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Pastor’s Corner 6.9.2024

Dangerous Spiritual Attitudes

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

            The first reading for today’s Mass from the Book of Genesis is the account of the “fall of man”.  It recounts God asking Adam, “where are you?”  It is not that God was inquiring about where Adam was hiding, but He was urging Adam to reflect on where he was spiritually.  Adam’s sin had broken his communion with God; Adam was lost.  In speaking to the serpent, a symbolic representation of the Devil, God reveals the enmity that Eve’s offspring will face, the struggle with sin that humanity inherits because of original sin.

            In the Gospel passage, after being accused by the Jewish Scribes of driving out demons by the prince of demons, Jesus makes a profound statement.  He says, “Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.  But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”

            This statement might seem shocking to some, who have been taught that God can forgive any sin.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it well, “There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss” (No. 1864).

            There are two deadly spiritual attitudes that can prevent us from repenting of our sins.  The first is hardness of heart, a refusal to accept the mercy that God offers in Jesus Christ, such stubborn resistance to God’s love can result in a final impenitence. 

The other dangerous spiritual attitude is presumption.  In this case a person presumes God’s mercy without truly repenting.  They have no sorrow for the sinful things they do.  The Lord Jesus knows we will sin, but He calls us to “repent”, to be sorry for our sins and strive, as best we can, to turn away from sin.  

Whether it be hardness of heart or foolish presumption, either way, this lack of sorrow for sin closes the door to God’s mercy.  God wants to forgive us, but we have to want to be forgiven and repent of our sin.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,