["Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise," stained glass, Church of Saint-Aignan, Chartres]
James was a severe alcoholic. After a serious illness that almost took his life, James stopped drinking. He vowed to return to his faith after having lapsed for a decade. However, when he started going back to the Catholic Mass, he began to have strange reactions.
He blacked out several times while engaged in religious practices. At night, he felt attacked by evil forces. He woke up with large bruises and scratches on his arms and legs. The scratches were in sets of threes (note: demonic scratches are often in threes as a mockery of the Trinity).
Strangely, even though he had stopped drinking, bottles of alcohol would inexplicably materialize around him. His fiancée actually witnessed the bottles suddenly appear at his side as if dropping from his body. Evil forces appeared to be tempting him.
His parish priest referred him to our exorcism ministry. In the initial sessions, he made great progress. In addition to attending weekly exorcism sessions, he and his fiancée said a daily rosary and frequented the sacraments, including regular confession. However, after a few weeks, he suddenly stopped going to the sessions. He stopped receiving the sacraments and said he no longer believed. It was a stunning halt with no obvious explanation.
But a few short months later, he returned. He told the Exorcist that the spiritual attacks had gotten so bad that he couldn't stand it. The exorcism sessions began again and were again having noticeable benefit. The demonic attacks were getting less severe.
However, it seemed to the Exorcist that there was something blocking full liberation. The sessions were not being fully effective. On an inspiration, the Exorcist asked James, "Is there any freemasonry or other cult involvement in your family background?" James responded, "My grandfather was a 33rd degree mason."
So, the Exorcist took James through the prayers to lift any curses related to freemasonry plus any other generational curses. In the next session, James experienced great relief. He said it was almost like "a switch turned" and he was liberated. It has been several years now and the demons have not returned. He is happily married and practicing the faith.
There is some discussion today about whether generational curses really exist. The Catholic Church has not spoken definitely about this and there is much room for disagreement and debate. However, the senior exorcists that I know all make lifting generational curses a regular part of their ministry.
Some theologians disagree and suggest that the sacrament of baptism would complete eradicate any transmission of the effects of generational sins. It is true that baptism does cleanse the person from the stain of Original Sin. However, it does not wipe out all its effects. For example, suffering and death remain in our world because of Original Sin, despite the power of baptism.
Others teach that we are not culpable for the sins of past generations. This is true. But the effects of their sins can and do affect us. For example, if my parents were both drug addicts, I am not responsible for their sins. But the negative effects of growing up in a drug addicted household would certainly affect me.
But I have noticed that lifting generational curses seems relatively easy for most, as it was for James. Perhaps it is because the children are not culpable for the sins. On the other hand, I have found that casting out the effects of divination, such as the practice of witchcraft, if the individuals themselves had engaged in this serious sin, is not easy and takes considerable time and cleansing.
We live in a broken world. The effects of sin are everywhere. We are all affected, in some way, by the temptations and actions of the Evil One. But we remain hope-filled and confident. "Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more ... through Jesus Christ Our Lord" (Rm 5:20-21).
*Register for our Lenten deliverance retreat on Saturday April 1st at 11am-2pm Eastern USA time (the same as New York City). Register here or: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7701698950683745116