12 November 2015

The Human Condition: Good versus Evil

Originally Posted On August 1, 2015  

When I was a teenager, I went through my first real conversion experience. It was nothing mystical or dramatic. It was just a prompting of my heart to look deeper into the faith. I began reading about the saints and specifically the apostles. Peter was my favorite. I could see his humanity, and I could relate. I didn’t fully understand the role Peter played in the Church. That all came much later. I just understood him, and he became my patron saint, although I didn’t have a name for it back then
I used to put myself back in the time of Jesus. I remember wondering, if I had been alive during Jesus’ time on earth, how would I have reacted? When Jesus was arrested and put on trial, would I have been one of the crowd shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” or would I have been one of the Women of Jerusalem crying for Him on His way to Calvary? Today I still don’t know the answer, and it is troubling.

If we move through history, we are confronted with so many moral dilemmas. We look back with a clear vision on slavery in America and see the wrongs. But if I lived during those years, would I have been on the side of the Abolitionists or would I have been on the other side . . . the side that did not see slaves as human beings? Would I have been in support of the Fugitive Slave Act or not? It is hard to know, and it bothers me.

Then, if we move again through history, this time to Nazi Germany, where would I stand? Would I have been brave enough to speak up for my Jewish neighbors or would I see them as subhuman? Would I remain silent? Would I have been lost in the propaganda of Adolph Hitler and deny the atrocities? Which side would I be on—the side of good or evil? I honestly don’t know, and it worries me.

I used to wonder about all these things. I used to be grateful that I was spared the test. Well, we are never really spared the test because we are always in the face of evil. We are always forced to make a choice. It has been the human condition from the beginning: Good versus Evil.

And today we all have to make the same choice the people of the past had to make. Which side am I on?

What am I referring to?

Planned Parenthood and the whole abortion debate. I’m sure you have heard some things about the videos, the selling of body parts, the baby boy.

Why as a nation are we in denial? Why are we lost in their propaganda? Why do we see the unborn as non-human? Why do we think it is okay? Why do we look the other way?

Do we not want to know? Do we want to remain in the dark?

Do we want to be spared the test?

The truth is each one of us is being tested. And there is a choice to make: Good or Evil. Which side are you on?

I started this blog entry talking about my first real conversion experience and my fondness for St. Peter. Why? Because it is never too late for a change of heart.

Peter denied Jesus three times. He deserted Jesus on the cross. He denied and he deserted Jesus. But Peter had a change of heart. He betrayed Jesus just like Judas, but he had a change of heart and chose good over evil.

This week I was reminded of a quote by William Wilberforce. Who is William Wilberforce? He led the abolitionist movement to end the slave trade in Great Britain. There is a wonderful movie called Amazing Grace that tells his story. I highly recommend it.

So I will leave you with a powerful quote by this amazing man who saw first-hand the suffering of his fellow human beings, someone who chose good over evil: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.”

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