|Repentance? I'll think about that tomorrow.|
Actually, though, mercy is the key to understanding the sin against the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, God's mercy is limitless, but on the other hand it is limited. Why? Because God gave us free will. He offers mercy freely to all those who desire to receive it. And that's the catch. We have to ask for it. And to ask for it, one must think he needs it. That implies repentance.
But if we sin happily while telling God, "Hey, God, I'm fine. I've got this. I'm good. Take your mercy and give it to someone who really needs it, because I'm no sinner. Besides, I know you will never send anybody to hell because that would be mean. So I'll go my merry way and you just get that mansion ready for me."
Well...good luck with that. God's not our personal doormat. We tie His hands by putting our own will above His. One of the sins against the first commandment is presumption and I think many people today are guilty of it. I used to meet a lot of presumption outside abortion mills. "Oh, God will understand. He'll forgive me." Whoa! God will understand you ripping your baby limb from limb? And you presume His forgiveness while you deliberately with malice aforethought kill an innocent baby?That's the sin of presumption which the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines this way:
There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit). 2092So, to receive God's mercy, one needs to convert. The Catechism also speaks directly to the sin against the Holy Spirit in paragraph 1864:
"Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.And that's why the Church is so eager for us to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, especially when we are in danger of death. If we're on our deathbed, the Sacrament of the Sick is generally accompanied by the sacrament of Confession. Nobody in his right mind would want to face God in the state of mortal sin. But sadly there is a general loss of the sense of sin. So how many people are refusing God's mercy by refusing to repent? If I'm okay and you're okay, hey, we're good and we don't need anything. Just pass the bonbons.
Want more on this? Check out Catholic Exchange. And here's a related article on God's perfect will