Church = Family

The Church is necessary for Survival

Your value is determined by the Church

The Church = Love

 

Rife with Inconsistencies

The problem is that more often than not, none of the above proves to be true. Instead, the Church is rife with inconsistencies:

  • Preaching a God who loves without condition, but then placing conditions on God’s love.
  • Proclaiming the equality of men and women and then depriving women of positions of equal status and pay as the men.
  • Claiming all people are God’s children, but saying it is only through the Church that one is able to enjoy salvation (also implying some/many will not be saved).
  • Saying they are doing the work of Jesus and are Jesus’ representatives on earth (serving the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc.) while living a life of luxury, excess, vanity, abuse of power.
  • Condemning “sinners” while sinning themselves.
  • Stating that “God desires mercy not sacrifice,” then asking for sacrifice – or more pointedly, placing Jesus in the position of the one being sacrificed (what kind of God sacrifices “his” own son????? And why was a sacrifice needed if we are loved without condition?????)

The list goes on and on and on.

The mildest form of ecclesial trauma arises in the face of these simple inconsistencies. What exactly is one supposed to believe?  The cognitive dissonance alone is enough to drive one batty.

battypixabay

 

What Happens When It Becomes Personal?

But what happens when these inconsistencies are used against someone in a very personal way?

Like my aunt. She was raised Catholic and was married in the Church.  After several years of marriage, her husband left her for another woman.  He filed for divorce.  When she went to the Church for counsel and support, she was told she was no longer welcome – at the communion table or even at mass – simply because she was divorced.  Here:

The Church + God ≠ Love ≠ Family ≠ Value ≠ Survival

It was not God who didn’t’ love my aunt, it was the Church. But, in the eyes of the faithful, if one is rejected by the Church that must mean one is rejected by God. Even if one believes otherwise in their minds (the rational part of the mind that says, “The Church is NOT God”) the heart receives it otherwise. Here then is the source of the trauma.  The mind says, “I believe in a loving God.  I’m still loved by God,” but something deep in our heart/soul can only believe the actions of the Church, even when we KNOW Church and God are not one!

abandoned-pixabay

This is what happened to me. In spite of the inconsistencies, I grew up loving my Church.  The Church was “god” and the “God” of the Church was my God (even if he was the “old man in the sky God,” at least I had a mother in Mary).  I found my value in the Church (in fact, I found my vocational calling through the Church).  I found belonging in the Church.  Church was part of my ancestry and being Catholic became part of my being, part of my soul.  I found my identity in the Church and I was encouraged, supported, mentored and then empowered to pursue this identity.

 

What Gets One in Trouble

That was……until I started to see the truth, question the inconsistencies and suggest that perhaps the Church and God were not one:

 

  • Why does Fr. (now Bishop) Doyle get to go to heaven before me just because he is a priest? What if he did something bad? Would he still get to go first????
  • Why couldn’t I raise my hand with my male classmates when asked about my call to ordained ministry?
  • Why was the God I was coming to know in contemplative prayer sooooooo different than the God the Church preached?
  • Why is it wrong for me to practice meditation with my Zen friends, but ok for me to practice Centering Prayer which is basically the same exact practice???
  • Why is it wrong to wonder if Jesus were married?
  • If Jesus treated women as equal to men, why were there no women among “the twelve?”
  • What ever happened to Mary Magdalene and why did Peter get all the glory when SHE was the one Jesus revealed himself to on Easter morning?
  • If we believe that God is without gender, then why is God portrayed as only male and why do we only use the word “Father” in reference to God?
  • Why is it wrong of me to teach the Lord’s prayer in Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke?
  • Why does it matter what ingredients are used to make the communion bread? Are we really supposed to deny the sacrament to those with a wheat allergy and what harm is there in adding a little honey?
  • Why is it not ok for Catholics to have sex before marriage but it is ok for priests and bishops to have mistresses (and even have it lauded in the local diocesan newspaper or have the Bishop suggest it was a better choice for a priest discerning marriage)?

Why is it wrong of me to do what Jesus told us to do – heal the sick? Why is it the “work of the devil” when I am doing it, but when a priest does it it’s a sacrament?!!!!!

Oshkosh WI 2/9/11: Photo by Jeannette Merten.
Oshkosh WI 2/9/11: Photo by Jeannette Merten.

 

Withdrawing Support

These questions are clearly valid and I had/have a right to ask these questions. But in the end, it was not the questions or the Church’s response to these questions (which was ultimately no response – because there is no way to defend these inconsistencies except to say, “Because we told you so.”), that broke my heart.  Instead, it was the ongoing pattern of the Church NOT supporting me when the fearful minority came after me with condemnation, came to my classes to confront and challenge me in front of students who were there to learn, wrote harmful and hurtful letters to the bishop and harassed me with “I’m praying for you to be released from Satan’s grip” emails.  NOT ONCE did the Church support or defend me, neither did they create space to get to know me or “my side of the story.”  NOT ONCE!

Ok, that’s not entirely true, the Chancellor did once make time for me to meet and discuss Reiki, but that was only after I reached out, and then he kept me waiting 45 minutes after the scheduled time and then only had 10 minutes to talk because he had to catch a flight to Rome. What is worse is that he promised me we would continue the conversation after his return, knowing full well that the prohibition order against Reiki had already been signed and would be released to the public the VERY NEXT DAY.  In other words…..he lied to me…..he led me on…..he offered false promises…..  In the words of modern psychology….this is ABUSE, plain and simple.

Then there was the local priest. Again….NOT ONCE did he try to get to know me or understand the work I was doing, even when I was under his roof running an urban retreat center sponsored by the very parish he was appointed to serve.  I wrote letters, sent emails, made phone calls.  Not once did he even try.  Apparently the fearful minority had already bent his ear and he had already formed his judgment.  Then the hammer fell and again, there was no Church there to support me.

priestcollar pixabay

The Only Choice Was to Leave

So I left. That was in 2007.  Nine years later, I am still suffering the effects of Ecclesial trauma.  The Church, as an “agent of God” was supposed to love me, support me, encourage me, protect me, comfort me, inspire me, provide a family for me and a place of belonging.  But what I learned is that this is true only if you follow their rules, believe what they tell you to believe and do what you are told.  If you question, or God-forbid, try to grow in your relationship to the REAL God (not the one they made up), you will be rejected, condemned, scorned and abandoned.  When all of those things the Church professes to provide are taken away, one is left feeling alone, abandoned, rejected, without love, comfort, encouragement and support.  The worst part of this trauma is that because of the way in which the Church has manipulated God and recreated God in their own image, not only does one feel abandoned by the Church (thereby losing one’s “family,” “Sense of belonging” and in my case, “my vocation and personal identity”) one feels abandoned by God.

  • How could God (the Church) abandon me in this way?
  • How could God (the Church) condemn the work I’m doing on “his” behalf?
  • How could God (the Church) betray me in this way?
  • How could God take away all that had previously been my source of support, belonging, love, vocation, ministry, even my identity?

Intellectually, I know how messed up this is and how God has nothing to do with the actions of the Church. In my mind, I know there is no rational reason I should equate the actions of the Church with the actions of God.  BUT…..after 40+ years of Catholic indoctrination it is impossible to separate the two.

 heartslauri

The Path to Healing Ecclesial Trauma

Impossible for me perhaps, but not impossible for God. This is where healing comes in (and a fair bit of reprogramming).  The short answer to this LONG and (perhaps boring as hell) blog is that the remedy to Ecclesial trauma is to FIND A NEW GOD.  Not a God that has been made in the image of the Church to fulfill their political agenda.  Instead….THE REAL GOD.  The God that seeks to be known within us.  The God that Jesus knew and tried to help others to know.  A God who is without gender, who isn’t human at all – but is beyond image or form, but who in its infinite nature can reveal itself to us in whatever way is helpful.  All this time, this is the God who has been trying to reveal itself to me…and the God I know has been guiding and leading me all this time – guiding me to Love, leading me to my calling, leading me into and through the questions, supporting me when the Church refused to, loving me when I grew angry, encouraging me when I struggled with doubt, and who ultimately led my new acquaintance to ask about “the file” so that another layer of Ecclesial trauma could be brought forth for healing, transformation and release.