What Is Blasphemy?
Awhile back, I posted on what the unforgivable sin was. I remind you about it because the other day I received a comment from a reader and I wanted to address it.
“I don’t understand these words of Jesus fully. Sometimes being in despair and blaspheming against God is the most beautiful and painful prayer which God will fully understand. I mean, my God.
I would take the words more metaphorically: it’s all about the love of God.”
To me, the term in question is the proper definition of blasphemy. Using the Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 (CCD), we read that blasphemy is “any word or act insulting to God or to holy things. It is a sin against religion and may be aimed directly at God, or indirectly by contempt for His Church, His saints, or sacred persons or things.”
Based on this definition, it appears that blasphemy, properly understood, is specifically when we insult God or use His name in vain.
Despair is defined also in the CCD as “the contrary of hope; the state of being hopeless; deliberate act of the will by which one turns away from salvation, considering it as impossible of attainment.”
It appears that despair is not necessarily a blasphemous act, as despair is the deliberate act of the will and turning away from salvation. I would argue that Jesus was not in despair when He was on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Seeing as Jesus was perfect in His Divinity, this would not be sinful. Jesus could not commit a sin. Jesus is actually quoting Psalm 22 by saying this.
Being in a state of true despair and true blasphemy would be completely sinful, as we are not only denying God in His mercy (despair), but we would also be insulting Him (blasphemy).
In my opinion, what Jakob is referring to with “My God”, is similar to the statement of Jesus on the cross. It is not a despair of hopelessness or blasphemy, but it is an honest discussion with God in complete frustration and coming to Him with this frustration. If you are still going to God, then you are not in despair, just be wary that in your frustration you are not insulting to Him.