The word "Palanca" is Spanish for a lever or crow-bar.
In the sense in which it is used in Cursillo, it means the Eucharists, Rosaries, fasting, prayers, and personal sacrifices which are offerred on behalf of the Cursillistas and Pilgrims or Peregrinos.
"Walk to Emmaus" uses the term "Agape", the Biblical Greek word for Christian love; and some Youth movements use the words "Wheat" or "Caritas" (Love) rather than "Palanca".
The letters and small gifts which are sometimes given during a Cursillo are "Evidence of Palanca" - to show that someone has been praying for the Cursillistas before or during the Cursillo. They are not the real "palanca" of prayer and fasting, although they are sometimes confused with the reality of which they are a symbol.
Often the "evidence" takes the form of a craft or hand-made item, which someone has made while praying for the recipient.
Ideas for such crafts are given on a seperate Page so that communities may have access to a pool of ideas for "evidence of Palanca".
Many communitites wish these small gifts to come as a surprise to the Pilgrims.
If you have not yet been to a Cursillo, please don't expect that when you do, your community will use such "evidence of Palanca" - people will be praying for you, but they may not use any of the ideas given on these Pages.
P stands for the Privilege and Power of Prayer, and for Personal service to the Pilgrims.
A stands for Anytime, Anywhere, by Anybody, to Anyone, for Anything, which expresses the when, where, who, and why of Palanca.
L stands for the "Lever" (palanca) of our knees bent in prayer; for the Love of God towards us, and for our Love one to another; for the Light of Christ, and for His Light which we bring to the world; and for the Letters of love which are our evidence of palanca to the pilgrims.
A The second "A" stands for the Acts we do (Anonymously, if possible) to Affirm God's love in our lives, Ascribing all Adoration and praise to God our Father, rather than pointing to ourselves.
N stands for Nourishment - both in the spiritual sense, and also by providing for the Pilgrims' physical needs with food, snacks, and refreshments.
C stands for the Core of palanca - the Caring Community with Christ at the Center.
A : The last "A" stands for the Abundance of God's gifts to us, and for our need to Accept His love.
Here is a prayer reminding us of the spirit of Palanca :
"Lord, help me to give abundantly - someone is learning to receive."
Many Cursillo communities use the colours of the rainbow as a reminder of the forms which Palanca can take :
RED - Intentions at Eucharists, Rosaries.
ORANGE - Prayer
YELLOW - Sacrificial works
GREEN - Study
BLUE - Meditation
PURPLE - Fasting
Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved