In the Cursillo Movement we often talk about "palancas". What does it mean?
Palanca is a Spanish word which means lever
"Give me a leaver and a fulcrum and I will lift up the Earth" - Archimedes
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 allows 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 to make life arise in abundance.
This is a mystery of faith. To offer a palanca is to put into practice the dogma of the Communion of Saints.
As mentioned by Pius XII in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body :
"It is really an awesome mystery, which we will never meditate enough, that the salvation of many is dependant on the voluntary prayers and sacrifices of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body". - Encyclical on the Mystical Body
All cursillistas are invited to "do palancas" especially on the occasion of cursillo weekends which are happening in their diocese.
What do we mean by "sending palancas"?
To "do palancas" is to offer prayers and sacrifices. A palanca takes place in each one’s personal inner life. All cursillistas can offer palance in the form of the prayer vigil happening while the weekend is in progress, or by helping out in the kitchen and servig God and strengthening community in this form.
Since Cursillo movements and Cursillo families are all over the world, we pray for each movement and for the success of their weekends. We usually send and receive "international palanca" from other movements either within Canada or from all over the world. These are letters of greetings, encouragements and prayer.