The Holy Spirit and only the Holy Spirit can enlighten you on hidden aspects of your family that need to be cleansed.
We must be careful not to let ourselves be overtaken by the imagination.
But it’s a fascinating realm and it is full of the potential for healing.
In his book Intergenerational Healing, the late Father Robert DeGrandis cited the case of a black woman with the wrong kind of charisma.
“The woman and her sisters had a problem every time they were out in public places,” he writes. “Men gravitated to them more than would normally be expected. They were all good Catholics, and fairly nice looking people, but they just had a stronger than usual way of drawing men. This area was the focus of our prayer.
“In prayer with this woman I had a vision of what I thought was a slave ship. Because she was a mature leader and understood the inner healing process, I pursued it with her in depth. ‘Are you seeing anything,’ I asked. She responded, ‘I’m seeing a slave ship.’ As she began describing what was happening, I was also seeing it in my own mind. I could tell from the style of the ship and the type of clothes that we were ‘seeing’ the days of slavery.”
As it turned out, this woman, as in the previous case we mentioned, next “saw” a woman she sensed as an ancestor; Father DeGrandis simultaneously had the same vision – of a woman with a red bandana around her head who was clearly “very promiscuous.”
“We wondered if perhaps the promiscuity was passed down from generation to generation,” says the priest. “We considered the possibility that the inexplicable male attention was a residual effect of her promiscuous ancestor’s activity. In visualization we brought the slave ancestor into the loving and forgiving Presence of Jesus Christ and cut the negative ties between the living and the dead. In the months that followed, the woman experienced healing in her own life, and especially her marriage.”
Another priest quite involved in such ministry, Father Lou Cerulli of Montreal, believes there are spiritual aspects particular to various lineages; for example, Italians often confront occult spirits passed down from ancient paganism (or from practices such as witchcraft, the Black Hand, or the “evil eye,” which may derive from gypsies); there is also much occultism in Latin cultures, notes the priest — who worked in the financial industry and designed training programs for major corporations before responding to the priestly call. There is much alcoholism, he notes, among English and Irish.
But really, says Father Cerulli, no ethnicity can be singled out.
Every culture has its spiritual problems.
Unhealthy practices “open up doors to the family line that never should have been opened,” and he believes one striking example may be the ancient and intractable Jewish-Arab division, which he says goes back to the fact that Abraham had two sons — one by his lawful wife, Sarah, the other by their Egyptian servant, Hagar.
The son by Sarah was Isaac and his descendants were to inherit Canaan; the son born of Hagar was named Ishmael and may have been a patron of Arabs.
“These two guys and these two nations have been at each other ever since,” notes Father Cerulli. “Ultimately, we all have problems. We’re all connected. We may be different people and different cultures and different languages, but if you go right back we come from God and are all connected.”
[adapted from Life Missions, Family Healing]