Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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July 2019

Leading on Empty, Finding the Grace

by Teresa Maya, CCVI -- LCWR Past President

My first car was a hand-me-down from Mom that spoke: “a door is ajar,” “parking brake applied,” and, of course, “gas level low.” [You should know though, that my car said it in Spanish: “Nivel de gasolina bajo”]  Despite the handsome voice, I ran out of gas several times much to my father’s despair as he tried to teach me how to care for my car. “If this were the Mexican Revolution,” he used to say, “and the car was a horse, you would already be on foot!” My only defense was that every single time someone had helped me find my way home: Triple-A, a ride to the gas station, a tow. So, I never learned. 

The last few months have been so challenging, so difficult that I know I am leading on “empty,” literally walking barefoot, wondering what the equivalent Triple-A hotline for leadership should look like, RCRI included, of course! Unexpected illness in my immediate family, the increasing frailty of my older sisters in community, the ministry challenges that no level of strategic planning could ever foresee, and even learning to address mental health as simply another health issue. When it all happens at the same time, I know I am headed to “empty.”  The yellow light has been blinking, and that deep voice comes back from the past “nivel de gasolina bajo.”  Dad was right; I should have learned how to keep the tank full! (To continue reading, download the newsletter below)

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