The Blasphemy to the Holy Spirit
Some years ago I wrote an article about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here I wish to refresh this article by adding a few more things in it.
Many people are asking me what exactly is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is when one condemns God’s merciful operation and attributes it to evil and to deceiving spirits when that same operation is evidently the Holy Spirit’s. The best examples we have are those ones in the Scriptures in Mt 12: 22-32 and Mk 3: 22-30. When Jesus performed the miracle of the dumb and demoniac man, healing him, the Pharisees who hated Him when hearing of this merciful act said: “This man casts out devils only through Beelzebub.” Jesus’ reply was that He did that act through the power of the Holy Spirit. He said, “ And so I tell you, every one of men’s sins and blasphemies will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven, let anyone speak against the Holy Spirit and he will not be forgiven either in this world or in the next.” And in St Mark’s gospel, “I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.” This was because they were saying: ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’
The fruits of True Life in God Messages and the fruits of the apostolate are plentiful and for most people who study them properly it becomes clear that the Holy Spirit is their Author. This means that people who calumniate the True Life in God Messages despite being aware of these signs of the Holy Spirit, risk blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.
I have been given the True Life in God Messages to write them down, not by my choice, but by God’s, and after I said ‘yes’ to Him I started to declare His Message far and wide to call everyone to repentance. I would not have been able to do this tremendous task on my own had it come from me, but all the signs show that the Messages come from God. (See: www.tlig.org ) God Himself takes care of His works and this is why His Message, in spite of treacherous obstacles laid in front of it, does nothing but spread and grow.
The Messages have reached now the four corners of the earth, spreading like He foretold, from a rivulet into a river and from a river gushing into an ocean. No one can fight God. There are many evident signs, e.g. their powerful growth in spite of obstacles, the multiplicity of conversions and renewal of the soul, affecting non believers to repent, etc. are signs of Grace that the Messages come from the Spirit of God. There are evident miracles of healing performed by the same Spirit as well that have been recorded. Still, some people ignore these evident fruits and prefer to take the risk of committing the sin against the Holy Spirit. So let us look for a moment at some examples in the history of theology and in particular mystical theology that underline this danger.
To start with there is an interesting reference in the new book that came out named, “Christian Prophecy – the Post Biblical Tradition” written by Prof. Niels Christian Hvidt (and published by Oxford University Press) in which the then Prefect of the CDF Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope, wrote its preface. The book is based on Prof. Hvidt’s doctoral dissertation and explains with detail the purpose of Christian Prophecy, why there is a need for prophecy when we have the Holy Bible, and how to discern between the true and false prophecy. In the chapter entitled, “Prophecy in the Early Church”, Prof. Hvidt writes the following with reference to the admonitions in an important source of the Early Church, the Didaché:
The Didaché firmly warns against judging those who carry the signs of being sent by the Spirit of God, for this might mean blaspheming against the Holy Spirit – the only unforgivable sin. 240 Prophets were held in such high esteem that the author of the Didaché admonishes the faithful not to judge the true prophet. “And you shall not tempt any prophet who speaks in the Spirit, or judge him; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven” (13:10). As G. Schöllgen rightly points out, judging the authenticity of prophets is a necessary but particularly tricky business, because prophets “have at their disposal a gift of divine origin, which is, in principle, impervious to human judgment.”(241). That is, any person talking against a true prophet risks committing the sin against the Holy Spirit, since the true prophet speaks by the power of the Holy Spirit. Herein lies a serious consequence of prophecy to those charged with discernment: the one who speaks against the true prophet speaks against the very Spirit of God. But that does not mean that prophets are not to be tested.” (p.86 in Prof. Hvidt’s book.)
God inspired the Saints to explain the blasphemy as well in their own words of which I will give some examples here below. I’ve chosen a few:
The Eternal Father’s words to Saint Catherine of Siena were the following: “By these and by other sins men fall into false judgment, as I will explain to you below. They are continually being scandalized by My Works, which are all just, and all performed in truth through love and mercy. With this false judgment and with the poison of envy and pride, the works of My Son were slandered and unjustly judged, and with lies did His enemies say: “This man works by virtue of Beelzebub.” Thus wicked men, standing in self-love, impurity, pride and avarice, and founded in envy, and in perverse rashness with impatience, are for ever scandalized at Me and at My servants, whom they judge to be feignedly practicing the virtues, because their heart is rotten, and, having spoilt their taste, good things seem evil to them, and bad things, that is to say disorderly living, seem good to them.”
St Symeon known as the New Theologian wrote: “Brethren and fathers, as the most holy oracle of the Savior says, “Every sin will be forgiven men, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come”. Let us then inquire: what is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to attribute His operations to the opposite spirit, as Basil the Great says. How does one do this? Whenever one sees miracles brought about by the Holy Spirit or any of the other divine gifts in any of his brethren - that is: compunction, or tears, or humility, or divine knowledge, or a word of wisdom from on high, or anything else that is bestowed by the Holy Spirit on those who love God - and says that this comes from the deceit of the devil. But he also blasphemes against the Holy Spirit who works in them, who says that those who, as sons of God, are led by the divine Spirit perform the commandments of their God and Father, are being deceived by demons. This is what the Jews of old said against the Son of God.”
St Silouan the Anthonite wrote: “By ‘not accepting’ (the gift given by our Lord to someone), the Christian guards himself against the danger of mistaking demonic machinations for Divine inspiration, and thus “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”, and rendering divine homage to demons. By “not rejecting” one avoids another peril - namely, attributing divine action to demons and so falling into the sin of “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”, like the Pharisees who declared that Christ “doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. The second peril is more dreadful than the first, since the soul may become accustomed to rejecting grace, to detesting it, and grow so used resisting God that she will thus define herself on the eternal plane, so that her sin “shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Whereas the soul that promptly recognizes her wrong-doing, through repentance attains salvation, for no sin is unforgivable except the sin that is not repented of.”
If one has a problem to accept a private or prophetic revelation, whose fruits point to the Holy Spirit being the Author the best thing is to leave it alone as the Didaché argued. They should obey what Christ said in the Scriptures and not judge, (Mt 7: 1,2) but rather tell the tree by its fruit as He said in Mt 7: 18-20.
It is also clear that Christ gets irritated for the incredulity of man and especially when they calumniate Christ’s gifts given to chosen souls. Christ had asked St Gertrude to publish and make known His words to her, but she hesitated for fear of disbelief and calumny. He then said to her: “As for those hearts so evil that they should want to calumniate My gifts, may their sins be on their own heads, while you remain blameless...” In Mk 16: 14, it is written: “When Christ showed Himself to the Eleven while they were at table, He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.”
Since some people get very anxious about this sin (since it is not forgiven) Fr John Abberton adds this part here to make things clear just why it is not forgiven – “namely that the person committing it remains obstinate and does not seek forgiveness. Strictly speaking all sins can be forgiven, but this one, of its nature, cannot be because it includes what the Church has described as final impenitence which means the refusal to accept forgiveness and the decision to remain stubborn. This sin can also be committed by someone who rejects God’s Mercy and falls into despair of being saved (like Judas).”
Of course there are many other examples from the Fathers of the Church and the theologians regarding the Blasphemy, as well as from other gifted souls to whom Jesus talked to and who are still not officially canonized by the Church, but their sayings are not different from the ones of the above Saints I have quoted above and from what Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees.