“Teacher, What Good Must I Do to Have Eternal Life?”

Do you get the sense, though they fear speaking of it near the water-cooler, that some people are finally awakening from their spiritual hibernation? Something, they say in hushed whispers, is amiss, not right, out of balance.

Not just something of course. If they continue to journey out of their spiritual slumber, they will find that currents of evil are visible in nearly every corner of the world. But no current of evil is more visible and insidious than the flagrant attack on our children’s innocence.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” …and behold, one came up to him, saying (Matt 19:14-16) …

“Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”

My heart breaks every time I listen to a “detransitioner” tell their story. One of them is Prisha Mosley, who began socially transitioning to be perceived as a boy at 15 years old. At 17, she started testosterone injections to masculinize her body. At 18, she underwent elective plastic surgery to remove both her breasts. Now at 24, Mosley is back to living as a woman. She has broad shoulders, narrow masculine hips, hair growth on her body and face and a permanently lower voice. Today she is sharing her story, hoping to save others from her mistakes. “Looking back, I was so clearly not well,” she said. “I was so unstable. I literally didn’t want to be alive…and I just don’t understand how, at that young age, plus not being with reality, I could make those decisions that would change my life forever. I can’t believe it. What is in it for the doctors? Did they genuinely think they were helping and there’s no research, or is it just about the money?”

As she continues to heal and attempts to reverse the damage that hormones and surgery caused, Mosely said she’s considering all her options, including legal action against her providers. “They really made me into a lifelong medical patient,” she said. Because of her transition, Mosley said she’s now left to “accept the scraps of the life I could have had” and mourn what’s gone. “The trans community tells you to kill your old self. It’s your dead name,” she said. “I literally feel like I killed a child, and it was me” (read the full story by Kelsey Bolar in the Epoch Times).

“Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”

Hearing a story like Prisha’s, it’s hard not to get angry at those who did not protect her, or for blood not to boil at the thought of the so-called “medical experts” who may have preyed on her at such a vulnerable time in her life. Surgically removing body parts and destroying healthy human function as Dr. Patrick Lappert testified in federal court, “Violates one of the most fundamental principles of plastic surgery” (Janice Hisle, Epoch Times).

At times like this, when so many are participating in evil, it’s important to remember that behind it all a fierce spiritual battle is being waged against humanity. In this battle the doctors are not the enemy, social media is not the enemy, even the government is not the enemy; the enemy is the enemy.

Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in Him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house forever; the son continues forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

He continued, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:31-38; 42-47).

Why is this attack on the innocents not being condemned louder in Christian Churches? One reason is that another common current of evil, moral relativism, has taken root, almost unchecked, within the walls of many Churches. In them you will find that any priest, minister or teacher courageous enough to teach the truth of human sexuality, marriage and the family is often aggressively confronted, even by their own congregation, their superiors, and “the principalities, the powers, the world rulers of this present darkness” (cf. Eph 6:12).

Pope Benedict XVI called the moral confusion that permeates the culture, “the dictatorship of moral relativism.” And Pope John Paul II added in Veritatis Splendor (VS), “… currents of thought which end by detaching human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship to truth. Thus the traditional doctrine regarding the natural law, and the universality and the permanent validity of its precepts, is rejected; certain of the Church’s moral teachings are found simply unacceptable; and the Magisterium itself is considered capable of intervening in matters of morality only in order to “exhort consciences” and to “propose values”, in light of which each individual will independently make his or her decisions and life choices.”

People need to turn to Christ once again in order to receive from him the answer to their questions about what is good and what is evil (VS 8). Turning to Christ is more than simply making a statement, “I believe in Jesus, or I have faith in God.” Satan believes in Jesus; he has seen him face to face. It will take more than a statement, more than subjective opinions that are “frequently heard which questions the intrinsic and unbreakable bond between faith and morality, as if membership in the Church and her internal unity were to be decided on the basis of faith alone, while in the sphere of morality a pluralism of opinions and kinds of behavior could be tolerated, these being left to the judgment of the individual subjective conscience or to the diversity of social and cultural context. Turning to Christ then means that one must, so to speak, enter him with all his own self; he must ‘appropriate’ and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deeper wonder at himself (VS 4, 8).

“Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” (Matt 19:16). If we wish to go to the heart of the Gospel’s teaching and grasp its profound and unchanging content…we must inquire into the meaning of this question asked of Jesus by the rich young man in the Gospel and, even more, the meaning of Jesus’ reply, allowing ourselves to be guided by him (VS 8).

Jesus says: “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good” (Matt 19:17). “What good must I do to have eternal life can only be found by turning one’s mind and heart to the “One” who is good: “No one is good but God alone” (Mk 10:18; cf. Lk 18:19). Only God can answer the question about what is good, because he is the Good itself (cf. VS 9).

To ask about the good, in fact, ultimately means to turn toward God, the fullness of goodness. Jesus shows that the young man’s question is really a religious question, and that the goodness that attracts and at the same time obliges man has its source in God, and indeed is God himself (VS 9).

Let us pray that God gives us the courage to do good on earth and protect his children, and ours, from the evils of our day.

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Jack Rigert is a co-founder of the John Paul II Renewal Center and the host of the "Become Who You Are" podcast. Jack was a professional chef and entrepreneur who owned restaurants, real estate, and a financial service company. Dramatic “encounters” with Jesus Christ at his dying brother’s bedside and again in the Eucharist at his brother’s funeral, brought him back into the Church after a twenty-year absence. While attending graduate school in Theology Jack came across the teaching of Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” He immediately understood that this was the treasure he had been seeking all his life, sold everything, and now travels the country presenting Parish Missions, Retreats and Classes. Jack has three grown children and six grandchildren. He lives in Elburn, Illinois with his wife, Jeannie, and is an active member of St. Gall’s Parish. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matt 13:44).

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