Sebastián Gayá. The child in God's hands

The figure of Sebastián Gayá, one of the initiators of the Cursillos in Christianity, is once again in the spotlight on the occasion of the opening of his canonization process.

Pilar Turbidí-November 22, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes

Sebastián Gayá, one of the three initiators of Cursillos in ChristianityThe Holy See recognizes that he was the priest who led the group of young people from which sprang - by the work of the Holy Spirit - a Church movement for the world. This is how he was described by St. Paul VI at the first World Ultreya in 1966: "Cursillos in Christianity: that's the word, honed in experience, accredited in its fruits, that today travels with a charter of ciudadanito the roads of the world".

The figure of Sebastián Gayá has been revived with the opening of the diocesan phase of the process of canonization of the Servant of God. A journey begins in which the Church sheds light on his writings and the testimonies of those who knew him personally. All this, to prove that he never strayed from the faith, that he lived the virtues to a heroic degree and that the fame of holiness is authentic.

"The mission-conscious man", This is how, in a few words, we would describe our character. Sebastian knew that a cause does not live until someone is willing to die for it. And his cause was... Evangelization. To this enterprise he dedicated his life. And the instrument was... the Cursillo de Cristiandad; a harmonious method oriented to the encounter of man with himself, with God and with his brothers.

The mystery of the cross presided over his life. He was in poor health. He endured adversities, disaffection and even dismissals in the very bosom of the Church. However, in the face of pain, he responded with humility and meekness; the fruit of faith and charity from which he lived as many annoyances as assailed him, and there were many. Perhaps, every resignation, every misunderstanding, Sebastian offered it as an oblation for the fruits of the Cursillo Movement, and for many other intentions that the investigation of the Cause will clarify in its day.

God tested him, from his childhood - in 1913 he had to leave his parents in Argentina and return alone to study in the seminary of Mallorca - until his death. And from each trial he emerged stronger. God blessed him with a firm voice, a burning gaze and an overflowing dedication, even to the point of exhaustion. In the face of laziness, he always repeated: "Don't get tired of getting tired.". Such was his priestly dedication that, when he was over seventy years old, at the closing of one of the Cursillos he said, emphatically: "Today, I would like to be thirty years old again to give them back to the Lord." 

Sebastián Gayá repelled the "capillismos" and was firm in his love for the Church, unconditionally faithful to the Church. When asked about the spirituality of Cursillos in Christianity, he always repeated the same thing: "The Church's own."

He knew he was in the provident hands of the Father and that conviction made Sebastian a bold man. It was the confidence of the son who is in the Father's hands. To illustrate this, he had recourse to an experience that he recreated with vigor. For a few moments, Sebastian became a father of a family who, while speaking of the greatness of being a child of God, was interrupted by his young son. The latter only wanted to play with his father. Realizing this, the father grabbed him by the arms, lifted him off the ground and hugged him, in front of everyone, and kissed him. Immediately, he separated him from his chest, fixed his gaze full of tenderness in the child's eyes and... released him, throwing him upwards, over his head. The child, far from being frightened, screamed: "Higher daddy, higher...!". And the father, happy, threw him back into the void, again, even higher. And the child, laughing, shouted again: "Higher, higher, higher, Dad!".

So, again and again. Sebastian used this image to describe the relationship that the Father has with his children; children of God! "I am" -Sebastian said. "the child of God. And the child is not afraid because the arms of the Father are always waiting for him; he trusts him. The emptiness does not worry him, on the contrary, the higher the better. Because the child has... the Father's assurances. He may lose contact, but the child knows that the Father is there, with him. He can throw him into the abyss of mystery, but the son knows that the Father sustains him." -Sebastian insisted, firm, with moist eyes. Sebastian accompanied many as a father. A father of a long list of children. A father who passed on certainties and liquidated false human respects at the cry of "Ultreya! Higher! Higher! Higher! Higher!".

When Sebastian celebrated his sixtieth priestly anniversary he said to those who were there: "I've known for sixty years that I don't belong to myself." And so it was, because his life was consecrated to Jesus Christ. That is why, in the Apostolic Hour, a text written by him to encourage the cursillistas to let themselves be conquered by the Sacred Heart of Christ the King, Sebastian left written: "Look upon us at your feet, adoring your divine greatness. [...] We truly want to be yours, Lord; and through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother, we consecrate ourselves to you."

To conclude: "Grant, Lord, that we may open for all men a wide way to your grace. Make the world return to you, even at the cost of our lives. Amen.". This dedicated life is shown to us today as a radiant proposal for Cursillos in Christianity, for the Church and for the world.

The authorPilar Turbidí

Manager of the Sebastián Gayá Foundation.

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