- Last Updated on Monday, 02 January 2017 09:14
When anyone takes up the work of the conversion and Christian renewal of persons and the evangelization of human groups, it is absolutely indispensable that the entire work be built upon the grace of God.
This is the foundational stone upon which all other human efforts must be based and developed. This grace can be obtained only through the powerful means of trusting, constant and humble prayer.
Today, perhaps more than ever, it is necessary to remind ourselves that without God, we are nothing...and incapable of doing anything. We must reaffirm that before anything else, the most characteristic mark of the Cursillo methodology ties in the whole concept of Palanca prayers, sacrifices and works of mercy. Palanca must be genuine and offered by communities and individuals living in union with Christ and each other if the effectiveness of all other human efforts in the Movement is to be assured. This is to take seriously the promise of Christ: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7)
A good yardstick of any local Movement is attitude toward Palanca, its overall focus on it, and how the spirit of it is incorporated in the lives of the Spiritual Advisors and Lay leaders. In this regard, a concern for developing a spirit of prayer and self-denial should be the overriding factor.
Within the movement, we must be vigilant that the term Palanca not be misunderstood and abused so that incidental trimmings overshadow its interior call and meaning. It must be understood that letters are not Palanca. Letters are merely a vehicle in which we convey the actual Palanca being done. Keeping this in mind, we must realize that Palanca can be done for a particular purpose without having to write a letter about it. For instance, Palanca can be done for the efforts of cursillistas in trying to utilize the Cursillo method. All of us need Palanca of this type, but it would be impractical to write letters to thousands of cursillistas.
Sacrifice is part and parcel of the Christian life. Any de-emphasis of it in the Movement would indicate a shift away from Christ-centeredness. In the life of the Church, we are offered seasons such as Lent and Advent to bring us back to the proper spirit. A way to make these seasons even more Christ centered would be to live in a spirit of Palanca each day.
Palanca offerings should not be limited to the three days. The selection of candidates, the study of environments, the growth of Group Reunion, Ultreyas, and especially the work of the Secretariat and the School of Leaders depend mostly on authentic and generous Palanca offered by all, particularly the leaders. St. Paul reminds us in Romans 12:1, “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him.” This is the true worship we should each offer. Taken from the Leader’s Manual, pages 135 & 136.
Palanca in the PreCursillo
Prayer has always been the strength of the Cursillo. Since grace is an absolute necessity in the re-Christianization of the world, no Cursillo should be prepared or carried out without an appropriate spiritual task force (Palanca), both individual and collective.
For this reason, Palanca should be an active part of the PreCursillo. It is important that the prayers and sacrifices, for the work being done to select and penetrate possible environments, is continual. This Palanca should also be offered for those cursillistas who are in the process of evangelizing possible candidates. Furthermore, Palanca should be offered for the potential candidates to help ensure that nothing interferes with their plans to attend the Cursillo weekend. Excerpts taken from the Leader’s Manual, page 137.
Palanca on the 3-day Cursillo
As the original writings of the Movement states, the love of God of all Christians is witnessed during the Weekend through the Palanca performed by the cursillistas. It should be made clear that it is normal for a person to make sacrifices for others, even if they don’t know them personally.
The role of the outside community is passive and isolated in terms of the Weekend, except for its Palanca. Palanca gives witness to the solidarity of the members of the Church. The spiritual presence of these praying communities should be communicated to the Cursillistas on the weekend. It should be made apparent that it is normal for Christians to pray and sacrifice for others.
The emphasis should be on general Palanca with the outside community offering prayer and sacrifice for the community that is being formed on the three days.
Palanca in the Postcursillo
In the past, once the Cursillo Weekends came to a closure, the Palanca came to a closure as well. The new cursillistas are going to be leaving this cloistered atmosphere of a community centered Christ. They will be returning to the environments that they left on Thursday. They will be returning to the daily pressures and concerns that they did not have to contend with during the Weekend. In other words, they need our prayers, sacrifices, love and support more now than they did during the Weekend.
Furthermore, these new cursillistas will become integrated within the various local Cursillo environments of Group Reunions, Ultreyas, and possibly the School of Leaders. The Cursillo leaders of these Cursillo environments need to understand the needs of these new cursillistas. The leaders need to be able to satisfy those needs. All is done for the purpose of building up God’s Kingdom here on Earth. The leaders need the ongoing prayers, sacrifices, love and support of the Cursillo community. In other words, they need Palanca for the efforts they are making on behalf of Christ for the Cursillo Movement.
Palanca should not be limited to cursillistas and Cursillo leaders of a specific area. Palanca should be seen as a universal tool for the Cursillo Movement of the universal Church that we are all part of.
Excerpts taken from the Leader’s Manual, pages 139-140.
Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Cursillo Secretariat 2007