Receiving a Palanca
while on retreat is a wonderful, moving experience.
Writing letters of encouragement and praying for the person
is a blessed thing to do.
Please take some time to
reach out to someone who is on a leg of their personal
journey with God that is scary at times; like any
relationship with a loving personality, insecurity is always
an issue. Right at this moment, you are being called
to help someone. Please say YES; you will be prayed
for and blessed.
And you can do it from
the comfort of your kitchen table. You can do a
prison ministry without leaving your home.
To a man or a woman
on retreat, someone in prison or on a spiritual retreat
answering this call from God, they are unsure, even afraid,
facing their true-self, their spiritual-self for maybe
the first time in decades in a prolonged period, your letter, a small
sacrifice will mean the world to them.
Your letter will show the recipient
that God loves him so much that God moved a stranger, YOU,
to support him personally.
OUTLINE OF A PALANCA:
Palanca means lever.
A lever is used to lift and move heavy things, in this
case the Palanca helps to lift one's spirit.
Your note is a note
of encouragement. You know they are moving closer
to God and you are happy for them. Example: Attending
a three day retreat is a major commitment and shows that
you are answering a call from God, that's wonderful.
I know that God will bless you and bring you closer to
You will tell them
that you will do something a prayer or a sacrifice for
their personal success and the success of the retreat.
Maybe you'll give up sweets all that weekend, or say a
Rosary, or read the Bible. Example: As a
gesture of my ove and support I will read the letter of
James in the Bible this weekend, and I will dedicate it
to you and the success of the retreat.
The letter should
be personal, in the vain of talking one on one, but DO
NOT GIVE YOUR FULL NAME. DO NOT GIVE YOUR ADDRESS
OR PHONE NUMBER. Other than spiritual, YOU DO NOT
PALANCA: Write one letter, or two, or a dozen,
whatever you write will be welcomed and cherished. An
average retreat has 30 people, but could have 40. Keep
the letter personal and short. Each letter should be sealed in an
envelope addressed so: Dear Christian Bother
(or Sister) of Dear Child of God, depending on the retreat. Get your family
together around the kitchen table and, after the Sign of the
Cross (dedication your efforts to God) and a short prayer
for the retreatants, start writing.
What to write: Remember, each letter
is to one person, from one
person. Tell him/her that you are happy that he is at retreat,
or tell him/her how wonderful it is that he/she is seeking God's
love. Tell him/her that you will pray for him/her, or dedicate your
attendance at next Sunday's Mass to him/her, or that you
will give up something over that weekend, or that you will
say a Rosary for them in particular and the success of the
retreat. By praying first and God
will give you the words to write. Keep it short.
Sign the letter with your first name
to keep it personal. Do not use your
last or include your address
And put the letter in an envelope addressed to REC W-4
Place all the letters you
write into a larger envelop, or rubber-band them together
with a cover sheet, and address that to:
Retreat Name (see
RETREAT WEEKEND above right Corner).
Then bring that to the Parish Office or the person
collecting them (also above). We assume here that you have been
given instructions when you were asked to participate.
Congratulations, you're doing ministry. Feels good,
PALANCA blesses both the writer and the recipient!
Prison Retreats: This retreat is
neighbors of yours working a Ministry for local people or the imprisoned
who are actively walking their personal Journey with God.
You can give great support and encouragement with just a
On the afternoon the second day, after much prayer,
lessons and fellowship, the retreatants will be given
letters of encouragement, called Palanca. They will go
to their rooms, find a private corner and read these
letters. Almost everyone is moved so much that they
say this is one of the most powerful times of the retreat.
You see, your Palanca - lever - shows a retreatant that God
loves them so much that He has moved strangers to not only
pray for him, but sit down and write a letter.
You might want to write a letter like this to an old friend
or a cousin, or your spouse or child, or a parent.
Sharing your love in an unexpected way and including prayer,
that is, God, is explosive.
God bless you.
Nov. 14 - 16, 2008
Bring them to your parish office (St.
Theresa, St. Ann, St. Augustine) before noon
of Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008
Then the king
will say to those on his right, 'Come, you
who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world. For I was hungry and you gave
me food, I was thirsty and you gave me
drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
and you clothed me, ill and you cared for
me, in prison and you visited me.'
righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord,
when did we see you hungry and feed you, or
thirsty and give you drink? When did we see
you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and
clothe you? When did we see you ill or in
prison, and visit you?'
And the king
will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to
you, whatever you did for one of these least
brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will
say to those on his left, 'Depart from me,
you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared
for the devil and his angels. For I was
hungry and you gave me no food, I was
thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger
and you gave me no welcome, naked and you
gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and
you did not care for me.'
Then they will
answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you
hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or
ill or in prison, and not minister to your
He will answer
them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not
do for one of these least ones, you did not
do for me.'
And these will
go off to eternal punishment, but the
righteous to eternal life."
God is the seat of unconditional love that i
seek so as to fill my hear...It's not that I
will start loving more, but that my need is
to be loved more.
The Reality is Christ
SEEKING THE LORD
...I would learn that the most
worthwhile thing is finding God in the students that I
teach, in the sick that I visited, in my successes at
helping others to seek God in their own lives, and in my
failures to serve God as faithfully as I desire...
Mark Mossa, S.J
(This is very Cornerstone.)