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Lanston Pinto wrote:

Hi, guys —

Hi Mike, John, Eric, Bob, Paul,

First of all, its awesome to know that if we have some doubts, there are people who we can ask and who reply quickly : ) Thank you for the wonderful help you guys give. Now to my question . . .

When I had gone to a Charismatic service in India, the priest had mentioned that after Jesus came, ancestral curses did not exist but a close Catholic friend, who is very active in the Charismatic prayer group, told me that ancestral curses do exist and that they could come down from previous third or fourth generations.

He shared with me a testimony of his family friend whose second male child would always die in the womb of the mother. They did not know why and when they sought counseling, they came to find out that there was a family history of the second male child dying and something that had happened in the previous generation. They then offered that something to the Lord and, from there on, this never happened.

In another example, a friend of mine told me that he knew of a lady who always miscarried. Now they didn't know why it was happening but one day, they sought counseling and it was revealed that after their marriage, their house had geographically shifted, and had previously been built on a graveyard and that the evil spirits from the graveyard were still present.

So there are examples of this.

My Catholic friend recommended a non-Catholic book that talks about various curses but before I read this book, I wanted to know the truth.

  • What does the Catholic Church believe on this topic?

Personally, I believe that there are curses. I believe when we speak negative about something, those words have power, and the author of this book provided persuasive examples.

  • Does the Catholic Church believe that there are curses?
  • I know the answer is Yes but does the Catholic Church believe in ancestral curses?
    <I don't know. >
  • Can curses be passed on through future generations?

I seek your answers.

Regards,

Lanston

  { Does the Catholic Church believe in ancestral curses that can be passed through generations? }

John replied:

Hi Lanston,

To answer your question, I don't know that the Church officially teaches anything on the subject of generational curses, other than what the Scriptures teach.

We know from the Old Testament that they do indeed exist but we also know that Christ paid the price, taking on all the curses on the Cross so whether generational curses or not, all curses can be broken by the Blood of Jesus.

That said, we have to look at just how these curses get transmitted.

  • In many cases, while there is a dark spiritual influence in the family's life, it is also environmental.
  • If a child is born into a family where he sees his father being abusing, he also becomes abusive.
  • A child could genetically inherit alcoholism.
  • If a child comes from a broken home where the mother winds up having several boyfriends over one's childhood, than the odds that the child grows up to embrace promiscuity, are fairly high.

It is possible that in Old Testament days, these environmental factors were not understood as well as they could have been although there was some understanding as evident in the book of Proverbs and so these curses were seen strictly as punishment for breaking a covenant or some dark spiritual force at play.

Now as for truly strange occurrences like you have described — the death of a certain child — I would be very careful. Especially when it comes to the notion of having to make an offering to the Lord. The offering for the curse and curses was made by Christ Himself. We have no other offering but Christ's. What we do is united to His Sacrifice but God doesn't spend his time cursing the innocent. It is possible that there is a dark force at play in the family. Someone, somewhere along the line, might have embraced some form of witchcraft or alternative forbidden spiritualism and, as a result, they opened up their family to the influences of dark forces.

I'd be very careful about reading anything on this subject that wasn't written by a Catholic and didn't have an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat seal on it.

I hope this helps,

John

Lanston replied:

John,

I totally agree with the environmental factors as mentioned.

  • Do you think it would be good for people who have had these particular incidents to visit a Catholic counsellor who is blessed with the gift of counseling and knowledge?

We all know of counselors who are gifted by the Holy Spirit and, when people go to counseling through these counselors, it reveals what situation actually took place in the past which made the affected person act as they did. That said, I'm not suggesting that we should run to counselors all the time.

Lanston

John replied:

Well,

I always advise Catholics to find a good spiritual director. He can usually sort these sort thing out and if he or she, (as there are women who do spiritual direction mostly for other woman), should be able to discern if a counselor is necessary. The key is to find a good orthodox spiritual director that is biblically-versed and understands a variety of things.

We can go to two extremes.

  1. On the one hand, we can get totally flaky and see a demon behind every door, on the other hand
  2. we can totally dismiss the possibility of demonic influence.

The fact is there needs to be a balanced approached. Often times demons will play on natural causes and circumstance.

A lot to times it's not that a person is living a wrong life but the person may perhaps, because of events their life, not have a proper perspective on things and so they habitually make wrong decisions.

Satan, the author of lies, lies to us through people, the media, and through advertising. He gets us to believe negative things about ourselves or about God and His Love for us and so we develop patterns of thought in our lives. St. Paul calls these strongholds in our mind. They are thoughts that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God's truth. He writes the following in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh:

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; 5 Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Now, some Christians, especially Charismatics will see the verse and immediately start thinking about demons in high places . . . blah, blah, blah! but look at what Paul is saying.

He's talking about arguments and thoughts. In other words our own stinking thinkin! That is our own thinking, as influenced by things that have been said to us, that we internalized as a negative view ourselves and thus we act on these thoughts.

The answer is found in Romans 12:1-2:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

Note first we are first to submit our lives to God as living sacrifice and then don't allow the world, meaning, what others say about you, to conform you. Rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind or, in other words, be transformed by renewing the way you think.

  • Well, how do we do this?

First of all we must be lead by the Spirit. Romans 8 tells us

13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:13

That doesn't just mean our actions but our thoughts and words and it just doesn't mean carnal sins, it also means not having a proper esteem of one's self as a child of God. That is where studying and meditating on God's Word renews our mind.

As we read Psalm 139, it says God knit us together in our mother's womb and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We need to own that. David goes on to write in that same Psalm, that we should Praise God, because we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Ah ha!, so real Christian self-esteem is really God Esteem!! What makes us valuable is Who made us. Like a famous painting, it's only worth so much because of the signature of the artist. So too, we have immense value because our hearts bear the signature of Jesus Christ, so again, we renew our mind, but understanding who we are in Christ Jesus not in human pride but by esteeming God who made us.

So the most important thing for the Christian is renew their mind according God's Word.

I hope this helps,

Warmly,

John

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