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.

"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

* * *

"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *

"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

* * *