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[adapted from Life Missions, Family Healings]

Every family – save for that of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph -- has had tendencies that are negative. It could be a family inclination to selfishness, division, pride, or argumentation. It could be occultism. Or divorce. It could be a preoccupation with materialism (this is big). It could be addiction. Or emotional disturbance.

These "blotches of darkness," often from ancestry, need to be washed out or they will repeat themselves like a broken record (in our lives and then in the lives of those who come after us). Here then is a mission: cleansing your lineage.

Of course, it takes our will. You don't just tell something to get out and expect that things will heal (though immediate miracles are possible). Usually, it takes persistence. Resist the devil (even past weariness, past discouragement) and he will flee.

When the sin is intense, claims Father John Hampsch -- who wrote a seminal book called Healing the Family Tree -- the effects may go beyond the three or four generations so commonly mentioned. The greater the sin, the more darkness we attract. We also may draw demonic spirits of a higher level. As the Bible tells us, there are powers and principalities. They mimic the hierarchy of angels (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels). There are also earthbound or departed “familial” spirits – those who have not “gone on.”


These are spirits that -- for our discernment -- may attach themselves to a person, family, things, addictions, or locations.


If there is a spirit that was addicted to sex, drugs, or alcohol, it may seek to draw from or enter a living person who is indulging in excessive alcohol or illicit sex in order to re-experience it. An involvement in the occult is a transgression known to intensely enhance spiritual infestation. When a person uses psychics, invokes spirits of the dead, or, worse, dabbles with witchcraft, black magic, or Satanism -- dark forces congregate.


Father Hampsch has advised that all “objects used for occultic or spiritualist activities be destroyed, for they tend to attract evil spirits,” including charms and astrological symbols.

We are told in Leviticus 19:31 that recourse to spirits of the dead or magicians will “defile” us; they also defile those who come after us.


“When we are around things of the occult, whether it is books, signs, symbols, or even hard-core rock music, it contaminates the spirit,” adds Father Robert DeGrandis, a priest from the Washington, D.C. area and the author of many splendid little booklets. “This is why oftentimes charismatics can’t listen to hard rock. The Holy Spirit and their spirit are resisting the intrusion of contamination.”


Any ancestry may include thieves, murderers, drunks, adulterers, and occult dabblers. If someone commits a murder, this is a strong force that attracts generational spirits. The sins manifest in various ways; so does victimization. Especially handed down are psychological ills, even torments. But the ills are often physical.


Perhaps this was what Jesus referred to when He mentioned that the Pharisees were full of “dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27). (We could also say “skeletons in the closet.”) Spirits of the deceased can cause problems and should be kept out of your house. Persistence keeps the home clean. Pray to identify their origin without judging those who may be carrying them. We have seen cases where the dark inclinations of one family member seemed to pass down upon death, or at least cause another weakness to be accented. For example, let’s say there is an uncle who was always the focus of disputes. He was alienated from many in the family. He lived a life of loneliness because he felt he was “above” everyone (pride). He was from a Catholic family, but an atheist – without belief. On his deathbed, a nephew visits him and soon after takes on the uncle’s characteristics – even sees an apparition of him. It is like he is “possessed.” Actually, the uncle may be hovering around and magnifying traits that he and the nephew shared. The nephew even begins to bear a physical resemblance, and there are disruptions in the home. A cabinet falls for no good reason. Water suddenly springs from various spots in a roof that never leaked previously. Unfortunate events plague the family. Division enters (watch for this as a first sign).


If we look closely, virtually every family has some issue.


We also have the remedy.


“In the Name of Jesus, and by my authority as a Christian, I cut off from past generations any communication of hatred, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, lust, envy, gluttony, sloth, pride, anything that is negative, anything not of the Kingdom of God. I call upon the Precious Blood to come upon me and my family. I ask the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Name to cut and cleanse and purify any negative emotions that have been communicated from whatever generation. Amen,” is a prayer Father DeGrandis has devised.


A priest named Father Dwight Longenecker asserts that one can use the Rosary to flush out damage from the past by meditating on the stages of our own lives as we meditate on the stages in the life of Jesus.


The point: spirits – or darkness, in some form -- may gather around a person. Meanwhile, when a person dies, the spirits look for another host – often opting for whoever is nearest or a weak point in the family tree.


Evil that has accumulated through the generations can concentrate around a “magnet” point, opening a conduit.


The result can be misfortune not only for the person, but also for those around the person.


Sickness. Accidents. Bad luck.


When it comes down through the family tree, it can be defeated only through humility. All of us have this mission!


“Loving families lay the foundation for our eternal progress,” writes a person who had a near-death episode. “They help us build strengths, identify and overcome weaknesses, and bring challenges of their own for us to overcome. They significantly influence us in our earthly missions and affect how we influence others in their missions. Every family bond – with spouse, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws, uncles, cousins, etcetera – can play a crucial role in teaching us how to love and be loved.”


An expert named Francis MacNutt recommends saying: “Lord Jesus, gently reveal to me, through the Holy Spirit, those ways in which I may be living out certain patterns of inherited weakness or sin.” [Here wait to see what you receive in prayer.] “Now, Jesus, if there is any predisposition in me to (alcoholism, lust, etcetera) that has come down to me through my ancestry, I ask you through your power to set me free. Send your Holy Spirit, and by the power of your Spirit and by the sword of the Spirit, cut me free from that disposition to [here name it]. For any sins I or my ancestors have committed in this regard, I ask your forgiveness, Lord. In the Name of Jesus Christ and His Precious Blood, set me free, heavenly Father. And now, Lord Jesus, in place of this weakness, fill me with the power of your Spirit; fill me with your spirit of (self-control, courage, sobriety or whatever gift counteracts the weakness you have). And Lord, I ask you also to cut my children free from any harmful disposition they may have inherited from me or my ancestors.”


[resources: Life Missions, Family Healing, The Spirits Around Us, and Healing the Family Tree]

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