Choose a topic from Part 2B:

14. The Sin Against the Holy Ghost

1. St. Augustine says that the sin against the Holy Ghostmentioned specifically in scripture (Matt. 12:31) is the sin offinal impenitence by which a man rejects grace and pardon,up to and including the moment of his death. Others, speaking ofsins against the Holy Ghost, say that a sin of weakness is a sinagainst God the Father; a sin of ignorance is a sin against God theSon; a sin of malice is a sin against God the Holy Ghost.

2. There are, in fact, six kinds of sins against the HolyGhost, and all are sins of malice. These are: despair, presumption,impenitence, obstinacy, resisting the known truth, and envy ofanother's spiritual good.

3. In Matthew (12:31) we read, "He that shall speakagainst theHoly Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neitherin this world, nor in the world to come." We may take thephrase, "speak against the Holy Ghost," for "sinagainst the Holy Ghost," since a sin of speech expresses theinternal state of mind and will. If final impenitence is "thesin against the Holy Ghost," it is clear that this sin cannotbe forgiven, because the sinner goes to his death and judgmentunrepentant and resisting the grace of pardon. If "the sinagainst the Holy Ghost" is any sin of malice, it isunforgivable in itself, although God may forgive it none the less.It may be incurable as a disease is incurable; yet God can cure anincurable disease.

4. It is possible for a person to commit his very first sin bysinning against the Holy Ghost. Yet it is so unlikely as to bepractically impossible. For the sin against the Holy Ghost isregularly the outcome of many previous sins, and comes of a gradualturning of the mind and will to contempt for the means ofsalvation.

"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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