The Growing in Holiness article series shares the stories of Catholics in the Diocese of Parramatta who are striving to grow in holiness through the means provided by the heritage of the Catholic Church.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2013: “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” (LG 40 § 2) All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)
Patrick O’Shea is studying a Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie University and was President of the Macquarie University Catholic Society from 2016-2017. He attends Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.
Patrick first heard about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession, as a student at St Bernadette’s Primary School, Castle Hill.
“While I was there, though, it was more of a routine rather than a devotion. It was when I started going to Redfield College in 2006 that I began to take the Sacrament more seriously,” Patrick said.
“When I made my first serious confession it was the most liberating experience of my life.”
The effect has transformed his life in ways Patrick “never could have imagined,” he said.
“Every time I go to confession, I experience a great burden being lifted from my shoulders. Whenever I go to confession, I walk in the shoes of the Prodigal Son and God my Father affirms me in my Catholic masculinity.”
Patrick says it is of paramount importance for all Catholics to use this Sacrament frequently.
“Not only because Christ instituted it after His Resurrection, but because it will also give life and unity to the Church in ways unimaginable,” Patrick said.
“God our Father wants to embrace us and lift us up after every fall with mercy.”
Patrick hopes and prays for many more Catholics to practice regular confession.
“I strongly encourage all Catholics to frequent this Sacrament and respond to the Lord’s invitation to forgiveness.”
His message of responding to God’s offer of forgiveness through repentance is timely because Advent is a ‘mini-Lent’ to prepare for the birth of Christ, who is salvation.