I am Becoming Afraid that I am Eternally Damned

Subject: The Unforgivable Sin


Let me introduce myself, my name is Mark I am a 38 year old computer programmer. I read your article on The Unforgivable Sin and I have a question for you.

About 7 years ago I had a very troubling situation in my life that was causing me great distress. One day, angry, I picked up my Bible threw it on the floor and said "F!#$ the Holy Spirit". I am not sure why I did it other then the current situation of my life.

I have since repented for this action and have started a Christian life with my family. I am compelled to read the Bible, pray and spread the Word of God to others. When I speak of God, Christ or the Holy Spirit I am filled with a warmth that goes beyond compare. But having read articles such as yours I am becoming afraid that I am eternally damned.

Hence my confusion, I don't understand that if I have Blasphemed the Holy Spirit why when I pray does God answer me? I feel a presence in my life that is beyond anything comprehensible to man. God is acting in my life. I give thanks to God for all things in Jesus name. He has made a difference in my life, especially in the last year. Things that have happened in my life are good, not evil... that do not come from Satan. They must come from God...

I have read many articles on this topic, many state that the 'unpardonable sin' relates to persistent rejection of the Holy Spirit. I am truly repentant for my statement and action, I love and fear God, I love Christ and I love the Holy Spirit who renews me daily. I ask that you might send me your comments, whether positive or negative on this matter.

Thanking you in advance for you time and help,



Dear Mark,

You did not commit the unforgivable sin. I am sorry if something in my homily on that topic caused you to think you did. If we are referring to the same article this is what I said:

Unity with Jesus is based on receiving his forgiveness and forgiving each other. Regarding that forgiveness, we hear something a little jarring in today's Gospel. "Every sin will be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Spirit. It can never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin." This sound like an exception to what we always hear about Jesus forgiving everything. I have to admit that in my years as a priest I have run into people, perhaps over scrupulous, who felt they had commited the unforgivable sin. They were sure that they would be forever condemned.

Before telling you what the unforgivable sin is, first let me tell you what it is not. It is not adultery or stealing or even dishonoring ones mother and father. It is not abortion nor is it some act of despair or blaspheming God. All those sins can be forgiven. The unforgivable sin--the sin against the Holy Spirit--is spelled out in today's Gospel. It was the sin of those who said Jesus has an unclean spirit. Now, obviously not just uttering those words, but what they mean. It's like saying I do not believe Jesus has the power to forgive. His blood means nothing to me. His death on the cross makes no difference. When a person says that--and means it--he cannot be forgiven, because has rejected the whole basis for forgiveness.

It's like the guy who falls off a ship. They throw him a float, but he is so embarrassed or so proud that he pushes it away. And he drowns because he rejects the one thing which could save him. The only way we can be rescued is by clinging to Jesus, embracing Him, his cross.

Mark, you are obviously clinging to Jesus - and are receiving his forgiveness and grace every day. We all do and say strange things from time to time because of tiredness or stress or just something bubbling up inside. Afterwards the devil may try to convince us we have done something beyond pardon, but with Jesus grace, we must laugh at him - and ourselves. Do you see what I mean?

God bless, Mark. My prayers. Remember me in yours.

Fr. Phil Bloom

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