Palanca is a Spanish word that means “lever.” Just as a lever enables a person to move something which is beyond normal strength, palanca, as used in Cursillo, empowers the accomplishment of things which would not be possible without the Grace of God. Today, perhaps more than ever, it is necessary to remind ourselves that without God we are nothing, bereft of value, and incapable of doing anything of spiritual value. With that in mind, we must keep the concept of palanca in balance. In other words, whatever service we perform on a Cursillo weekend will have little or no value if done in and of ourselves. Palanca, which is one of the most characteristic marks of the Cursillo movement, is effective only when the prayers, sacrifices and works of mercy are done in conjunction with the presence of the Holy Spirit; allowing God to use us to serve his people. If the effectiveness of all the human efforts in the Cursillo movement is to be assured, palanca must be genuine and offered by communities and individuals living in union with Christ. The purpose of palanca is to serve as God’s arms and hands in the lives of the candidates on the weekend by extending the grace which has so freely been extended to us. Bear in mind that letters in and of themselves are not palanca! Letters are merely one vehicle in which we convey the actual palanca being done at that time; the effort, thoughts and prayers that go into the letters are actually the palanca, not the letters themselves. Palanca can fall into several categories; not all of which result in notes or letters.