Another question about blasphemy


#1

Matthew 12;32
And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

I understand that the verse shows proof for Purgatory, but the part I have bolded is what I seek the answer to. What does it mean that it can’t be forgiven in this life?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

God Bless.


#2

Interested in hearing this as well.


#3

Think matthew 16:19…the apostles cannot absolve (in this world) this sin, therefore he who commits this sin will be judged accordingly at both the time of death and at the last judgement (the world to come).


#4

My understanding thus far:

It is the Holy Spirit of God who forgives our confessed sins in this life, even if we don’t come to Know the Holy Spirit personally by the Indwelling or Filling of the Holy Spirit (see verses below) - those are the states of conscious contact with the Holy Spirit that would determine blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to be utterly unforgiveable.

If one Knows the Holy Spirit (like St. Paul Knew the Holy Spirit) - and then rejects the only Gift from God Himself for our Redemption, made available to us by Christ’s Love for us - there is no other recourse.

I think of it this way…if I’ve confessed to the level of having the temple of the body cleansed sufficiently for the Holy Spirit to Indwell - and then kick the Holy Spirit out by returning to gross sins of willfully stealing, sex, porn, murder, drinking, idol worship, etc., the Holy Spirit won’t be back. I’ve never heard of anyone doing this, but it must be possible or Christ wouldn’t have warned us.

Oddly enough, there’s a program on now by Jim Savley talking about this. He said that once we are committed to the Narrow Path in concert with the Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit will exert loving pressure on us to keep us ‘tucked in’ and moving deeper into the narrow way. That we may bump up against the sides of the ‘canal’ from time to time with our human failings still with us, but we wouldn’t easily ‘fall out’ of the Stream (by gross sin). Pretty neat analogy.

Hebrews 6:4-6

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.


#5

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit simply means refusing to repent and dying in a state of mortal sin.


#6

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is about total rejection of God. My Catholic understanding is that it includes things like believing that God cannot overcome your problems, that God isn’t enough for you, and complete resentment (hatred?) of God because of what He has asked you to face.
I suspect that this dovetails into your question about “this life” - a person who has so fully rejected God is unlikely to ask Him for forgiveness. I was taught that this was a complete hardening of the heart – a person who goes so far as to blaspheme against that Holy Spirit is going further than an aetheist might: they are saying, “yes, God exists, but I don’t want any part of Him since He cannot overcome what I have done.(or what has been done to me).”

I don’t know any further than that - I am certain that there are better scholars on here than me, so I will bracket my answer with “I could be wrong in my understanding of what the Church teaches on this”.

Peace


#7

Cornelius a Lapide does not take this to be literal but has it to mean “difficultly forgiven” or “seldom forgiven”.

Verse 32- Shall not be forgiven: Arab. Shall not be relaxed, i.e., shall with difficulty, and seldom be forgiven. For this blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is most horrible, inexcusable, and altogether unworthy of pardon, and, considered simply in itself, takes away and excludes all medicine, and means of obtaining forgiveness. For such a blasphemer places himself in diametrical opposition to the Holy Ghost, and drives Him from him, yea blasphemes Him: the Holy Ghost, I say, by whom alone he could be absolved, healed, and sanctified. Similarly, we call an incurable disease one which does not admit of medicine, and rejects every kind of food. Nevertheless a blasphemer does not shut up the hand of God, so that God cannot have mercy upon him, although unworthy; and convert him, as He converted S. Paul, who confesses that he had been a blasphemer against God (1 Tim. i. 13).

Haydock Commentary says the same.

But how is this consistent with the Catholic doctrine and belief, that there is no sin any man commits of which he may not obtain pardon in this life? To this I answer, that in what manner soever we expound this place, it is an undoubted point of Christian faith, that there is no sin which our merciful God is not ready to pardon; no sin, for the remission of which, God hath not left a power in his Church, as it is clearly proved by those words, Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, &c. St. Chrysostom therefore expounds these words, shall not be forgiven them, to imply no more, than shall scarcely, or seldom be forgiven; that is, it is very hard for such sinners to return to God, by a true and sincere repentance and conversion; so that this sentence is like to that (Matthew xix. 26.) where Christ seems to call it an impossible thing for a rich man to be saved.


#8

The holy spirit is the third person in the blessed trinity - so you are cursing God - and if you believe God to be evil you can never come to God and the truth in the word of God - Jesus - in this life or the next.It separates you from God completely.And that is the true nature of the sin of blasphemy of God - who is the holy spirit.


#9

The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to be sorry.
If anyone totally eliminates Him from their life, they have cut off the source of love to be sorry for their sins. This is necessary for salvation. Blasphemy spurns that which is holy.

One other sin is also conditional, and that is, if we don’t forgive our neighbor then we won’t be forgiven either. This too in a way is blasphemy since then the temple of the Holy Spirit in another person is held in contempt.


#10

What if a person longs for The Holy Spirit? Recognizing what they have done, and being sorry only in a natural way? (Is that even possible?)

One other sin is also conditional, and that is, if we don’t forgive our neighbor then we won’t be forgiven either. This too in a way is blasphemy since then the temple of the Holy Spirit in another person is held in contempt.

That is an interesting angle I hadn’t considered before. :cool:

God bless.


#11

Thanks everyone, I am studying and considering the responses, and praying about them.
I really appreciate the input on this, as it has long baffled me.
I may have some questions once I’ve rested some.

God bless and have a restful night.:slight_smile:


#12

Quote:
One other sin is also conditional, and that is, if we don’t forgive our neighbor then we won’t be forgiven either. This too in a way is blasphemy since then the temple of the Holy Spirit in another person is held in contempt.

That is an interesting angle I hadn’t considered before.

God bless.

While I still can’t see ‘blasphemy of the Holy Spirit’ attached to unforgiveness, it does sound like a useful ‘mind tool’ that I missed the first time around.

Assume all ‘temples’ are under construction by the Holy Spirit and I’m to remove trash from any of them that I put there and caused a ‘binding’ - like unforgiveness. :wink:


#13

I don’t think its a punishment that God puts on a person - once a person sees God as evil they are lost to the truth - its a punishment they have brought on to themselves - I know people who scofff everytime God is mentioned - I was sitting by someone last night at work who was saying God is evil and vindictive - there is nothing I can say to him that will change his thought on this.My brother gets angry at the mention of God and there is nothing I can do about that either - I have tried - its how he has choosen to see it.
.

I am sure some people do look for the truth again and do come back - most never look again and see God as fiction or evil - so by doing this they condem themselves.

God with boundless mercy is ever ready to take a person back.But if a person has blinded themself from God they are truely lost.


#14

It is hard to believe that anyone could become so far away from God. Yes, I do see some who appear to be, and yet, I don’t ever look at it as a “permanent” state.
Some of what you mentioned is what I struggle with, sort of, and I fight against those thoughts as they are unbidden and not purposefully entertained. The part about God not being enough is more a scenario of God is enough, but my own level of cooperation isn’t. It’s like a constant catch 22 in my own brain that I can’t seem to escape from. Like my own brain is determined to undermine any hope or peace I may gain or experience.
I don’t want to live a life of sin, and have taken measures to avoid the near occasion.
I believe in God and His mercy. It isn’t God that is the problem, it is me.

I have found that by coming here, I can get answers to the thoughts that assault me, and sometimes then they lose their power. Strangely enough though as soon as one has lost it’s sting, another pops up.

God bless.


#15

*The part about St. Paul would suggest that the person’s blasphemy would need to be in correlation to their level of enlightenment?

**I like the analogy about The Holy Spirit keeping us “tucked in”. :slight_smile:

***The verse in Hebrews I thought was about baptism? But that is for another thread.

Interesting. Thank you.

God bless.


#16

There are six according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: despair, presumption, impenitence, obstinacy, resisting divine known truth, and envy of another’s spiritual welfare.

Pope John Paul II on the Scriptural prohibition of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit:

“... 'blasphemy' does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross” 

Thus, blasphemy is “the refusal to accept salvation.”


#17

Page 175 of ‘Radio Replies: Volume 1’ (with Imprimatur):

Question: ‘Can a priest forgive blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which Christ says shall not be forgiven in this world or the next?’

Answer: “There is no sin too great to be forgiven provided one sincerely repents of it. Christ really referred to evil dispositions of soul which are so hardened that one will lack the will to repent. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not blasphemy as commonly understood, but a determined resistance to the very grace of the Holy Spirit which is meant to save us. Thus the Pharisees who saw the miracles of Christ could not deny them to be miracles; yet rather than yield to the grace being offered them, they said that Christ wrought them with the help of the Devil and not by God. A man who rejects the very means God adopts to convert him is little likely to make use of other graces offered by God, and Our Lord warns us very strongly to beware of sinning against the light, since it seldom ends in repentance. Yet even such a man with the help of grace could repent of his bad dispositions and thus be converted and forgiven. Any unforgivableness, therefore, is on account of a man’s bad dispositions, not on account of the nature of the sin. There is no absolutely unforgivable sin such as cannot be forgiven even though a man repents.”

Man cannot repent without grace.

“… think about the mercy of God, because there are none who are such sinners that their sin is not forgiven them, if only they pray with a resolution to improve and with contrition.” – Mary to St. Bridget (Book 1, Ch 22)


#18

But even those sins are forgivable if repented of. The caveat being one is in … extreme danger of not being forgiven as they move further and further away from Grace.
I think I am starting to see more clearly.
Yet one question remains…if a person asks for forgiveness in this life, they will not receive it seems to be what the verse implies. :eek:

God bless, and thank you. :slight_smile:


#19

This makes a lot of sense, especially when paired with the answer of Christine’s.
I Should’ve kept on reading before responding. :smiley:
So it still seems it depends on a person’s level of enlightenment (?) Which, btw, makes sense, for if a person knows they are refusing Grace/rejecting God, then that would necessarily mean an intentional hardening of the heart.

Thanks and God bless.


#20

I don’t think any of us who are/were spiritually deaf and blind became that way because we freely chose it. Proverbs 14:12 - “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Sin just seems right and reasonable, in many cases, to blinded eyes. Justifying anger was one of my most intrenched misunderstandings.

Psalms 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

From the moment I was born, I was subject to death and that, to my understanding, indicates a sin nature already present (even though we’re protected from being liable to judgment until the age of reason or so).

Perhaps ‘spiritual genetics’ is involved in determining to what extent someone is born spiritually deaf/blind. And that state, coupled with nurture, sets a course until an Intervention takes hold, hopefully, and wakes us up.

William R. Crews (“The Awakening Hour” program) has a booklet called “Religious but Lost” that addresses the problem of being blinded into thinking one is saved when they are not. He tells of preachers who preached for years before coming to the realization that they were alseep the whole time. Mr. Crews was one of them.

The other night I was listening to an interesting talk by Sam Harris on “Free Will” (youtube). He ‘illustrates’ his conclusion that there is no such thing as ‘free will’ rather convincingly, through reason and personal experience. (Except the three-legged stool is missing a leg.) “The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.” - Henri-Frederic Amiel. “It will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth.” - Werner Heisenberg

One thing that Sam Harris said ties into this topic is, “I cannot take credit for the fact that I don’t have the soul of a psychopath.”

And therein lies, from my experience, one of the key ‘rubs’ between the blind and the ‘awoken’. At one time, I didn’t recognize that my biting sarcasm came from the same seed of iniquity in my soul, as the serial killer who followed the bidding of the seed further down the road. I cried, “Not me!” instead of “I Am That”. “It is not Goodness to be better than the worst.”

My self-righteousness came from comparing myself to others (and there were always ‘worse’), rather than seeking a way to identify with my mirrors in the world. I truly didn’t think I needed a Savior.

Fifteen years ago, I spoke like your co-worker and acted like your brother. My ‘case against God’ was akin to that of Richard Dawkins’ oft-televised mini diatribe. The only reason I am sober today is because my desire to get out of the hell of alcoholism was greater than my desire to avoid hearing the word “God” spoken of favorably. It was a grind, to be sure, but I kept trudging - and then, in time and to my utter amazement, I discovered, for myself, the God of the psalm sung in Mass as a child, “God is Love”.

The folks in AA had something I wanted: sobriety. But the longer I stayed sober, the more I saw that ‘just sobriety’ wouldn’t be enough because it was a deeper misery that drove me to alcoholism in the first place. I began to desire the ease with life and the kindness others had (and was shown to me) for those beginning the Journey all raw and beat up, angry and desolate, with huge chips on both shoulders.

In the Biblical sense: I had been ‘provoked to jealousy’ (envy). I wanted what some had that was better than what I had. Now, in the beginning, it didn’t take much to satisfy that. But as I progressed, the bar raised and, eventually, I saw others with an the inner peace - and I longed for that most of all. Just had to be willing to do the nessary excavations.

‘Jealously’ is when I have something I think I need to keep me happy - and am terrified of losing it. ‘Envy’ is when I want what someone else has because that ‘something’ seems to be making them happier than I am. In a spiritual context, such envy was a very good thin, from my experience.

Romans 11:11 - I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Not sure how well the plan to provoke the ‘delusionally/self-righteously good’ among us to envy by the Light within us is going. I do pray that God will give us more Time because what I heard on TV about the New World Order the other day sounds truly dismal. That we will keep our ‘freedom of religion’ but there will be no Jesus in the mix of ‘Gods’/paths: Jesus is ‘divisive’, and they wish to promote ‘unity’.


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