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To move beyond

Sr Thérèse Jasmin came from a retreat centre at Winnipeg to run a workshop on ‘Walking the spiritual journey’. Someone described it as an oasis in the conference, a place to which individuals or couples could come for refreshment on their own paths to God. In her comments at the end of the conference Sr Thérèse picked up the theme of the bridge: we had used a model bridge as a symbol of the pathway to unity, a ‘crossing over’. Joy Bédard, who co-ordinated conference worship, invited participants to contribute a ‘link’ to the bridge – a hope, a vision or a prayer. (The bridge has now found a home at the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism in Saskatoon.)

Bridges are passage-ways. Traffic must be kept moving: you don’t stop – or park, or get stuck, or stall – on a bridge. Bridges are for movement to the other side – to move beyond. Likewise religion, churches, doctrines, dogmas, canon law are bridges. They are a means to move into the Kingdom of God, a means to grow into Christ, a means to develop a life in the Spirit.

Even the Word of God is a bridge. As we cultivate the friendship of Christ, a point may come when we move beyond the particular Gospel words to the Person speaking through the text; we have reached the point of spiritual attentiveness. The purpose of any bridge – be it religion, church, Word of God – is to a person-to-person, being-to-being relationship with Christ. So may our bridges challenge us to move from inter-church to inter-Christian faith families. May we all so contemplate the light, love, life of Christ that we become transfigured into brothers and sisters of Christ.