Faith/Spirituality Forum: Blasphemy
Blasphemy QUESTION from Dawn on April 16, 2003 The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which is a despair that prevents the heart and will from accepting God's grace and thereby the person dies in an unrepentent state.
Question: If one does penance for this unforgivable sin then then there should be no despair, right?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on April 19, 2003 Dear Dawn:
It is not possible to do penance from this state precisely because the nature of the despair is such that the person's heart is harden all the way to his death.
We are not talking about normal despair. This is the kind of despair that one never recovers from. That is why one dies choosing NOT to repent and refuses God's grace.
This is why it is unforgivable -- not because God is not ready to forgive because He is always ready to do that, but because the person will NOT ask for forgiveness even on the deathbed.
If one has the capacity to be sorry for the sin of despair and this ask for forgiveness and do penance, then they did NOT commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
Only God knows who does and does not commit this sin. We can never assume that a person we suspect is in mortal despair is in this permanent despair that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. We must ALWAYS presume there is hope for such a person and try to help them overcome their despair if we are in position to help.
Our helping them may be moot, we don't know, only God knows. But even if the person is in mortal despair our efforts are never wasted. The grace that comes from loving the other person and caring enough to pray for them and to try to help them is still efficacious. If the person refuses the grace, then we ourselves can benefit from the grace and so can others.
God Bless, Bro. Ignatius
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