Fr. Robert Bengry: Lenten Trials

I love this photo of my Great Grandpa. I found it in an old envelope — a letter to his mother-in-law. I remember him well. He lived to such a grand old age and was a really great story teller. A good sense of humour too. I miss him. R Bengry

If Lent is difficult, you’re probably doing something right. The Lenten season of the Church isn’t symbolic or for  show — it’s rather an opportunity to seek and ask for a deep transformation of one’s own soul. Giving up chocolate is one thing, but are you trying to become who it is that God made you to be? Are you actively turning against the sins you fall to over and over again? Are you making a special effort to avoid the near occasion of sin?
    Of course we should be doing these things all year, but Lent gives us an opportunity to do these things in an even more concerted way. Added to this are the Lenten disciplines that help us turn to the good and away from the bad.
    Do you love your neighbours? If ‘yes’ how? And who is your neighbour? Jesus asked that question. Your answer is important.
    Do you love your enemies? If ‘yes’ how? Is there proof? This was important to Jesus and He wants you to love your enemies. Pray for them, wish for their success and help them succeed so they too can be who God made them to be.
    You’re made in God’s image, but here’s the thing: so is the person you love the least and so is the person you hate the most. Love your enemies Jesus said.
    Lent. It is a difficult season of reflexion and turning again to God in preparation for Easter. It’s a difficult season... or it should be anyway. — Fr. Bengry

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The photograph: From the Robert Bengry collection. Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved.