From the time of Our Savior till our own day, Our Lord Jesus Christ said, no sin stands out as being more egregious or horrible and condemnable than that of the obtuse spirit. What is this most malevolent violation against Our loving Lord and Savior, and the most Holy Trinity?
It is precisely this as seen in Mark (3: 28-30): “Truly, I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” ‘for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” And this final reference by Our Divine Lord to ‘they’ refers to the scribes and Pharisees, the false Jewish priests and their counterparts, who accused Our Lord of being the devil because He cast out demons everywhere.
Such malevolence, Our Lord wasted no time in condemning as we see in His words above about what sin will never be forgiven. And this sin He accused the scribes and Pharisees of being eternally guilty. And so they were, but the big question is why . We see that the sin Our Lord referred to and most deplored is one of which an example has just been furnished by the Pharisees who so perversely attributed to Satan what is clearly the work of God. This is, however, only one example of the conscious, hardened rejection of God’s proffered light and grace at work—the root vice of the scribes and Pharisees. For example, they everlastingly carped at Our Divine Lord for His Divine Goodness in the face of their false sense of human goodness and hardened hearts, as we see so clearly when they attacked Him for saying, concerning a right view of marriage, that chastity means no one “can even look on a woman with lust for then they have already committed adultery in their hearts.” Consequently, their futile attempts to redefine the Divine Goodness of the 10 Commandments in human terminology is so evident when they pressed Our Lord to OK divorce as Moses had done centuries earlier in Jewish history. However, Our Lord said that it was because of their “hardness of hearts” that Moses had to do it.
Therefore the Pharisees or false teachers of the Jewish law and their counterparts made this vehement false attack upon God and His Grace and Goodness. It is the one sin “ that remaineth “ (John 9:41). Why is this sin so unforgiveable? Why does it remain? Of his very nature, man cannot be saved without the gifts of God, one of which is forgiveness or repentance. If these gifts are perseveringly refused from God, especially His grace, nothing, indeed nothing, can be done to save such a soul.
Furthermore, it is called “unforgiveable” because by its very nature, it precludes those things (i.e. the dispositions) which induce forgiveness and repentance. They, the Pharisees and their counterparts have “hardened hearts” because they see no need for their own repentance and conversion or God’s forgiveness as they understand truth and morality. In short, they suffer from moral blindness.
This utter rebellion against divine goodness, God’s own, by human nature deserves the severest reprimand by Our Lord when He defines it as the sin of all sins, the sin against the Most Holy Spirit. Adamantly, the Pharisees and their followers cling to their sin in the face of God’s truth, His Divine Son, and need no forgiveness because they will not repent. Their hardened hearts are their downfall as Christ Our Lord says so clearly: “There is one sin which blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, and is an eternal sin.”
Obtuse spirits, hardened hearts, impervious to repentance and forgiveness, are so numerous today that they defy calculations. This sin against the Holy Spirit and its dire warning by Our Divine Savior cannot fail to alarm any devout Christian, and above all Catholics, or make them wonder about their own presumed innocence. Everywhere we see this stubbornness of spirit, this intractable spirit and unbending will, that will not relent amongst Catholics, Protestants, and other false religions.
It is St. Paul, also, who has warned vehemently about the arrival of these times in 2 Timothy 4 where he says: “Proclaim the gospel; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires (false teachers) and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully……….From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but to all who have longed for his Coming.”
So vividly these times of stubborn wills, adverse to conversion in any form are upon us; not only “outside” the Church but “within” as St. Paul teaches. Times that heap to themselves false teachers and false religions that propagate myths of self that are so opposed to Christ’s truth. Homosexuality, abortion, contraception, adultery, fornication, theft, avarice, and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit can be found, literally, everywhere, especially now amidst members of the priesthood, the episcopate, and the Catholic laity itself.
It is only because of sin, and such egregious sins, that grace is blocked and thus without grace we become increasingly mired in sin, especially mortal sin. And it is Father John Hardon, S. J. who has said repeatedly in his teachings that “sin makes you stupid.” Why? Because all sin as St. Paul teaches “darkens the mind and weakens the will.” Thus one cannot make any more a rational decision any longer about one’s eternal salvation and therefore one only wants to hear “false teachers who heap up lies to justify one’s sins.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth of holy Wisdom, of Understanding and holy Counsel and Knowledge—and all of these gifts of the Holy Spirit, these gifts of eternal salvation, are all rejected because of one’s obsession with serious sin: such as contraception and abortion; homosexuality and pedophilia—sins that have infested the priesthood and the laity respectively.
Sins, like these, so quickly create hardness of heart and the ultimate sin against the Holy Spirit of unrepentance. Why? Because these serious sins cannot be easily overcome since a concomitant ignorance , fortified by a lack of grace, prevails with these serious sins. Thus, such hardened hearts, amongst the clergy and the laity are near pandemic in these times! Not only because of the sheer seriousness of such mortal sins and their seemingly endless numbers, but because of a cataclysmic lack of grace, a situation which did not exist in even the recent past because the people then as well as the clergy were not only more ‘innocent’ but more open to God’s graces, especially from the Holy Spirit. This consummate spiritual plague spreads even more rapidly and more rapaciously than a physical disease as St. Paul documents it will, in these end times so proliferate. Make no mistake about it; not only the sheer magnitude of these horrible sins of these times but also their seemingly endless numbers, have only helped evil to proliferate everywhere exponentially. Witness contraception alone; recent statistics document that even 98% of all Catholics utilize it, just like non-Catholics! How pandemic! How pathetic! Listen to St. Paul who warns ominously of such a reality for all inhabitants of this world at its demise:
“You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!”
And Our Lord’s own words amplify this horror of unrestrained evils in the last days when He said: “If I did not shorten those days, even the elect—if that were possible—would also go astray, but I will shorten those days.” How vigilant we must be in these times for the health and welfare of our immortal souls!
---to be continued--
J. Hughes Dunphy