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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Meditation: The Sin against the Holy Spirit

Repentance? I'll think about that tomorrow.
Reading Amoris Laetitia for some reason got me thinking about the sin against the Holy Spirit. You know, the "unpardonable sin." Now why did the exhortation push me in that direction? I think it's all the talk about mercy, mercy, mercy. As if mercy is a get-out-of-jail-free card.

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). 2092
So, 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


Mary's Child Mariann said...

Well done. In my personal experience it was eye opening...first, doing a thorough examination of conscience, realizing the depth of my sins and how numerous they were, knowing sorrow for how I had nailed our Lord and Savior to the cross by my sins, asking His mercy for all I had done to Him, knowing the indescribable love and forgiveness He gave so freely, without bitterness but pure love, and a resounding joy throughout my being...I almost felt floating vs. weighed down with the sins of my past. One vice immediately lifted was my daily swearing or using vulgar language. For years horrible words came easily and without a thought. Now, without a thought, they were gone!

It is like I tell my special needs daughter practically daily...God freely gives us grace. He stands in front of us with His Holy Hands full of grace. All we have to do is take the grace before us, and we will desire the good, choose the good, and do the good asked of us.

Anonymous said...

Well said Mariann and my thoughts exactly MaryAnn BUT there is one priest who openly disagrees that repentance is necessary. He claims to speak for those who support the Pope's latest exhortation and states that the message is for people to first, "Fall in love with Jesus"........However, as I remember the Gospels , people did so because they wanted to be healed both in soul and body and Jesus made it quite clear they were to go and "Sin no more."
Steve Skojak made your exact point during a Fox News interview on the Pope's exhortation and the Brooklyn Diocesan Communications Director priest argued that first people must fall in love with Jesus and that is what the Pope is saying.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the podcast of the Fox News interview on the Pope's Latest Document. Note the priest states that Mercy does not presuppose conversion.
I would argue the "pizza and beer type masses" the priest says he grew up with has been a disaster for the Church! How many TRUE conversions came about from
this style of evangelization?.....I would argue, NONE! Right out of the gate ,I would also argue that the priest missed the barque, or boat, himself.