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.

"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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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"God speaks to us without ceasing by his good inspirations."
The Cure D'Ars

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