Jerry’s Witness

This is Jerry. Jerry is 18 years old and from the state of New York. I had the pleasure to sit down with him and ask him about how God has worked in his life. Here is Jerry’s witness.

All glory to God.

Favorite verse: Pslam 46:10
Song stuck in my head: From the Inside Out – Hillsong
Setting: JC Center

What was your faith life like growing up?:

“Well, I was raised Catholic my entire life. My dad was Lutheran, but when I was 7 he converted to Catholicism to support my mom. My mom taught me CCD, and it was because of her that I found a deep inspiration to grow in prayer and grow in the faith. I always wanted to be in her CCD class and it was really cool to have my mom teach me the faith. I went to public school between kindergarten and 8th grade, and then starting 9th grade I went to Iona prep, which is a Catholic high school. There I went on a couple retreats that were really transforming for me.”

Was there a time that you chose your faith?:

“Well, it’s a little tough to answer. I always wanted the faith, but I didn’t realize I needed to go deeper. I didn’t really understand the personal relationship with God. So I prayed to Him and I felt His blessings and presence in my life, but I didn’t feel a need to go into it and make it my own. I always identified with it, but it wasn’t a huge part of me. Making that step happened on a retreat called Kairos in high school. I was able to go on it and lead it twice, and noticing the transformation in me and identifying myself as a son of God, not just a Catholic. And also leading my fellow classmates to God and a deeper and personal relationship with Him, it was really transforming. It was one of the first times I noticed God really working through me.”

Who is God to you?:

“God is my creator. He is my everything. Yeah, He is the source of everything good in my life. I am abundantly blessed by Him, one- to be alive, two- have the family and friends that I do, three-  to be at this university. He is my everything.”

How has God worked in your life?:

“That’s difficult to say. I am the oldest of nine children, and I have four little siblings up in heaven, and I have two wonderful loving parents and a great family structure, with extended family too. He has opened every single door for me, I’ve been blessed in every regard, and able to have the gift of faith. To be able to be an older brother is a gift in and of itself, not only do I have siblings, but I am able to show Christ’s love to them. And through people, it doesn’t matter who you meet, you can see aspects of God’s nature in every single person. Sometimes there’s the quiet and reflecting, but it doesn’t matter who it is, people bring out the best of God.”

Favorite Saint, Why?:

“My personal favorite saint is Saint John Vianny. He was called the “Curé d’Ars” and he was a French priest during religious persecution in France. He is the patron saint of diocesan priests. He was never the brightest guy, he could barely get through Latin, and it was really holding him back from the priesthood. But he was able to memorize a single passage of Latin, and when tested on it to see if he could enter vows it was the one passage he was asked to recite. Good thing, he was renowned for confessions, he had the gift of reading souls, and there were so many miracles worked though him. The devil literally took a physical presence and visited him and burned down his bed. He only slept 2-3 hours a day, ate one potato a day, and literally lived off of Christ’s love. Every single aspect of that man’s life was a prayer. I don’t know if I am called to be a priest, but I know I’m called to live out that life.”

Favorite person from the bible, not Jesus. And why?:

“It’s got to be Jesus, oh it can’t be Jesus. Okay, probably Saint Joseph, he doesn’t have any lines in the bible, but he gets up and does what he has to do. He is very disciplined. He is a man of conviction. He was put in a very awkward spot to have a foster son and a wife that he could not have the conjugal act with. And instead of complaining he decided to dignify Mary, received a message in the vision of an angel, and did whatever God asked of him. He raised Jesus and there are so many aspects of Jesus’ life that are reflective of the work that Saint Joseph did. He had a kind of tough spot in the Holy Family. Like if there was sin committed by the Holy Family, it was by Saint Joseph. It’s kind of funny to think about but he gave Jesus a lot of His human characteristics and did whatever had to be done. It’s something to model after, especially as a man, to just go up and do something. It’s hard to do, but he did that in every single part of his life.”

What are ways that you live out your faith daily?:

“Besides prayer and daily mass, I think one of the best ways I live out my faith is trying to interact with people. I like kind of playing to an audience, if I can make someone laugh it makes me feel good. Not because I’m hilarious, which I am, but I like making people smile. I think we are all meant to be jubilant, and excited, and live high on the faith, in whatever that means for any particular person. I think it’s fun to bring out someones cheerful side. But I also live in competition, trying to be the best I can be. Either in the weight room or in the class room. But being present, and especially to other people, is huge. It comes from being a big brother I think, being raised by my parents to be a loving son and big brother. Jesus’ mission was to be present to us on earth, and it’s through human interaction that we are able to reflect change and show Christ’s love. That’s what He did, and that’s what I’ll try to do.”

Is there something you wish everyone knew about God?:

“He loves us. He’s real. I think it’s tough when people have to comply with a standard or feel that they’re trapped. Meanwhile, their loving creator is there throwing out His arms, waiting for us to come back to Him. He is so good. I wish people realized how present He is in our life.”

Can you close in prayer?:

“Dear God, I ask you to bless this day, bless Dani as she does her thing. Please bless this campus and those part of it. Help us to bring your light to the world and to be a source of light to those who feel darkness. Bless our studies and our interactions. Help me to find out what patience is, and bless those who have no one to pray for them and all the souls in Purgatory. I ask this in the saints intercession as we pray: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

 

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