We live in a culture of increasing isolation. Isolation from one another, from the reality around us… even from ourselves. This is a tragedy, because we were not made for isolation. We were made for communion. It has always belonged to man to be seeking, to be asking, to be going outside of himself, and putting himself constantly in relation with the world around him, with others, with his destiny.
In his play, “The Jeweler’s Shop”, John Paul II uses the phrase “throwing a bridge” to describe the experience of finding communion with another: the capacity we have, even within our experiences of isolation, to reach each other, to cross over the abyss between the mystery and depth of my life, and the mystery and depth of your life. In light of this, I think we are in need today more than ever, of bridges. We need the bridges that John Paul II describes, between people; we need bridges to re-connect us with reality, and we need bridges to span the chasm into the depth of ourselves, of our most basic needs and desires… of our own humanity.
The good news is that there are countless bridges, all around us. I think we have simply lost the eyes to see them. Or maybe we’ve stopped looking. The truth is that all of reality is a bridge, returning us to the truth of ourselves, and one another: because the One Who made us also made an entire reality of signs and symbols that direct us back home. “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Everything vibrates with a vestige of His Presence, and with a call to return to the Truth we were made for, if we have the eyes to see it.
Words are one of the most basic of these bridges. They allow us to communicate, to share ourselves with one another. They also allow us an entry point into the truth of things; they give us the capacity to understand, to comprehend and give expression to our experiences of the world, of all of reality.
I hope that my words here can restore into focus the multitude of bridges we encounter in our every day life. I hope that they may also be bridges for you, as they have been for me; recalling me always deeper into reality, into a more real communion, and back into the truth of my own humanity.
Let us keep taking every bridge that’s given to us, until they lead us home.
~ Siobhán Elise Catherine