One time, I attended a seminar in a Parish. The discussion was all about sin. One thing that I just couldn’t forget was this specific sin that cannot be forgiven. It is the blasphemy against the Spirit. As someone who has a lot of blasphemous thoughts, I wondered, are they similar? Are blasphemous thoughts unforgivable?
In this blog post, we will deep dive into this question.
Let’s start with the comparison between the Blasphemy against the Spirit and the Blasphemous thoughts.
Blasphemy against the Spirit
CCC 1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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.”
Blasphemy against the Spirit means rejecting God’s mercy. It is denying His forgiveness thus losing eternal salvation.
When we made a mistake, we tend to feel sorry about it and ask for forgiveness. The grace of God will then remove the stain of our sins. But, if instead of accepting it, because of pride, we deny it, then we become blasphemous to the Holy Spirit.
How can we obtain forgiveness if we reject it in the first place?
On the other hand, blasphemous thoughts can be a sin or not at all.
For those who have religious Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Scrupulosity), these thoughts are classified as intrusive thoughts– disturbing thoughts unexpectedly enter one’s head. Since having these is a sign of scrupulosity, these thoughts are normal for them. The moment they get into their minds does not necessarily mean they sin because there is no intention in the first place.
To know more about scrupulosity, you might want to check this out.
In contrast, for those who don’t have this disorder and deliberately thought of it, it is a sin.
CCC 2148 “Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name.”
Blasphemous Thoughts as Sin
Remember that there are two categories of sin depending on gravity. A sin can be mortal or venial.
A sin is mortal if the following conditions are met:
- It should be of grave matter
- Committed in full knowledge
- Committed with deliberate consent
Let’s use blasphemous thoughts as an example.
If it is your intention to blaspheme through having thoughts even though you know it’s a sin, you are committing a mortal sin.
First, blasphemy is a grave matter as it is against the second commandment.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”
Next, you are committing it in full knowledge. It means you are aware that it is a sin.
Lastly, you are committing it with full consent. Despite the fact that you know that it is a sin, you still want to do it.
Note that all conditions must be present.
If any of the above is absent, it will fall as venial sin.
Confessing a mortal sin is a must. While confessing a venial sin is advisable.
So, to answer the question, are blasphemous thoughts unforgivable?
No. Blasphemous thoughts are forgivable. Whether your sin is big or small, God is merciful and can forgive you. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is always open for you. You just have to confess it to the priest and repent.
CCC 1422 “Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.”
Just like any other sin, blasphemous thoughts can be forgiven through the Sacrament of Confession.
If you are really serious about asking for forgiveness for your blasphemous thoughts, confession is the surest way to receive it.
How to confess blasphemous thoughts?
It always starts with “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned“, followed by the last date or time you confessed, “My last confession was days/months/years” or “This is my first confession” for the first-timers. After that, mention your sins.
For blasphemous thoughts, depending on the priest, you can divulge them in detail or you can just say you had the thoughts in general.
You can also state how many times you had blasphemous thoughts.
If you don’t know the times, you can just say multiple times instead. Or maybe just be honest with your confessor and tell him you are not sure.
After confessing, he will then offer you counsel, ask you for penance, and finally absolve you from your sins.
That’s it! You are now free from this sin.
Although it’s terrifying, the grace the confession can bring is immense. It will help you grow in faith and be committed to the teachings of the Church.
Having blasphemous thoughts can make us doubt God’s mercy. We tend to conclude that this isn’t forgivable. But know that in the Sacrament of Confession, we can attain pardon for all our sins including this. In here, He listens to us and offers His merciful love. We just need to be humble.
As Pope Francis said, “It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! … Oh, I am a great sinner! All the better! Go to Jesus: He likes you to tell him these things! He forgets, He has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets, He kisses you, He embraces you and He simply says to you: Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more (Jn 8:11)”.
Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us.