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Today's Mass Readings
Though God's mercy is infinite we pray frequently in the Our Father prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us," or in other words, inasmuch as I forgive others do I permit your infinite mercy to forgive me. This can be very terrifying. Nobody likes to think about "eternal sins" or "unforgivable sings," and frequently people say certain sins are unforgivable when clearly by the Lord's standards they certainly are completely forgivable. According to him, the only unforgivable sin is that you don't want to be forgiven. Blessed Pope John Paul II clarified this in his Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem when he quotes St Thomas Aquinas:
"unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place."
This means that by its very nature it excludes the possibility for forgiveness. Commenting on Aquinas the Holy Father says:
According to such an exegesis, "blasphemy" does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the "convincing concerning sin" which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the "coming" of the Counselor-that "coming" which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ's Blood: the Blood which "purifies the conscience from dead works."
We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood remains in "dead works," in sin. And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience. If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this "non-forgiveness" is linked, as to its cause, to "non-repentance," in other words to the radical refusal to be converted.Or put plainly - nobody can be forgiven who does not want to be.
Mercy for us consists in God granting us the grace to desire final penitence for our sins. In the patrimony of Catholic prayers and devotions there are a few means we can acquire such mercy:
1. Praying frequently the Holy Rosary and the Hail Mary "pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." Our Lady made 15 promises to those who pray devoutly the Holy Rosary as entrusted to Blessed Alan de la Roche, "Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church."
2. First Friday devotion, by which Jesus makes the promise as entrusted to St Margaret Mary Alaquoque: The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments. This is very powerful. Last Thursday I anointed and gave the apostolic pardon to a woman who attended daily Mass and had made the 9 First Fridays. She died minutes later.
3. Divine Mercy Chaplet, especially crucial for the dying: "Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior"
(Diary, 1541)."At the hour of their death, I defend every soul that will say this chaplet as I do My own glory (...). When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated and his unfathomable mercy envelops the soul" (Diary, 811)."