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Thursday. [II Cor. 10:7–18; Mark 3:28–35] He that shall blaspheme a?gainst the Holy Ghost hath never for?giveness. Does it take long to fall in?to this terrible sin? Not long at all, for behold the sins of this nature: “great or excessive hope in God’s grace; despair or lack of hope in God’s compassion; contradicting manifest and confirmed truth, and rejection of the Orthodox Christian faith. Some add to this jealousy over spiritual gifts which a close one re?ceives from God; obstinacy in sin and chronic wickedness; careless?ness about repentance before de?parture from this life” (Orthodox Confession part 3, question 38). See how many paths! Begin to walk any of these and it will be difficult to re?turn; it will carry you to a devour?ing abyss. Opposition to the truth begins with small doubts, arising through evil words or writing. If you leave them without paying at?tention to them or treating them, they will lead to unbelief and obsti?nacy in it. People also reach despair unnoticeably: “I will repent,” they say, and then sin. Thus it goes on several times; then, seeing that re?pentance does not come, they say to themselves, “So let it be, you cannot control yourself,” and then give themselves over to sin in its full power. A chasm of sins gathers; and at the same time they tolerate a chasm of opposition to the obvious calling of God’s grace. When in such a condition a person comes to the thought of improving himself, the multitude of his sins restrains him, while his opposition to grace takes away his boldness to approach the Lord. He then decides, “My guilt is too great to have it be remitted.” This is despair! Beware of the rudi?ments of unbelief and love of sin, and you will not fall into this chasm.
Saint Theophan the Recluse