Apparently it is Catholic Week

Apparently it is Catholic week at Authentic Freedom/Your Spiritual Truth.  So, in the spirit of the last few blogs, I am re-running my letter to my Catholic brothers and sisters…..support for those seeking fulfillment in their spiritual journey.

 


While Authentic Freedom Ministries is open to people of  all spiritual traditions, I have come to realize that of the women and men who  seek my services, 95% of them were raised Catholic.  I have not  actively pursued this audience, yet I cannot ignore these statistics.  When  asked what has brought them here, these are the answers most commonly  offered:

  • I love my faith, but feel like something is  missing.
  • I yearn for a personal relationship with  God.
  • I’m struggling with some of the teachings of  the Church.
  • I have been wounded by the  Church.
  • I feel disenfranchised by an Institution that  does not honor me for who I am as a woman, gay, divorced, co-habitating, a  single parent, called to a priesthood that does not welcome  me…
  • I left the Church years ago and have not yet  found a spiritual home, I’ve looked elsewhere, but even there, something seems  to be missing.

If these issues speak to your  heart, know that you are welcome to come and explore your spiritual journey in a  safe and sacred space where you will be honored for who you are and for where  you are in your journey.

A letter to my Catholic brothers and sisters:

“At the sight of the crowds,  Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and  abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd…

Go rather to the  lost sheep of Israel.  As you go, make the proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of God is  at hand.’  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out  demons.”

The above scripture passage has become the  foundation and intention of the work of service I do in the world. As I reflect  more deeply on this invitation, it has revealed to me the audience that I have  been called to feed and I can no longer ignore the fact that  95% of the women  and men who have sought my services have been raised Catholic.  This is not due  to any specific effort on my part.  This is purely coincidence (or  God-cidence!)!

As I reflect on this reality, I have come to  recognize some common denominators in those who come to me for Spiritual  Direction, Reiki or to participate in the programs that I offer.  The most  common characteristic among these men and women is that they are free thinkers,  and seeking to find a place where their questions, thoughts, reflections, doubts  and explorations can be honored as sacred.  They are seeking a safe place where  they will not feel judged or condemned for their questions or for the truths  that they have discerned within themselves and the life choices they have  made.   These are folks looking for tools to help them know God personally and  to learn how to discern God’s guidance in their lives. These are men and women  who love much of what they experienced in the Catholic Church, but are looking  for something more.  What this something more might be, most of them do not  know.  This is what they are seeking….that “something more” that cannot be  named.  They have sought this something more inside the Institution and feel  they have not found it.  They are enlivened when they discover that the  “something more” is deep within themselves and is the Source of peace, joy and  love that we call God.

Many of the people who have found benefit in the  work of Authentic Freedom Ministries have felt disenfranchised by the  Institution- most commonly because they do not feel the questions they have and  truths they have discerned are honored by the Church – women and married men  called to be priest, victims of abuse who were turned away or ignored, women and  men who seek equality within a decidedly hierarchical and male Institution, gay  men and women, those who have experienced divorce, single parents, women who  have suffered the tragedy of abortion, men and women in abusive relationships,  people who have been told their truth is heretical because “it is not explicitly  handed down by the magesterium”.  These are the people I have come to call “the  lost sheep of Rome,”    These are the people who are looking to be honored and  loved for who they are and to know that there is a place where their truth is  honored as sacred.  They are seeking to be freed of the guilt-ridden, fear based  paradigm many of them experienced in their Catholic upbringing.

To all of these aforementioned men and women, I  have tried to provide a safe and sacred space in which they can freely and  openly seek to know the Divine within and in knowing God, to know the truth of  themselves.  To the best of my ability, and admitting my own attachments to ego,  I seek to provide tools that honor people where they are at and to empower them  to live out that truth.  I am grateful for the many opportunities in which I  have witnessed deep transformation, healing and empowerment in those who have  sought companionship and witness through the Spiritual Direction, Reiki and  program offerings Authentic Freedom Ministries provides.

I am truly grateful for my own formation within  the Catholic faith, eight years of Catholic school, seven years of post-graduate  study in Catholic theology and spirituality and ten years of employment within  the Institution of the Catholic Church.  I look to Jesus as the model of human  empowerment.  He came to reveal the truth of Oneness in God’s love and to show  us how to live that out.  I look to Jesus the Christ as teacher, friend,  companion, guide, counselor and beloved.  I look to Jesus’ life and teachings as  a model for how I too am called to live.  I honor Jesus as being both fully  Divine and fully Human and as one who had realized the fullness of this truth. I  have a passionate love of the spiritual, liturgical, social justice and  scriptural traditions of my faith.  I am deeply moved by the sacred art and  architecture and am inspired by the men and women who make up the communion of  saints.  I would not be the person I am today without this formation.

At the same time, I cannot deny the  transformation that is being called forth and has been ushered in through the  work of the Holy Spirit at the Vatican II Council.  The reforms of Vatican II  have barely begun, and Vatican II was just the tip of the iceberg.  God is  calling forth a new vision of Church, and we are being called to participate in  its revelation.  As God said to Moses, “I have witnessed the  affliction of my people and have heard their cries of complaint, so I know well  that they are suffering.  Therefore, I have come down to rescue them from the  land of slavery, into a good and gracious land, a land flowing with milk and  honey.”  (Exodus 3: 7-8a) Perhaps these are God’s words for us as  well as we embark on our own journey toward freedom into a new life that has not  yet been revealed.  As the owner of Authentic Freedom Ministries, I humbly offer  the space in which discernment of what this new life may be can be safely and  freely explored individually and in sacred community.

In humble service,

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.authenticfreedom.net

About Your Spiritual Truth

I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!
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3 Responses to Apparently it is Catholic Week

  1. Jessi says:

    Lauri,

    I am beginning a seminar on Vatican II, and look forward to your insights continuing to be timely in my journey. I have already found seeds there, in that council, for hope, rebirth….as well as seeds of the dissonance that has marked human (and Catholic) history. There is MUCH more to say, of course. I’m excited to witness the dialogue NOW, within a Catholic Institution. What are the youngsters saying? Do you realize that there are adults who were raised within the Catholic Church whose guides (mothers, fathers, priests and other lay members) intended to realize the teachings of Vatican II? I want to know what they think, how they feel…and if their experiences are substantially different from those of the “recovering” Catholics who seem to be drawn into my life lately.

    I’ll let you know what I find.

    • Jessi, I’m a total Vatican II geek. LOVE reading the documents and feeling the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing new life into the Church. There is so much yet to be realized from the vision of Vatican II and even more yet to be realized of the Holy Spirit’s greatest intention. Enjoy the class!

  2. Beverly says:

    For those who would like an institutional church, similar to Catholic but much more open, I suggest trying the Episcopal Church. Most (tho unfortunately not all) are quite open to differences of opinion/lifestyle/etc. I find the worship service nearly identical to the Catholic, our priests can be women,homosexual, and vary quite a bit in their practices and beliefs. I am not a by-the-book person at all, and feel very welcome. However, there are still some who are very conservative, so it pays to “shop around.”

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