Updated: Oct 28
["God the Father Blessing," Raphael, 1508]
A man was going through a particularly rough patch. While he was not possessed, he had long been afflicted by what appeared to be demonic obsessions and unshakeable feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. He was living an exemplary Christian life of holiness, but the mental torments continued and, under the stresses of his current life, had now grown debilitating.
He sought the help of a priest exorcist who recommended some deliverance praying, including seeing a woman who was a spiritual sensitive. They discerned that the man was indeed suffering demonic obsessions and one of the causes, to his surprise, included being cursed by his father. As a child, he was verbally abused on a number of occasions by his father who irrationally vented his rage against him: "Tell that g....d... kid to shut up!" He followed this with threats. The child felt frightened, worthless and rejected.
The team took him through several deliverance sessions which included forgiving his father and formally saying, "I reject the lie that I am a worthless child." Then they lifted any curses sent against him. By the time the sessions had ended, the man had regained his emotional equilibrium and found a new sense of inner peace.
Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the famous exorcist of Rome, wrote:
"When curses are spoken with true perfidy, especially if there is a blood
relationship ... the outcome can be terrible. The most common instances
that I have encountered involved parents or grandparents who called
down evil upon children or grandchildren."*
Fr. Amorth said the first and necessary condition in the healing process is for the person to forgive the parents.
Sometimes parents will intentionally curse a child, particularly if the child veers from the parents' expectations for the future, such as marrying an "unacceptable" person or pursuing an "unacceptable" vocation. Other times, as in this case, a parent will vent his/her rage against the child with threats, cussing and damning words. The parent may shout, "You will never amount to anything!" The psychological and spiritual toll on a child should not be underestimated.
Parents have a unique authority and power to bless their children. They also have a unique power to wound them....
Pope Benedict recounted his own childhood experiences of being blessed by his parents:
"I shall never forget the devotion and heartfelt care with which my father and
mother made the sign of the Cross on the forehead, mouth, and breast of us
children when we went away from home, especially when the parting was a long
one. This blessing was like an escort that we knew would guide us on our way. It
made visible the prayer of our parents, which went with us, and it gave us the
assurance that this prayer was supported by the blessing of the Savior…I believe
that this blessing, which is a perfect expression of the common priesthood of the
baptized, should come back in a much stronger way into our daily life."**
*Father Gabriele Amorth, Exorcist Tells His Story, Ignatius Press, 1999, p.130.
**Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, 2000, p.184.
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