Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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December 2016

Bridging the Divides…

by Teresa Maya, CCVI -- LCWR President-Elect

One of the most divisive elections in recent US history is over, or is it? The fallout surrounds us: deteriorated civil discourse, fear of strangers, a disenfranchised electorate ignored by the government establishment, divided families, racism, sexism... and on and on. What happened to American democracy? How did we get here?  Meg Wheatley´s caution at our assembly that “things will get worse before they get better” keeps surfacing in my reflection.

We have been called to “this time of ours,” as Meg reminded us. What is ours to do as religious leaders? How do we approach this time of uncertainty? We could, of course, fall into the temptation of simply addressing our challenges with aging, and property and sponsorship -- they give us full days. But our time requires one more effort, one more prophetic word -- it may just be the most significant contribution we will make. We have committed to stay in the heartbreak of the world with people who suffer, who clamor for a signifying presence of true hope.

We have been called to bridge the divide -- between what is coming to completion under our grieved watch and an uncertain future. And bridging is no simple thing. Good bridges are both flexible and strong. Consider the collapsed section of the Bay Bridge after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 in California. The bridge´s structure, steel and all, was old and not flexible enough to withstand the movement. But incredibly, it took more than 20 years to build the new one and completely demolish the old one. Parts of the old bridge were still in service as the new one was being completed. Sound familiar? (Read the entirety of this reflection by downloading the newsletter below)

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