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He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness

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