On Blasphemy

(Greek blaptein, "to Injure", and pheme, "Reputation")


Adoration of the Holy Name of Jesus -
by El Greco -
from Chapter House, Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial
(Click Image to Enlarge)


The Upper-portion of the painting depicts the Glory-of Heaven, and the Lower-portion depicts the Church Militant to the Left, and the Jaws-of Hell to the Right.


Adoration of the Holy Name of Jesus -
by ROELAS, Juan de las -
from University Chapel, Seville
(Click Image to Enlarge)


The Upper-portion of the painting depicts the Glory-of Heaven, and the Lower-portion depicts the Church Militant, in the company of the Holy Family

 

When therefore you shall see the Abomination-of Desolation,
which was Spoken-of by Daniel the Prophet - Matthew 24:15

 

On Blasphemy

(Defined by Suarez as "Any Word-of Malediction,
Reproach, or Contumely, pronounced against God"

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

All Sins are Hateful, in the Sight-of God; but the Sin of Blasphemy ought more-Properly to be Called, an Abomination-to the Lord. Every Mortal Sin, as the Apostle says, Dishonors God. "Thou that makest thy Boast of the Law, by Transgression of the Law, Dishonourest God" - Romans 2:23. Other Sins Dishonor God Indirectly, by the Violation-of His Law; but Blasphemy Dishonors Him Directly, by the Profanation of His Holy Name. Hence Saint Chrysostom teaches that no Sin Exasperates the Lord so-much-as the Sin of Blasphemy, against His Adorable Name. "Nihil ita exacerbat Deum, sicut quando nomen ejus blasphematur". Dearly Beloved Christians, allow me then, this Day, to show you First (1st), the Great Enormity-of the Sin of Blasphemy; Secondly (2nd), the Great Rigor, with which God Punishes it.

 

First Point
On the Great Enormity of the Sin of Blasphemy

"The Devils", says Saint Gregory Nazianzen, "Tremble-at the Name-of Jesus; and we are not Afraid to Profane it".
- Click to view entire Painting by ANDREA DA FIRENZE -

What is Blasphemy? It is the Uttering-of Language, Injurious-to God; it is, according-to the Theologians, contumeliosa, in Deum locutio; or, Contumely against God. O God! whom does Man Assail, when he Blasphemes? He Directly Attacks the Lord. "For he hath Stretched-out his hand Against God, and hath Strengthened himself Against the Almighty" - Job 15:25. Are you not Afraid, O Blasphemer, says Saint Ephrem, that Fire will come-down-from Heaven and Devour you? or that the Earth shall Open and Swallow you up? "Non metius ne forte ignis de coelo descendat et devoret te, qui sic os adversus omnipotentem aperis? Neque vereris, ne terra absorbeat?" The Devils, says Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Tremble-at the Name-of Jesus; and we are not Afraid to Profane it. "Demones ad Christi nomen exhorrescunt, nos vero nomen adeo venerandum contumelia afficere non veremur". The Vindictive, Assail a Man who is their own equal; but by their Blasphemies, Blasphemers appear to seek Revenge against God, Who 'Does' or 'Permits' what is Displeasing-to them. There is a Great-difference between an Act-of Contempt towards the Portrait-of a King, and an Insult offered-to his Person. Man is the Image-of God; but the Blasphemer, Offends God Himself. "He who Blasphemes", says Saint Athanasius, "Acts Against the very Deity Itself". The Man who Violates the Law, is Guilty-of a Crime; but he who Attacks the Person-of his Sovereign, commits an Act-of Treason; therefore he Receives no Mercy, but is Chastised-with the Utmost Severity. What then, shall we say of the Man, who Blasphemes and Insults the Majesty of God? "If", said the High-Priest Heli, "One Man shall Sin against Another, God may be Appeased in his Behalf: but if a Man shall Sin against the Lord, who shall Pray for him?" - 1Kings 2:25. The Sin of Blasphemy, then, is so Enormous, that the Saints themselves, appear not to have Courage-to Pray-for a Blasphemer.

Sistine Madonna - by Raphael

"Holy Mary, 'Mother-of-God', Pray for us Sinners,
now and at the Hour of our Death, Amen."
 

Some Sacrilegious Tongues, Blaspheme the God, Who Preserves their Existence! "Tu Deo bene facienti tibi", says Saint Chrysostom, "et tui curam agenti maledicis". O God! you stand-with One (1) Foot at the Gate-of-Hell; and if God, in His Mercy, did not Preserve your Life, you should be Damned Forever (∞); and, Instead-of Thanking Him for His Goodness, you, at the very-Time He Bestows His Favors upon you, Blaspheme His Holy Name. "If", says the Lord, "My Enemy had Reviled Me, I would Verily have Borne with it" - Psalm 54:13. Had you Treated Me with Contumely and Insult, at the Time that I Chastised you, I would be more-willing to Bear-with your Impiety; but you Revile Me at the Time that I Confer My Favors upon you. O Diabolical Tongue! exclaims Saint Bernardine-of-Siena, what could have Induced you to Blaspheme your God, Who has Created you, and Redeemed you with His Blood? "O lingua diabolica, quid, potest te inducere ad blasphemandum Deum tuum qui te plasmavit, qui te pretioso sanguine redemit?" - Sermon 33. Some, expressly Blaspheme the Name-of Jesus Christ - of that God, Who Died on the Cross, for the Love of them. O God! if we were not Subject-to Death, we should be Glad-to Die-for Jesus Christ, in-order-to make some little Return-of Gratitude to a God, Who gave His Life for us. I say, a Little Return-of Gratitude; for there is no-comparison between the Death-of a Miserable Creature, and the Death-of a God. But, instead of Loving and Blessing this God, you, as Saint Augustine says, Revile and Curse Him. "Christ was Scourged by the Lash of the Jews; but He is not-less Scourged-by the Blasphemies-of False Christians". Some have Blasphemed and Insulted the Virgin Mary, that Good Mother, who Loves us so-Tenderly, and Prays-continually, for us. Some of these Blasphemers have received a Horrible Chastisement from God. Surius relates in the 7th of August, that a certain Impious Christian, Blasphemed the Blessed Virgin, and Pierced her Image, with a Dagger. As-soon-as he went out of the Church, he was Struck-by a Thunder-bolt, and Reduced-to Ashes. The Infamous Nestorious, Blasphemed, and Induced others to Blaspheme, most Holy Mary, by asserting that she was not the Mother of God. But before Death, his Impious Tongue was Eaten-away by Worms, and he Died in Despair.

"Who is this, who speaketh Blasphemies?" - Luke 5:21. He is a Christian who has Received the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, in which his Tongue has been, in a certain manner, Consecrated-to God. A Learned Author says, that on the Tongue of all who are Baptized, is placed Blessed Salt, "that the Tongues of Christians may be made, as it were, Sacred, and may be Accustomed to Bless God". And the Blasphemer, afterwards makes his Tongue, as Saint Bernardine says, a Sword to Pierce the Heart of God. "Lingua blasphemantis efficitur quasi gladius cor Dei Penetranus" - Sermon 33. Hence, the Saint adds that no Sin, contains-in itself, so much Malice, as the Sin of Blasphemy. "Nullum est peccatum quod habet in se tantem iniquitatem sicut blasphemia". Saint Chrysostom says, that "there is no Sin worse than Blasphemy; for in it is the Accumulation of all Evils, and every Punishment". Saint Jerome teaches the same Doctrine. "Nothing", says the Holy Doctor, "is more Horrible than Blasphemy; for every Sin, compared with Blasphemy, is small" - in Isaiah 118. And here it is Necessary-to Observe, that Blasphemies against the Saints, against Holy Things or Holidays, such as: - the Sacraments, the Mass, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Holy Saturday - are of the same 'Species', as Blasphemies against God; for Saint Thomas teaches, that, as the Honor paid-to the Saints, to Holy Things and Holidays, is Referred-to God; so an Insult offered-to the Saints, is Injurious-to God, Who is the Fountain-of Sanctity. "Sicut Deus in sanctis suis laudatur", as we read in the 150th Psalm, "laudate Dominum in sanctis ejis, ita et blasphemia in sanctos in Deum redundat" - Summa Theologica. The Saint adds, that Blasphemy is One-of the Greatest-of the Sins against Religion - Summa Theologica.

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Natural Order

Mortal Body in Life/
Immortal Body in Eternity/
Mouth/Tongue/
(Subordinate-Partner)

Immortal Soul/
Intellect/Will/
Heart/Conscience
(Dominant Partner)

 

Thus, from the Words-of Saint Jerome, we may infer that Blasphemy is more Grievous than-Theft, than-Adultery, or Murder. All other Sins, says Saint Bernadine, proceed-from 'Frailty' or 'Ignorance'; but the Sin of Blasphemy proceeds-from Malice. "Omnia alia peccata videntur procedere partim ex fragilitate, partim ex ignorantia, sed peccatum blasphemiae procedit ex propria malitia" - Sermon 33. For it proceeds-from a Bad Will, and from a certain Hatred, conceived-against God. Hence the Blasphemer renders himself like the Damned, who, as Saint Thomas says, do not now Blaspheme-with the Mouth - for they have no Body - but with the Heart , Cursing the Divine Justice, which Punishes them. "The Detestation-of the Divine Justice, is in them, an Interior Blasphemy of the Heart" - Summa Theologica. The Saint adds, that we may Believe-that, as the Saints in Heaven, after the Resurrection, shall Praise God with the Tongue; so the Reprobates in Hell shall also Blaspheme Him with the Tongue. "Et credibile est quod post resurrectionem erit in eis etiam vocalis blasphemia sicut in sanctis vocalis laus Dei". Justly, then, has a Learned Author called Blasphemy, the Language-of Hell; because, as God 'speaks-by' the Mouth-of the Saints, so the Devil 'speaks-by' the Mouth-of Blasphemers. "Blasphemia est peccatum diabolicum, loquela infernalis; sicut enim Spiritus Sanctus loquitur per bonos, ita et diabolus per blasphemos". When Saint Peter Denied Christ in the Palace-of Pilate, and Swore that he did not Know Him, the Jews said, that his Language showed that he was a Disciple-of Jesus, because he Spoke the Language-of his Master. "Surely", they said, "thou also art one of them; for even thy Speech doth Discover thee" - Matthew 26:73. Thus we may Say-to every Blasphemer: You are from Hell; you are a True Disciple of Lucifer; for you Speak the Language-of the Damned. Saint Antonine writes, that the entire Occupation-of the Damned in Hell, consists-in Blaspheming and Cursing God. "Non aliud opus in inferno exercent nisi blasphemare Deum et maledicere". In Proof-of this Doctrine, the Saint adduces the following Text-of Revelation: "They Gnawed their Tongues for Pain: and they Blasphemed the God of Heaven" - Revelation 16:10-11. The Holy Doctor afterwards adds, that he who Indulges-in the Vice of Blasphemy, already Belongs-to the Number-of the Damned, because he Practices their Art. "Qui ergo hoc vitio detinetur ostendit se pertinere ad statum damnatorum, ex quo exercet art eorum".

To the Malice-of Blasphemy, is added the Malice-of Scandal, which generally accompanies Blasphemy; for this Sin is ordinarily committed-Externally, and in the Presence-of Others. Saint Paul Reproved the Jews, because, by their Sins, they caused the Gentiles to Blaspheme our God, and to Laugh-at His Law. "For the Name of God, through you, is Blasphemed among the Gentiles" - Romans 2:24. But, how much more Criminal are Christians, who by their Blasphemies, induce other Christians to Imitate their Example? How does it happen, that in certain-Provinces, Blasphemies are never, or at least, very seldom Heard, and that in other places, this Horrible Vice is so-Prevalent, that the Lord may say of them: "My Name is continually Blasphemed, all the day long" - Isaiah 52:5. In the Squares, Houses, Cities, Villas, nothing is heard but Blasphemies from others; Children from their Parents, Servants from their Masters, the Young from the Old. In some Families particularly, the Vice-of Blasphemy, seems to be Transmitted-as an Inheritance. The Father is a Blasphemer; hence, the Sons and Nephews Blaspheme; to this Inheritance, their Descendents succeed. O Accursed Father! Instead-of Instructing your Children, to Bless the Name-of God, you Teach them to Blaspheme Him, and His Saints. But I Reprove them, when they Blaspheme in my Presence. Of what Use, are these Reproofs, when with your own Mouth, you give them Bad Example? For God's sake, for God's sake, O Fathers-of Families, never Blaspheme; but, particularly be-on your Guard, never-to Blaspheme in the Presence-of your Children. This is a Crime, which God can no-longer Bear, in you. And whenever you Hear any of your Children, utter a Blasphemy, Reprove them Severely, and, in Obedience-to the Advice-of Saint Chrysostom, Strike him on the Mouth, and you shall thus Sanctify your Hand. "Contere os ipsius, manum tuam percussione sanctifica". Certain Fathers, Unmercifully Beat a Child, for the Neglect-of some Temporal Business; but if he Blaspheme the Saints, they either Laugh-at his Blasphemies, or Listen-to them in-Silence. Saint Gregory relates that a Child of Five (5) Years, the Son of a Roman Nobleman, was in the Habit of Profaning the Name-of God. The Father Neglected-to Correct him; but one day saw his Son Pursued-by certain Black Men. The Child ran-to embrace his Father; but they, who were so-many Devils, Killed him in the Father's-arms, and Carried him with-them to Hell.

 

Second Point
On the Great Rigor with which God
Punishes the Sin of Blasphemy

"Woe to the Sinful Nation, a People laden-with Iniquity, a Wicked Seed, Ungracious children: they have Forsaken the Lord, they have Blasphemed the Holy One of Israel" - Isaiah 1:4. Wo to Blasphemers, Eternal (∞) Wo to them; for according-to Tobias, they shall be all Condemned. "They shall be Condemned, that shall Blaspheme Thee" - Tobit 13:16. The Lord has said, by the Mouth-of Job, "Thou Imitatest the Tongue-of Blasphemers. Thy own Mouth shall Condemn thee, and not I" - Job 15:5-6. In Pronouncing the Sentence-of their Condemnation, God will say: It is not I that Condemn you to-Hell; it is your own Mouth, with-which you Dared-to Revile Me and My Saints, that Condemns you. Poor Miserable Blasphemers! They shall continue-to Blaspheme in Hell, for their Greater Torment; their very Blasphemies in Hell, shall always Remind them, that they are Damned Forever (∞), in Punishment-of their Blasphemies on-Earth.

But, Blasphemers are Punished, not only in Hell, but even-on this Earth. In the Old Law, they were Stoned-by the People. "And he that Blasphemeth the Name of the Lord, Dying, let him Die. All the Multitude shall Stone him" - Leviticus 14:16. In the New Law, they were Condemned-to Death, by the Emperor Justinian. Saint Louis, King-of France, ordered them to be Punished-by Perforating their Tongue, and by Branding their Forehead, with a Red-hot Iron; and when they afterwards Relapsed-into Blasphemy, he Ordained-that they should Die, on the Scaffold. Another Author says, that the Law renders Blasphemers (as being Infamous), Incapable-of giving Testimony. By the Constitution-of Gregory-the-Fourteenth, they were Deprived-of Christian Burial. Also it is said that Blasphemies bring-on Famine, Earthquakes, and Pestilence. "Propter blasphemias, et terraemotus, et pestilentia fiunt". You, O Blasphemer, complain that though you Labor and Submit-to Fatigue, you are always in Poverty. You say: I know not, why I am always in Misery, some Malediction must have Fallen on my Family. No, the Blasphemies which you Utter, are the Cause-of your Wretchedness, and make you always, an Object-of God's Malediction.

Oh! how many Melancholy Examples, could I mention, of Blasphemers who have Died a Bad Death. Father Segneri relates-that in Gascony, Two (2) Men who had Blasphemed the Blood of Jesus Christ, were soon-after Killed-in a Quarrel, and Torn-to Pieces, by dogs. In Mexico, a Blasphemer, being Once Reproved, answered: I will Hereafter, Blaspheme more than I have hitherto done. During the Night, he found his Tongue sewed-under the Palate, and Died in that Miserable State, without Giving the least Sign-of Repentance. Dresselius relates, that a certain Person, was Struck Blind, in the very Act-of Blaspheming. Another, in Uttering a Blasphemy against Saint Anthony, was Seized-by a Flame, which Issued-from the Image-of the Saint, and was Burnt Alive. In his Book-against Blasphemy, Sarnelli relates, that in Constantinople, a Man called Simon Tornaco, who had Blasphemed God, began like a Mad Dog, to Lacerate his own Flesh, and Died in his Madness. Cantapratensis states, that a Person who had been Guilty-of Blasphemy, had his Eyes Distorted, and that Falling-on the Ground, he Bellowed-like an Ox, and continued-to Roar-aloud, until he Expired. In the Gallican Mercury, we Read that a Man named Michael, who had been Condemned to be Hanged, when he Felt the Pain-of the Halter, burst-out into Blasphemies, and Died Instantly. After Death, his Head fell-from the Body, and the Tongue remained Hanging-out from the Neck, as Black-as Coal. I Abstain-from Fatiguing you with other Terrible Examples; you can find a Great many of them in the Work-of Father Sarnelli, against Blasphemy.

But to conclude. Tell me, O Blasphemers, if there be any of you Present, what Benefit do you Derive-from your Accursed Blasphemies? You do not receive Pleasure-from them. Bellarmine says that Blasphemy is a Sin, which Produces no Pleasure. You Derive no Profit-from them; for, as I have already said, your Blasphemies are the Cause-of your Poverty and Wretchedness. You Derive no Honor from them; your Fellow Blasphemers have a Horror-of your Blasphemies, and call you a Mouth of Hell. Tell me then, why you Blaspheme. Father, the Habit which I have Contracted, is the Cause of my Blasphemies. But, can this Habit 'Excuse' you before-God? If a Son, Beat his Father, and say to him: My Father, have Compassion-on me, for I have Contracted a Habit of Beating you; would the Father take Pity, on him? You say, that you Blaspheme through the Anger caused-by your Children, your Wife, or your Master. Your Wife, or your Master, put you into a Passion, and you take Revenge on the Saints. What Injury have the Saints done you? They Intercede-before God in your Behalf, and you Blaspheme them. But the Devil Tempts me at that Time. If the Devil Tempts you, follow the Example-of a certain Young Man, who, when Tempted to Blaspheme, went for Advice, to the Abbot Pemene. The Abbot told him, that as-often-as the Devil Tempted him to this Sin, his Answer should be: Why should I Blaspheme that God Who has Created me, and Bestowed so many Benefits upon me? I will Forever Praise and Bless Him. The Young Man followed the Advice, and Satan Ceased-to Tempt him. When you are Excited-to Anger, can you speak nothing but Blasphemies? Say on such Occasions:

Accursed Sin, I Hate thee; Lord Assist me; Mary, Obtain for me the Gift of Patience.

And if you have hitherto Contracted the Abominable Habit-of Blaspheming, renew every-morning, as-soon-as you Rise, the Resolution-of doing Violence to yourself, to Abstain-from all Blasphemies during the Day;

And then say Three (3) Aves to most Holy Mary, that she may Obtain-for you, the Grace to Resist every Temptation, by which you shall be Assailed.

 

- End of Liguori Sermon -

 

Prayer for the Graces Necessary for Salvation

Eternal Father, Your Son has Promised that You will Grant us all the Graces which we ask for in His Name. In the Name and Merits of Jesus Christ, I ask the following Graces for myself and for all Mankind. Please give me a Lively Faith in all that the Church Teaches. Enlighten me, that I may know the Vanity of the Goods of this World, and the Immensity of the Infinite Good that You are. Make me also see the Deformity of the Sins I have Committed, that I may Humble myself and Detest them as I should.

Give me a Firm Confidence of Receiving Pardon for my Sins, Holy Perseverance, and the Glory of Heaven, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, and the Intercession of Mary. Give me a Great Love for You, that will Detach me from the Love of this World, and of myself, so that I may Love none other, but You.

I Beg of You a Perfect Resignation to Your Will. I Offer myself entirely to You, that You might do with me, and all that belongs to me, as You Please.

I Beg of You a Great Sorrow for my Sins.

I ask You to give me the Spirit of True Humility and Meekness, that I may Accept with Peace, and even with Joy, all the Contempt, Ingratitude and Ill-treatment I may receive. At the same time, I also ask You to give me Perfect Charity, which shall make me wish well to those who have done Evil to me.

Give me Love for the Virtue of Mortification, by which I may Chastise my Rebellious Senses and oppose my Self-Love. Give me a Great Confidence in the Passion of Jesus Christ and in the Intercession of Mary Immaculate. Give me a Great Love for the Blessed Sacrament, and a Tender Devotion and Love to Your Holy Mother. Give me, above all, Holy Perseverance, and the Grace always to Pray for it, especially in Time-of Temptation, and at the Hour-of Death.

Finally, I recommend to You the Holy Souls of Purgatory, my Relatives and Benefactors, and in a special manner I recommend to You all those who Hate me or who have in any way Offended me; I Beg You to Render them Good, for the Evil they have done or may wish to do me. Grant that, by Your Goodness, I may come One Day to sing Your Mercies in Heaven; for my Hope is in the Merits of Your Blood and in the Patronage of Mary. Mary, Mother of God, Pray to Jesus for me.

Amen

 

Ancient Miraculous Prayer to Saint Joseph
Patron of Departing Souls

This Prayer was found in the Fiftieth Year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles, when he was going into Battle. Whoever shall Read this Prayer, or Hear it, or Keep it about themselves, shall never Die a Sudden Death, or be Drowned, nor shall Poison take-effect on them; neither shall they Fall into the Hands of the Enemy, nor shall they be Burned in any Fire, nor shall they be Overpowered in Battle.

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O Saint Joseph, whose Protection is so Great, so Strong, so Prompt before the Throne of God, I Place in you, all my Interests and Desires.

O Saint Joseph, do Assist me by your Powerful Intercession, and Obtain for me from your Divine Son, all Spiritual Blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having Engaged here below your Heavenly Power, I may Offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never Weary Contemplating you and Jesus Asleep in your Arms; I dare not approach while He Reposes near your Heart. Press Him in my name and Kiss His Fine Head for me, and ask Him to Return the Kiss when I Draw my Dying Breath, Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, Pray for us.

Amen

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Many Miracles have been attributed to this Daily Prayer.
Make this Prayer known everywhere . . .

 

Consecration to God thru Mary