FAITH on Tap was enlightened early this month by the faith journey of Sydney Catholic Gary O’Shea who “relates well to (St) Peter”.
“I love thinking about Peter on the boat as an analogy for my life,” Gary said.
“Peter just got out and started walking on the water.
“It wasn’t until he took his eyes off Jesus and realised he was in the middle of a storm that he got in trouble.”
Twenty-year-old Gary, who is discerning a vocation to the priesthood, said he’s had a similar experience of losing focus on Jesus.
“I’ve been teased just for being a Catholic,” he said.
“When you’re a Catholic you are considered a wimp because you are saying ‘no’ to the things that make you cool.
“(But) I’ve only found dead-ends in those things … drinking with friends (for example is), a dead-end.”
Moving away from “keeping faith in a little box”, Gary said he had a “reversion” last year, resulting in him saying “Yes” to active and on-going faith.
He studies film at Notre Dame University and recently had a three-month opportunity to join a Catholic mission in the Philippines dedicated to prayer and God’s Word.
Other opportunities, like the chance to talk to young people in Brisbane on March 7, have also “just popped up”.
“I’m just an ordinary person,” Gary said.
“(But) I realise that faith is a battle … and when I have reflected on Peter’s life I’ve felt like he’s told me to ‘Man up and follow Christ’.
“It’s interesting because Peter used the same kind of words my friends used when they would say, ‘Man up, Gaz, and have a drink, get a girl’.”
Gary said his coming into active faith was “a slow journey” but one with its foundation in his family who are dedicated Catholics.
So too was an awakening of the value in “a true relationship with Jesus”.
“Something clicked when I realised a real relationship with God is achieved by talking to Jesus on a human level,” Gary said.
“It has made me the best person I can be … rather than being lazy, spending time drinking … (and) procrastinating with my study because of too much time spent on Facebook.
“Jesus was showing me something different,” he said.
Faith on Tap is normally held on the second Monday of the month but in March it was held early.
For more information about upcoming events go to www.faithontap.org.au