Are there really such things as 'curses'?
Are there actually curses? Can someone affect you by what they say or think?
It's a controversial aspect of Christianity. Some say they see no biblical basis for it. Others argue that there are repeated references to just such a thing from Genesis through the New Testament -- not only from God, Who is often mentioned in the way of cursing sinful men, but also the curses of others. In Proverbs it says that a curse without cause can not have an effect but implies that there is indeed such a thing and that it can come from others.
There are curses that result from black magic. There are curses that come from occult, pagan, or New Age objects. There are curses that hover over homes, neighborhoods, and lands. There are curses that haunt families through the generations.
We'll be discussing these various aspects in future articles. Today let's start at the foundation, with everyday ways that curses can operate. According to Carlos and Victoria Pantoja, who minister through St. Raphael Ministries in San Francisco, it's not just something that witches do near a caldron. Knowingly or unknowingly, we have all cursed others. When we dislike someone, and worst of all, when we hate a person, it's like throwing a spiritual dagger. And it can have physical results. In some cases people can take sick (think of the term ill-will), and often we find ourselves in frustrating bondages. No matter what we do, we can't succeed. We can't make ends meet. We can't finish a job. We can't succeed at school. We can't find good relationships. We can't reach peace in our families.
Most often it's just the suffering of life but there are occasions when it's because of ill will.
The fact that we can curse people without even knowing it is why we're called to constantly control not only what we say but what we think. "People don't understand consciously that they're cursing another person," says Carlos, mentioning the example of a relative who didn't want him to come to the U.S. and told him he would not amount to anything here -- a "curse" that was only broken, says Carlos, when he asked for her forgiveness and requested that she break the hold this had on him.
When we call someone dumb or bad or ugly, we can be casting a real shadow on them.
"Words are power," warns Victoria. "Kids turn out like what they're parents describe them as."
Especially powerful is the curse that comes through jealousy. This dagger is sharper than others. Indeed, as it says in Proverbs, "Anger is relentless, and wrath overwhelming -- but before jealousy who can stand?" (27:4)
When we're jealous of someone we are wishing them ill luck and as it says in the Bible, ill fortune can then come. "The spirit of jealousy is the spirit of the devil himself," asserts Victoria. "There was the jealousy of the devil in the Garden. He was jealous of Adam and Eve. That's the whole reason for his temptation."
Curses cause spiritual wounds, and demons can attach themselves to such hurts, according to the Pantojas. We all need to spiritually cleanse ourselves by regularly asking Christ to remove any negativity that may have come upon us and to let us recognize any way we can curse others.
For as Carlos and Victoria point out, in the end it's worse for the person who is hateful, disturbed, or jealous. "When you curse someone else, it comes back to you," says Carlos. "Jealousy affects the person who is jealous more than the person who the jealousy is directed at."
The antidote is love. When we love people, we are not wishing them ill will. Instead, we are sending healing. We should even bless those who curse us. It says that right in the Bible (Matthew 5:44). When we have love it's like a shield. We disarm a curse. It can not alight upon us.
Remember St. Raphael the healing angel and visit the Pantojas' website
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