Fr. Robert Bengry: Begin Again

 


St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said “Do not let the past disturb you. Just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy.” 
    What are the things in your past that hold you back? Who are the people who would love to keep you there? (What are their motivations?) Who are the people you need to forgive so you can live in the present? What are the things you need to let go of so you can attend to the right now?
     I’ve been on holiday in my old home town and I return to Calgary tomorrow. I’ve done things here that are important to me: I said Mass at little St. Stephen’s, I had a picnic on my Dad’s grave. I’ve reconnected with old friends. When one comes home, it’s natural to reminisce and to think about the past. Of course what I notice is how much things have changed: the trees in the park near to my old house are so big now. My childhood friends are old men—like me! But what I am reminded of is that we all are given the opportunity to let go and grow. 
    When I look back at my life, I can see how imperfect things have been. I can see so many disappointments... but I can also see just how good God is and how He always calls our name and always calls us closer and closer to Him. Not everyone takes Him up on His offer to draw near... sadly none of my childhood friends are religious. But that does not change the fact that God is always calling us and always giving us the opportunity to do what pleases Him. As long as we draw breath we can choose God; choose eternal life. And what’s so great, is when we choose God, we’re always being made anew.
    They say every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future. This is true, so turn again and again to God. When you stumble know that God wants to lift you up and set you on your feet again and again. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t take our sins seriously—we certainly must! And we must make amendments and must resolve to sin no more, but it is to say that we have a Saviour who saves: a Redeemer who redeems. 
     Say ‘yes’ to Jesus Christ as oft as you can. Every day and every minute if you can... and resolve to begin again with joy as St. Teresa of Calcutta says. — Fr. Bengry

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The photo above was taken at the ruins of a Synagogue at Capernaum built upon older foundations of the Synagogue where the Lord taught. Peter lived near to this place and the Lord spent much time there. It’s a strange place because so many wonderful things happened there, but it was cursed by Jesus Christ Himself because of the lack of faith they possessed. “Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” (Mt 11:21–24) A strange place indeed. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to go. But that place comes with a warning: believe and follow the Lord and live forever in joy and felicity or follow the ways of the world and suffer eternally. —Fr. Bengry





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The photograph: From the Sean Beahen collection. Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.