May 28, 2020frjohnma


“Truly, I say to you, 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.” — Mark 3:28-29

Charismatic gifts are very interesting; hence, many Christians long and shop for them. However, they seem to be scarce or we are experiencing a sharp decline! Why? The charism of discernment of spirits reveals the prevalence of blasphemies against the Holy Spirit as a renewed and current sign of our times. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not just offending the Holy Spirit in words but ignorantly and/or deliberately refusing to recognise the power, presence and essence of the Holy Spirit in our salvation. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is about hardness of heart and insensitivity to the operations of the Holy Spirit in our salvation. The referenced biblical verse seems to contradict the teachings of the Church that says, “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” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1864). However, there is no contradiction but we need to be honest and prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to endow us with His gifts and renew the previous charisms in us. A key way to do this, is to cleanse ourselves of blasphemous actions against the Holy Spirit.

More so, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, further identifies some traditional ways of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit: (1) Despair; (2) Presumption; (3) Impenitence or a firm determination not to repent; (4) Obstinacy; (5) Resisting divine truth known to be such; and (6) Envy of another’s spiritual welfare.

Some practical examples of blasphemies against the Holy Spirit could be drawn from our various experiences in the Spiritual life. For instance, after the sacrament of confession, we sometimes manifest the blasphemies against the Holy Spirit. You have gone for confession and confessed sins and heinous crimes and have received absolution but you later begin to interpret challenges in life such as "unanswered prayers," unemployment, difficulty in getting a marriage partner and suffering generally as the effects of God punishing you because of the past sin (s) that you had confessed. Here is a serious undermining of the power of the Holy Spirit to forgiving sins. 

Note, it is not enough to confess sins and think it is all over. Some sins in us might create inner anxieties and deep seated worries that cannot be sufficiently aired out at the confessional. This is where psycho-spiritual therapy and counselling, and spiritual direction come into play.  Through them we can exhume our inner fears, anxieties, hopelessness, meaninglessness and frustration. Lack of such awareness, might lead one back to "the muds" to start questioning, doubting and refusing the power of the Holy Spirit. The point is this: God cannot play our roles in the history of our salvation. There is also division of labour in our relationship with God. 
Spirit of God, please come through your fire and purify us of all blasphemous thoughts, feelings and actions. Amen. Grant us more charisms to serve in your name. Amen. Holy Spirit fall afresh on us. Amen.

Comments (7)

  • Felix

    May 28, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Padre, you see these blasphemous thoughts eh, sometimes situations even such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, are seen as a punishment from God for our misdeeds.
    We are often overwhelmed by events to feel that God is still pursuing us and punishing our sins on us even after we have confessed them.
    May God help us to really trust and believe in His mercy that covers a great deal of our sins.

    On another level, don’t you think that the presence of so many fierce wolves in the world today has made it even more difficult for people to be free from one of the sins against the Holy Spirit especially not believing or doubting the power of God at work in some self acclaimed men and women of God?
    May the Holy Spirit help us with the right discernment to test all spirits and understand their true worth by their fruits. Amen

    1. frjohnma

      May 28, 2020 at 9:08 am

      Hmmmmmm! We live in an age that see less of the many wonderful works and gifts of God. We then to see more of the negative side of life that we have always created. Holy Spirit fall afresh on us!

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    May 28, 2020 at 8:52 am

    This is indeed very terrifying!; many thanks Father for this reflection that highlights the various ways we can run the risk of committing “eternal sin”! Each time I read the genesis of this your quote from St Mark as recorded by St. Mathew (Mt.12:22-37), it makes me more cautious of how I view or condemn other religious practices that I don’t understand, for fear of ascribing the Holy Spirit’s work to the evil one like the Pharisees did when Jesus cured the possessed blind & dumb man. There is also the story of a Muslim girl that was seeing true visions of our Lord; the Holy Spirit truly blows wherever He wills! We therefore surely need the Holy Spirit to purge our thoughts, feelings and actions of any blasphemy against Him as you have prayed. May He also help us play our different roles in the “division of labour” in our relationship with God.

    1. frjohnma

      May 28, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for your input and instances.

  • AndyMarie

    May 28, 2020 at 9:31 am

    May God deliver us from the Spirit of blasphemy. May we learn to have childlike confidence in the Holy Spirit even in the midst of difficulties and possibly doubts. Increase our faith Lord.

    1. frjohnma

      May 28, 2020 at 10:27 am

      Thanks a million times

  • Pauline Otu

    May 28, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Amen. May we all be sensitive in identifying ways of blaspheming against the Holy spirit & live well as Christians through christ our Lord amen. Thank you Father & remain blessed.

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