Puzzled by a quote

Hi,

I’m sorry this is another “unforgiveable sin” thread :o :frowning:

But I came across this quote by St John Vianney (well actually he’s saying the same thing as St Thomas Aquinas here, if you read it in the Summa) - and it’s puzzled me…

Be warned, my dear brethren, that if blasphemy reigns in your homes, all therein will perish. St. Augustine tells us that blasphemy is an even greater sin than perjury because, as he says, by perjury we take the name of God in witness of something which is false, whereas in blasphemy we are saying something false of God. What a crime is this! And who amongst us has ever fully understood it? St. Thomas, again, tells us that there is another kind of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost which can be committed in three ways: 1. By attributing to the Devil the works of Almighty God, as did the Jews when they said that Jesus Christ drove out devils in the name of the prince of devils, as did the tyrants and persecutors who attributed to the Devil and to magic the miracles performed by the saints.

It is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, St. Augustine tells us, to die in final impenitence. Impenitence is a spirit of blasphemy, since the remission of our sins is achieved through love, which is the Holy Ghost.

  1. We blaspheme when we perform actions which are directly opposed to the goodness of God – as when we despair of our salvation and yet are not willing to take the necessary steps to obtain it; as when we are angered because others receive more graces than we do. Take great care never to allow yourselves to fall into these kinds of sins because they are so very horrible! In this way we look upon Almighty God as unjust because He gives more to others than He does to us.

It seems like they’re saying here that the unforgiveable sin is not only final impetinence (as St Augustine seems to have believed) but also if someone attributes the work of the Holy Spirit to that of demons, as the Pharisees in Matthew 12. Well I have a sort of an ongoing problem with this whole concept… :frowning: I am pretty sure that at one point I did this, I mean I was really tempted to believe that something from the Holy Spirit came from the enemy, and I consented, and then consented to rejecting the Holy Spirit. This all happened very quickly, in a few moments, but I did consent. Later on, I felt such horror and I repented and God gave me contrition. Later, I confessed this. My question is: for the past couple of days I’ve been worrying about this part in the Summa and if I can really be forgiven… what did these Saints mean? However I did repent so maybe the unforgiveable sin is when a person sins in this way not in a moment of great temptation, but of their own accord?? I dont know. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts. This is all really unfortunate for me because sadly I often get tempted to blasphemy, I am trying very very hard to never consent to these thoughts and do the opposite, but - I did fall that one time and actually consented. It wasn’t just an intrusive thought either, it was like my whole imagination was affected and I felt a hatred towards God, yet didn’t fight it until afterwards :frowning:

thank you!

You sound scrupulous. If you were tricked, and as soon as you realized fully what was happening, you can be confident that you have committed no sin. And even if you did consent for a time, you can be confident in God’s mercy. The saints you quote are talking of blasphemy in general, not of the unforgivable sin, which you are correct in saying is final impenitence. Have you read the 10 commandments for the scrupulous? You might benefit. See my siggy.

If you can’t commit a mortal sin without full knowledge, I’m pretty sure you can’t commit any unforgiveable sin that way either. I mean, it sounds like you were tempted to believe that the work (which was actually a work of the Holy Spirit) was the work of demons.

Now, #1 in the quote sounds to me like it is talking about works that you really know are those of the Holy Spirit, but you proclaim publicly that they are works of demons. It doesn’t sound like you did anything like that.

But in any case, even if you had, I think it would be safe to say it was grave matter, but I don’t actually see that the passage is referring to an unforgiveable sin. The sins mentioned are very grave, and they are “worse than perjury” indeed, but not unforgiveable.

Logically speaking, final impenitence is the only unforgiveable sin. God is willing to forgive any sin that is repented in this life, but obviously final impenitence can’t be repented.

God is not trying to trap us. He wants us all to join him in Heaven, and He will do all that He can for us to that end, EXCEPT remove our human dignity by refusing to accept our use of free will. There is a C. S. Lewis quote from somewhere (Screwtape?) that goes something like this, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God in the end, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” The second group are the ones who have final impenitence.

God bless, comfort, and console you, and strengthen your Guardian Angel against attacks from the Devil.

–Jen

You need to bring this to your spiritual director. You are being scrupulous.

If you repented, by definition it is not the unforgivable sin. And the previous poster was correct, denying the work of the HS means doing so with full knowledge.

Remember, believing something may be true does not on its own make for deliberate, knowledgeable consent.

I’m sure there are many ways to sin against the Holy Spirit, but THE sin against the Holy Spirit, not A sin against the Holy Spirit, is final impenitence. That’s the unforgivable one.

you wouldn’t be here worrying about it had you committed this unforgivable sin.

I wish that were the case :frowning: but I did consent to the idea, even though I knew it was happening and knew it was against God. After I consented to it, I felt really horrible inside and soon after repented. It took much prayer to repent. But yes it was in my will. That is why I am afraid. In the past, similar things happened but I didn’t fully consent.

And even if you did consent for a time, you can be confident in God’s mercy. The saints you quote are talking of blasphemy in general, not of the unforgivable sin, which you are correct in saying is final impenitence. Have you read the 10 commandments for the scrupulous? You might benefit. See my siggy.

thanks :slight_smile: I am scrupulous unfortunately, but I’m quite confident I consented to that sin :frowning: I noticed also that St John Vianney was talking about various forms of blasphemy, he didn’t comment on what is forgiveable or what isn’t. I guess the part that got me was the description “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”, because Jesus said that is unforgiveable but I’m always having trouble really understanding that passage.

Yes, I was tempted to believe that, and believed it for a few moments and also rejected the Holy Spirit :frowning: this was a while ago but I started thinking about it again yesterday.

Now, #1 in the quote sounds to me like it is talking about works that you really know are those of the Holy Spirit, but you proclaim publicly that they are works of demons. It doesn’t sound like you did anything like that.

in my case, I wasn’t sure at the time what is from the Holy Spirit or not cause I was confused, but I should have trusted the Church’s teaching on this. So I don’t know how much knowledge I had, because I did know the Church teaching. But the other part of it was the rejection of the Holy Spirit that went along with the temptation.

But in any case, even if you had, I think it would be safe to say it was grave matter, but I don’t actually see that the passage is referring to an unforgiveable sin. The sins mentioned are very grave, and they are “worse than perjury” indeed, but not unforgiveable.

yes I just hope it is forgiveable :frowning: I know it’s a horrible sin and I never want to do it again.

Logically speaking, final impenitence is the only unforgiveable sin. God is willing to forgive any sin that is repented in this life, but obviously final impenitence can’t be repented.

that seems logical to me, but in the Summa it gives different explanations and it says another explanation is that the sin doesn’t deserve forgiveness (the other explanation is that it includes unrepentance or makes repentance is impossible, as it removes what is needed for forgiveness)

God is not trying to trap us. He wants us all to join him in Heaven, and He will do all that He can for us to that end, EXCEPT remove our human dignity by refusing to accept our use of free will. There is a C. S. Lewis quote from somewhere (Screwtape?) that goes something like this, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God in the end, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” The second group are the ones who have final impenitence.

God bless, comfort, and console you, and strengthen your Guardian Angel against attacks from the Devil.

–Jen

thank you Jen :hug1:

sadly I won’t be able to see him for a while. I’ll be going to Confession sometime soon though so I’ll ask the priest there.

If you repented, by definition it is not the unforgivable sin. And the previous poster was correct, denying the work of the HS means doing so with full knowledge.

Remember, believing something may be true does not on its own make for deliberate, knowledgeable consent.

what do you mean in the last part? I did believe it for a bit but I don’t know how much I “deliberated” it happened sort of quickly.

I guess the reason I got confused is because in the Summa it talks as if there are other forms of the unforgiveable sin. I hope not though.

God bless!

that does make sense…

the brown scapular, divine mercy, frist 5 saturday, first 9 fridays etc there is no qualifying remark at the end of them to say “but if you have committed the sin against the holy spirit this won’t work for you”
because if you have already finished the devotion God would not allow you do it, or if you had committed it you then would have no interest in wearing a brown scapular or any other devotion to God or even recognising God

I wear the brown scapular…but sometimes I’m so afraid about this. I’m really afraid of losing God :frowning:

offer this fear up to Jesus, unite it to his cross. you have not committed this sin. this sin is on par with satan in full knowledge rejecting God. it is bigger than trying to exterminate a race of people, bigger than what saul did persecuting christans for being christans, do you understand, you could not have done this on a whim
if you even have now or had the slightest doubt at the time about the seriousness of what you were doing you could not possible have done this.
forget about it keep wearing the brown scapular and pray.
i once thought i had done this as well i know now i didn’t and i’m sure you have not either, or as i say we would not be here at catholic answers
God bless

Thank you! :slight_smile: God bless

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