So I have been reading about it and from what I understand eternal sin is any mortal sin left unforgiven. So what I’m confused about is I don’t understand what Jesus meat when he said “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven”. My other question is if any mortal sin left unforgiven leads to eternal loss. How is say robbing a store armed which would be mortal if all the right conditions are met. How would something like this be speaking against the Holy Spirit?
I always thought that “speaking against the Holy Spirit” was when a person would curse at Him when He would try to forgive them. But I would be interested in seeing what other people have to say on this topic as well. If you still don’t find the answer you are looking for, then I would advise that you go talk to a Priest.
Good luck on your search!
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is final impenitence. It is an unforgivable sin because the one who blasphemes the Holy Spirit does not want forgiveness and does not seek it out. God is willing and eager to forgive the one who repents and goes to Confession, but the one who is impenitent to the end has hardened his or her heart and closed themselves off to the mercy of God.
As I understand it, the unforgivable sin is refusing to accept the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the scriptures and in the church. But, we must not judge others because we don’t really know what they believe. Sure, some people are very anti-Christian, anti-Catholic. God will be their judge.
A few comments in this forum cannot adequately explain the Church’s teaching on sin. I have not heard the term “eternal sin” before. The church talks about mortal sin (“deadly sin”) because scripture does too. So, there must be at least two levels of sin, mortal sin and venial sin (a lesser offense).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is worth purchasing, if you do not have a copy. It’s a big book but it is pretty easy to read. One way to read this big book is to set a goal of maybe 10 pages a day, and you may find that you can do better than that easily.
It talks about all the aspects of sin that you are interested in, and maybe a little more.
The Church recognizes and teaches about actions that are “gravely evil” which only roughly corresponds to “mortal” sin. Nobody gets a free ticket to sin, but the amount of moral responsibility for sinning may be different for different people. Suppose someone FORCED you to commit armed robbery – you had no freedom to refuse. Then, morally you might not be responsible, even though this is “objectively” a very bad thing to do.
From the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” So, the Church recognizes ignorance as a possible mitigating factor in the degree of moral responsibility for sin.
Paragraph 1735 of the catechism summarizes a FEW of the reasons that a person’s responsibility may be diminished or nullified – including habit, inadvertence, and psychological or social factors. here the Catechism is not exhaustive in what diminishes one’s responsibility – I have asked priests and even my local bishop what this paragraph means, where to get more information, etc. but I have not gotten a satisfactory answer.
In one of the first books of the Bible, there is a case of a married slave woman who is forced into adultery and the Bible goes on to say that she is not guilty of adultery, due to the coercion. But, in other places, it talks about people who might unknowingly sin, and then later come to realize that they have sinned – and the Bible lists the remedy for those cases (Old Testament rules).
We are called to holiness, to be as sin-free as possible – to “repent” (turn away) from sin. Sinning is the worst possible thing we can do in our life.
I think what we have to avoid is the personal interpretation of scripture outside of what the Catholic Church has universally taught. The pertinent teaching of the Catholic Church here is that there is no unforgivable sin where the penitent comes to Confession with true contrition for the sin and a genuine resolve to amend his ways. Such is the mercy of God which is manifest in the Mystical Body (the Church). which He erected for our sustenance.
In the context of your question, eternal sin is mortal sin left on the soul after death. That is sin which results in eternal punishment. The scripture you quote does not attempt to equate every sin that fulfills the conditions of be “mortal” as being a sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit - like robbing a 7-11.
The Penny Catechism has these.
The Six Sins Against the Holy Spirit Are:
- Resisting the Known Truth
- Envy of Another’s Spiritual Good
- Obstinacy in Sin
- Final Impenitence
St. Pope John Paul II wrote in On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World:
The Sin Against the Holy Spirit
Against the background of what has been said so far, certain other words of Jesus, shocking and disturbing ones, become easier to understand. We might call them the words of “unforgiveness.” They are reported for us by the Synoptics in connection with a particular sin which is called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” This is how they are reported in their three versions:
Matthew: "Whoever says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."180
Mark: "All sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin."181
Luke: "Every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."182
Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable? How should this blasphemy be understood ? St. Thomas Aquinas replies that it is a question of a sin that is "unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place."183
According to such an exegesis, “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. If man rejects the “convincing concerning sin” which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the “coming” of the Counselor - that “coming” which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ’s Blood: the Blood which “purifies the conscience from dead works.”
We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood remains in “dead works,” in sin. And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience. If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this “non-forgiveness” is linked, as to its cause, to “non-repentance,” in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. This means the refusal to come to the sources of Redemption, which nevertheless remain “always” open in the economy of salvation in which the mission of the Holy Spirit is accomplished. The Spirit has infinite power to draw from these sources: “he will take what is mine,” Jesus said. In this way he brings to completion in human souls the work of the Redemption accomplished by Christ, and distributes its fruits. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a “right” to persist in evil - in any sin at all - and who thus rejects Redemption. One closes oneself up in sin, thus making impossible one’s conversion, and consequently the remission of sins, which one considers not essential or not important for one’s life. This is a state of spiritual ruin, because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not allow one to escape from one’s self-imposed imprisonment and open oneself to the divine sources of the purification of consciences and of the remission of sins.
Personal theory, in revelation there is the attack against the City of God right? then after comes the absolute final judgement? Umm well if you were say involved in the final assault on God and you were given that one last chance to repent, but were all mad and stuff for losing like NO MAN F U… then I think you fail on the getting forgiven thing…