For me, ”mindwalking” is always a surprise!

I never know where the surprise is hiding. I rarely end up where I thought I was going.

Today’s surprise was connecting the “mindwalkng” process with what seems to be Pope Francis’ vision for a church that listens to each other and the Holy Spirit.

The roots of  Vincentian Mindwalk

When I first viewed the 1990 film “Mindwalk,” I was fascinated by its simplicity and relevance.

The movie portrays a wide-ranging conversation between three charactersSonia, a Norwegian physicist who abandoned a lucrative career after discovering that elements of her work were being applied to weapons development.   Jack, an American politician attempting to make sense of his recent defeat as a presidential candidate. Tom, a poet, is Jack’s close friend.  Together they explore their experiences as they wander around the famed abbey in Mont Saint-Michel, France.

The film’s only three characters were played by three of the best-known Hollywood stars of that era. However, the film never attracted more than a niche following.

In the internet’s infancy, few realized the world was changing more radically and faster than even the decades of the “Industrial Revolution.”

A physicist, a politician, and a poet each brought different perspectives to the conversation.

Together they realized the necessity of a more holistic framework to address a new and evolving set of problems. They came to realize the importance of interconnectedness, sustainability, and collaboration.

Pope Francis’ vision

In these Mindwalks, I have often referred to the deceptive simplicity of Pope Francis’ vision. ((Unpacking God’s Dream and Pope Francis’ Puzzle box).

Pope Francis’ three major writings… and actions… spell out for us God’s dream that we increasingly become aware of God’s love for us.

“Evanglium Gaudium” highlights the joy and excitement of waking up to a new understanding of God. We are, individually and collectively, God’s beloved, brothers, and sisters.

Laudato Si’’’ reminds us that everything is connected.

“Fratelli Tutti” teaches us that everyone is connected.”

Isn’t he trying to help us realize the importance of interconnectedness, sustainability, and collaboration.

The synodal journey

At the heart of the world-wide process he calls synodality, lies the “dynamism of mutual listening”. He believes none of us have the whole story. We each have important experiences to share. And, most importantly, the Holy Spirit has something to say to each of us.

  • “We are not studying this or that case, no. We are on a journey of listening to each other and to the Holy Spirit, of discussing with each other and also of discussing with the Holy Spirit, which is a way of praying,”

All are called to listen to the spirit together. He told the people of his own diocese in Rome…

“Bishops must listen to each other, priests must listen to each other, religious must listen to each other, lay people must listen to each other.”

Synodality “is not about collecting opinions”. Rather, it is about listening, first of all, to the Holy Spirit and trying “to grasp the Spirit’s presence”.

My hopes for what I call Vincentian Mindwalk

I have always envisioned Mindwalk as a kind of kitchen table where people would be comfortable with exploring different approaches to common concerns.

But I am also painfully aware of the wild west of today’s social media. Too often, people face attacks for their views. So, I am grateful for those who write me privately to say they appreciated a fresh view.

My hope is that you listen to and learn from each other. We have all been given the gift of God’s Spirit. Let us journey to a deeper awareness of interconnectedness, sustainability, and collaboration.

Click below are an early audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk