I wasn’t sure where to post this so I apologize if this forum may not be the correct place.
I am curious about blessings and curses. I have Protestant friends who are always speaking about this subject. They say that we have the power to bless or curse ourselves and others by our words. They use many quotes from the Bible to back up their beliefs. My problem is that I can not seem to find any information about what the Catholic Church teaches on this subject. I really want a Catholic point of view to share with them. For some reason their view just doesn’t seem right. Perhaps the thing that is bothering me is that they put so much emphasis on this belief. It seems almost superstitious to me. One time I was joking about my two year old daughter acting posessed because she was screaming and I couldn’t calm her down and then she picked up my cell phone and dialed the numbers 666. They accused me of cursing my daughter by saying she was posessed and that I needed to immediately speak positive blessings over her. Can anyone help or lead me to a Catholic source on this matter?
**Jesus said that it isn’t what goes into a person but what comes out of the person from his or her heart which condemns him/her.
What Jesus is saying is that what is in one’s heart is what a person speaks, and reveals their state of soul.
Bad language, or swearing, can be divided into three categories. First, there is profanity—language that serves to debase or defile the sacred. Using God’s name in vain, damning people and things to hell, reviling heaven, and blaspheming fall into this category. While frequently abused, this is also the easiest category to address. The Second Commandment—"Thou shalt not use the name of the Lord thy God in vain"**—prohibits such misuse.
The *Catechism of the Catholic Church *explains, “The second commandment forbids the abuse of God’s name, i.e. every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints” (CCC 2146). And again, " Blasphemy is directly opposed to the Second Commandment. . . . The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. . . . [Blasphemy] is in itself a grave sin" (CCC 2148). "Do not accustom your mouth to oaths, and do not habitually utter the name of the Holy One," warns the book of Sirach. “The man who always swears and utters the name will not be cleansed from sin” (23:9–10).
Second, there is vulgarity—morally crude words that typically refer to the excretory functions of the body. In common usage, they are rarely spoken for their underlying meaning. As insults, they are forbidden by Christ’s commandment to *“love your neighbor as yourself” *(Mark 12:31). As verbal filler they are divorced from their meaning and fail to comport with a Christian standard of language.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one” (Col. 4:6).
“Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. . . . Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man” (Matt. 15:10–11, 17–18).
“But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire” (Matt. 5:22).
The third and final category encompasses obscenity—those words and phrases that are designed to incite lust or depravity and that refer to the sexual organs or the act of sex itself. All of these words are derogatory, treating sex solely as a means of pleasure and reducing the human person to a mere object. Like the excretory words, most of them are used as insults or utterances devoid of any relation to the meaning of the word.
“With [the tongue] we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so” (Jas. 3:9–10).
*“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” *(1 Cor. 6:19–20).
“But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth” (Col. 3:8).
‘Blessing’ and ‘cursing’ go hand-in-hand here. Perhaps this will help the next time someone dials 666. Just read between the lines.