What is blasphemy against the Spirit?
Can you shed some light on the following excerpt from Saint Matthew: "That, I assure, is why every sin, every blasphemy, will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven" (Mt 12: 31-32).
What is meant by blasphemy against the Spirit? Is not the above-mentioned excerpt contradictory to what we are told about God being love itself, all forgiving, with infinite mercy? Does God restrict His own forgiveness?
Here is the traditional interpretation of the above-mentioned text. Blasphemy against the Spirit is the deliberate refusal of God in one's own life in spite of compelling evidence given by the Spirit, as did the Pharisees who closed their minds to the evidence of Christ's miracles. Confronted with such a hardening of the heart, Jesus flared up with holy indignation and condemned it.
God does not encroach on man's will. Blasphemy against the Spirit is to persist in refusing God against compelling evidence. It is to doggedly ward off Heaven. It is "to stubbornly refuse conversion to the love of the merciful Father" (John Paul II).
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