Palanca is a word used to describe a powerful spiritual force within the Cursillo movement as well as one of the most powerful characteristics of the Tres Dias method. Palanca is a Spanish word that simply means ‘Lever’. It enables the accomplishment of things that would otherwise be impossible without the Grace of God, in much the same way a lever is used to multiply the force needed to move something beyond one’s own strength. Palanca is a powerful spiritual force.
Palanca is the actual effort, action, thought, prayers, sacrifice or works of mercy that are offered for the spiritual success of those we love and serve. Its power, like a lever comes from these outside forces acting on it. The Cursillo Movement uses the word ‘palanca’ to designate the spiritual force represented by voluntary prayers and sacrifices individually or in community with the aim of overcoming the resistance to Grace of those for whom we pray. It helps life arise above and beyond what we are capable of in our own strength. A palanca is the lifting up, the moving beyond impossibility and the overcoming of resistance taking place in each one’s personal inner life.
Initially, palanca was made known in a letter to participants and with time it began to be expressed through other means like trinkets and small gifts. It is imperative that we not lose our focus on the’ lever’ and become distracted by the form in which the leverage is revealed. The gift itself is representative of the prayer and sacrifice of the giver. It was Jesus Who gave us the ultimate palanca on the cross. There are several categories such as personal, general and service palanca that are an integral part of every phase: before, during and after the weekend experience.
Sending letter palanca is a custom that is strongly recommended in the Cursillo Movement and since the advent of the Internet, sending palanca has taken many different forms of expression. Just as the lever immensely affected our development creating greater output with fewer resources, the Internet enables us to quickly and easily share the spiritual force of palanca and even make the gift representing the expression of prayers and sacrifices easily accessible for potential candidates around the world.
It’s in this spirit, that I have created an online resource not only for the purpose of sharing ideas for but to actually make, hand made palanca as easily accessible as store bought. The Internet can be used as a lever for easily creating an increased output of the true expression of palanca and make it accessible to literally any one in the world. Making hand made palanca available via the Internet does not in any way detract from its spiritual value anymore then an emailed palanca letter. Using the Internet as a lever to move this spiritual force can have benefits that reach far beyond our own community’s effectiveness.
For example, it can be used to bless those without an abundance of palanca in less wealthy communities and countries, with the real value not in the gift itself but in the spiritual force it represents. This blessing can be both practical and powerful in building relationships to strengthen and unite 4th day communities. Other unique aspects of the weekend that can be used to carry the spiritual force of palanca include banners, prayer shawls and lanyards and should be easily accessible as well.