Message from Ellen

Dear Friends, 

Last year at about this same time I was considering whether or not to accept the honor and responsibility of becoming your Senior Warden for 2016, and I was able to name any number of reasons why it just wasn’t a very good idea.  And then one day in the middle of my muddle about what to do I walked into my bedroom closet and was confronted again by my unorganized, unsightly box of beautiful Palanca from my weekend at East Carolina Cursillo #90 in April of 2014. 

Right there on the spot I decided it was time to put these mementos in order and so I sat down at the kitchen counter and began sorting through the various handmade, homemade prayers, papers, bookmarks, crosses, cards, trinkets and such.  Somewhere toward the end of the lengthy process I came across the one that follows. It may or may not be original but it was timely and sent a clear signal of what I was called to do. 


The next time you feel that GOD can’t use you, just remember……

Noah was a drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly, Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem and Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute

Jacob and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal and Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow Job went bankrupt

And, Peter denied CHRIST three times!

The Disciples feel asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything, Mary Magdalene was promiscuous

The Samaritan woman was divorced more than one time….

Zaccheus was too small, Paul was too religious, Timothy had an ulcer AND

Lazarus was dead.

 Now, no more excuses!  Remember - God is counting on you!

That’s almost the end of this story, but not quite…   I taped this message at eye level next to my computer that day, became senior warden and over time the prominently displayed message became part of my surroundings until it was time to prepare my last Holy Crossings article as Senior Warden.  On a whim I Googled “Palanca” and found (or was led to….) the following.

 Palanca is a Spanish word which means lever.

A lever (palanca) is a fixed body, typically a metal bar, pivoted on a fixed fulcrum used to move or lift a load.  We use a lever to overcome a resistance.

A hoist (palanca) is a device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps.  The load is attached to the hoist by means of a lifting hook. 

In the Cursillo Movement, we use the word palanca to designate the spiritual force represented by voluntary prayers and sacrifices which are done individually or in community with the aim of obtaining the grace of conversion.

In the same way that the lever enables a person to lift something which is beyond his or her strength, the prayers and sacrifices allow the apostle to accomplish more than he or she could alone.  The palancas help to overcome the resistance to grace for those for whom we pray.  Palancas help make life arise in abundance.

Now I truly understand the true meaning of the Palancas prepared for me at Cursillo and the forces that were set in motion in my life because of them.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you and I thank you sincerely for allowing me to be a part of the Holy Cross family.

Yours in Christ,


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