Finding Our Evolutionary Purpose

Self-compassion groups

Dear contemplatives,

     This past week Richard Rohr’s daily meditations have revolved around “Evolution.” The readings his team selected fit well into the thinking of Reinventing Organizations: Illustrated Version, by Frederic Laloux. In that work, one of the three primary characteristics of new organisms which are developing around the world is that the people involved all seek to discern their evolutionary purpose together. Their essential question is: “What are we being called to manifest in this time?” Everyone involved in the organism discerns this calling all the time.
     If we were to live into this new model as a School for Contemplative Living, every person who participates in any aspect of the School would be discerning our evolution together.
     Father Rohr writes of this in a way similar to his theme of The Divine Dance, calling us into aligning with and co-creating the world by dancing with the evolving Trinity. My sense is that we are on the verge of such an evolving, and perhaps already tumbling our way forward.
     I invite you who read this into our continuing exploration of “What are we being called to manifest in this time?” In this, our tenth year of existence, I am inviting all our participants in the School’s groups, classes, workshops, and retreats to the same.
     As one example of an authentic question around our evolving purpose, are we being led to extend our arms of contemplative living to actively embrace those who do not know about contemplative practice or who cannot afford contemplative retreats, like our poorest neighbors, our young adult neighbors and college students, our friends of color? Is this a year in which we reach out to cancer patients, or any group who are experiencing physical suffering? Is this a time to specifically engage clergy, or healthcare workers, or other professionals who are often too busy to tend their own spiritual lives?
     This article about contemplative inclusion is an excellent insight from one of the Living School alumna: Teresa Pasquale Mateus, “Mystic Love, Unbound: A Reclaimed, Reframed, and Evolving Love Story between God and the World,” “Evolutionary Thinking,” Oneing, vol. 4, no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2016), 48-51.

​     All responses are welcome. Join us in listening within to a Speaking Voice. Listen to and share with each other. Be honest.​ Share what comes up in you. Help us find and follow our evolutionary purpose.
And remember we welcome each of you into a regular contemplative community this year,
William Thiele, PhD
The School for Contemplative Living
Video: “Monks in the World”
author: Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture
“A Contemplative Path” podcast on iTunes and blog on

About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through; and of a blog on, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (, adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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