Cursillos in Christianity
In today's world can Christianity penetrate the many areas of secular life? Can it live there? Can it grow there? Can it transform the world in a way that is more fruitful than the past and in keeping with the times? The Cursillo Movement thinks so. It proposes no new type of spirituality, but simply a method through which one's spirituality may be developed, lived and shared in any area of human life where there are Christians willing to dedicate their lives to God in an on-going manner.
Instrument of Renewal
The movement of Cursillos in Christianity is a powerful instrument of renewal in the Church. Its aim is to concentrate closely on the Person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The Cursillo gives those who attend it a living understanding of basic Christian truths and the desire to serve the Church. What's more it provides a means to continue the Christian formation which is just begun in the three day exercises.
Format of the Exercises
Cursillo (pronounced kur-see-yo)
is a Spanish word meaning "little" or "short course". It begins on a
Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday night. During those
three days the Cursillistas (those attending) live and work together,
listening to talks by priests and laymen. They also attend Mass,
receive Communion, pray the rosary and visit the Blessed Sacrament daily.
Not a Retreat
A Cursillo can be made only once in a lifetime, therefore it is not a substitute for a retreat. The basic atmosphere of a Cursillo differs greatly from the individual solitude of a retreat. During the three day exercises the teachings of Christ are discussed in a climate of joy, with many singing and joke sessions. Actually the Cursillo makes succeeding retreats more profitable and Cursillistas are encouraged to make regular retreats.
.The Fourth Day
The "after" activity of the Cursillo is known as the "fourth day', that is the balance of the Cursillistas life on earth. During this time perseverance is important just as it is in any method of renewal. In the Cursillo Movement the community spirit is continued after the three days through the "ultreyas' or reunions of the community. These are available weekly as a means of growth in understanding and zeal within the Christian community. Reunions of smaller groups of friends are also available in order for them to encourage one another in spiritual improvement and the Christian apostolate.
Pope Paul VI
The Holy Father, Pope Paul the VI has given his approval to the Cursillo Movement. In December, 1963, he approved the Movement appointing St Paul as the official Patron and Protector of the Cursillo Movement. On that occasion he said in part: "This method of Christian teaching commonly called Cursillos in Christianity extends already over a great number of the faithful and has produced abundant fruit: Christian renewal of the family life....vitalization of parishes: faithful observance of duties: in private as well as public. All this has filled with the greatest satisfaction the Bishops and the other shepherds of souls."
Encounter with Christ
A Cursillo is an encounter
withy Christ. That sounds too simple but it's not. Think about
it. A real meeting with Christ. If that is understood then the
power, beauty and joy of the Cursillo Movement will be understood.
The Cursillo is an encounter with Christ. Correctly applied and overseen the Cursillo Movement can have very positive results in the spiritual revitalization of the world. The Christ-likeness in a few good people is contagious. The transference of Christ's values to others in one's family, school, place of business, etc., is the Christianizing of environments the Cursillo promotes. The goal of the movement is that Christ be the prime influence in society. So it is said that the PRIMARY OBJECTIVES of the Cursillo Movement are to develop in adult Chriatians a consciousness of their power and mission to become leaders in the work of Christian renewal, and to sustain them as they provided a Christian leaven in civic, social and economic life. This "Christianizing of environments" is what the Cursillo Movement is all about.