Types of Palanca

Many of the types of Palanca on the Memphis Cursillo online form are self-explanatory, so this document will focus on those that might not be clear to someone who is new to offering Palanca. The descriptions that follow are presented in the same order in which they are found on the web form. The descriptions and examples used are provided by the author for the benefit of the reader and without reference to any particular source.

Acts of Fasting

Self-explanatory.

Acts of Personal Devotion

This is devotion to the Cursillo Movement. Think of an Act of Personal Devotion as something that you do that further’s the movement or brings a friend to Christ. For example, you might call a friend who hasn’t been grouping to encourage him/her. Or respond to a request for assistance helping to set up or remove chairs at a clausura or an Ultreya. You can probably think of other examples. An act of devotion may not take long, but you can count it as Palanca.

Acts of Personal Sacrifice

This is similar to acts of personal devotion, but you give up something else when you act. For instance, you’re asked if you can help a Cursillo event with your time or treasure. You may be giving up time when you’d have done something else or spent money on something else. Perhaps it’s simply inconvenient, but you do it anyway, count it as an act of personal sacrifice.

Catholic Prayers

These are traditional Catholic prayers that aren’t covered in another type of Palanca. Examples are Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, the Morning Offering, the Angelus, the Divine Office, etc. If it’s in a Catholic book of prayers, then it’s a Catholic prayer.

Chaplets

Most of us would think right away of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, but please count any chaplet. The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel, the Chaplet of the Ten Virtues of Mary, or the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary are examples of other chaplets.

Days of Abstinence

A day when you give up something, food or otherwise, for the Cursillo, it’s a day of abstinence. The Memphis Cursillo has received Palanca for our weekends when people count as abstinence a day when no television was watched, or the radio was left off in the car. Think of anything that you would be a normal and expected part of your day, and let go of it for a day.

Hours of Adoration

This one is straightforward enough, but it is sometimes confused with Visits to the Blessed Sacrament. If you are before the exposed Blessed Sacrament in a Perpetual Adoration chapel or a holy hour, please count the hours spent.

Hours of Personal Devotion

The difference between this type of Palanca and an act of devotion is that it can be measured in hours, and it is one that any active Fourth Day Cursillista will have no trouble counting. How long does your group reunion last? How long was that Ultreya that you attended? How much time did you spend on a team or as a weekend volunteer? Are you a member of the Cursillo Secretariat or on a Secretariat committee? If you can say yes to any of these questions, I’ll bet you can also count one or two hours a week as Palanca. Oh, and don’t forget to count drive time as part of those hours.

Litanies

This is a specific type of Catholic prayer. Examples: Litany of Humility, Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Litany of Loreto, etc.

Masses and Communions

Self-explanatory.

Novenas

A novena is comprised of Catholic prayers or intercessory prayers that are prayed over a nine day period. For example, the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or the Novena to St. Jude.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

No explanation is needed. Count them if they’re not part of a recitation of The Rosary or a novena.

Personal Prayers

This type of Palanca is just the way it sounds. If you say a prayer in your own words, it is a personal prayer. For example, one might pray, “Lord, thank you for your infinite love and mercy. Please be with me as I talk to my friend about Cursillo. Send forth the Holy Spirit to guide my words and open my friend’s heart to your love. In Jesus name I pray.”

Prayers of Intercession

This is a prayer with which you petition our Lord’s help by asking a saint or the Blessed Mother to intercede on your behalf. It can be either a personal prayer of intercession or one of the many Catholic prayers of intercession.

Rosaries and Stations of the Cross

Self-explanatory.

Visits to the Blessed Sacrament aka ‘Tabernacle Visit’

This can be counted each time you visit a tabernacle in a church/chapel sanctuary or the exposed Blessed Sacrament. In the case of the latter, if the visit was an hour or more, count it as an hour of adoration.

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