Blessings and Curses?


#1

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. :confused: Can anyone help or lead me to a Catholic source on this matter?

In Christ,
AttachedToSix

A Faithful follower of Christ and His Church
Pray for more Vocations to the Priesthood and Concecrated life!


#2

I have seen many Protestant churches that subscribe to a “name it and claim it” teaching. They believe that God wants everything for them, therefore whatever it is they may want will be given them by God.
Money, a new car, a date for the prom, etc…

Likewise, since there is power in their own spoken word of asking for something, there is also power in speaking negatively.

The real problem with this is that God knows us better then we know ourselves. He will not give us everything we ask for, he will give us what we need to be brought closer to him.
We do not always know what is and is not best for us. God does, and we are called to trust in him.
“Name it and claim it” seeks to take the decision making that rightfully belongs to God away.


#3

Words have power. Purely apart from the mystical aspects of blessing and cursing. If you stand with your arm held straight out and determine that you will not allow your companion to press your arm down to your side, and your friend says complimentary things things to you like “you are so intelligent and you are so creative and attractive” then tries to push your arm down to your side, he will not be able to do so. IF instead he saids demeaning things to you and then tries to push your arm down it will go down immediately. This is a proven fact, try it with your friends and family.


#4

Catholic perspective? Can’t help you.

My perspective is that we indeed pronounce “curses” and “blessings” upon ourselves and others. Please do not ever say that your child is acting possessed. You can see the result you listed.

Positive words produce postive results. If one encourages and uplifts another, the results are usually positive. However, if one demeans another, they can be setting that person up for failure and a host of other psychological issues.

Research in the Bible what it has to say about blessings and curses. The passages are there.

Peace…

MW


#5

Blessings and curses are sprinkled throughout the OT. These are only a few of the many examples:

Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Numbers 22:12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”

Psalm 109:17 “He loved to pronounce a curse— may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing— may it be far from him.”

However, the Advent of Christ signaled a new and eternal Covenant between God and man. Thus, we should expect something new. And, we find it:

Luke 6:28 “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

1 Corinthians 4:12 “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;”

1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Big difference. New Covenant.

Thus the OT stress on blessing and cursing is gone, replaced by blessing even those who persecute you. We are now told to bless and not to curse. Christ admonished us to love one another, not to curse one another. We are known by our love - that is the visible manifestation of the Spirit acting in us.

So, yes, the blessing and cursing does appear rather superstitious and can risk catering to the occult. Notice that Peter, in his sinful three-times denial of Christ, began “cursing and swearing”. Contrast this with his three-fold affirmation of love for Christ in John 21:15-17, in which Christ reinstated Peter to the status he held before he denied Christ.

Cursing has been replaced, in the eternal Covenant, with blessing and love. In all charity, we must recall that other churches are in error and thus all exhibit erroneous practices and beliefs to a greater or lesser extent.

This is not “official” teaching, but is based entirely on scripture, which bible-only Christians should have an easier time relating to. They reject the church’s teaching authority, so appeals to them are best made using scripture.

Christ’s peace.


#6

Thank you, I have read the Bible and have TONS of verses. They have to deal with curses that God hands out as punishment for disobedience. I am really looking to the Church to help explain this better.

My question to you is this: what if my child was possessed? I’m not saying she is, but what if she really was? Is she then doubly cursed because I said it outloud? it just doesn’t make sense to me.

In Christ,
AttachedToSix


#7

It doesn’t make sense for a very good reason. If words had the value that those you speak of think they do, we should all be dead! Again, possession of such a young child is highly unlikely, since souls are not possessed against their will. Your child is below the age of reason, and so cannot consciously leave room for evil to enter. They must usually do something negative, or fail to do something positive, which leaves the opportunity open for the demon.

In any case, possession is very rare. These folks sound more superstitious than Christian.

Christ’s peace.


#8

Thank you po18guy! that is exactly what I was looking for. I kept thinking that the New Covenant changed things but needed some help picking it out since I can only converse to them through Scripture verses.

In Christ,
AttachedToSix


#9

:rotfl:
Wait, are you being serious?


#10

My point EXACTLY. One can not become posessed because someone jokingly says they are acting posessed. But, posession a whole other ball of wax. For the record, my daughter is not posessed and is actually a beautiful child of God who already at age two has a sense of how great her Creator is! She also has a very strong will :slight_smile:

In Christ,
AttachedToSix


#11

I understand.

If you had a question about possession you would go to seek your parish priest. No, she wouldn’t be doubly cursed. And I’m not saying that what you said would necessarily have that effect. We all say things sometimes we regret or just don’t think about first.

Children can be possessed, either partially or completely, although complete possession is extremely rare. I’ve known numerous children who were. But, please don’t assume she would be. Your parish priest helps his parishioners deal with these matters. Only he can interview you and your child and decide that.

Everything else, and I mean everything, would have to be ruled out before coming to that decision.

Peace…

MW


#12

Yes, I am being serious. I have seen it done, and done it myself. It is a mental thing not a spiritual one.


#13

I might have to try it then. I’m afraid I would ruin it by laughing too hard, though. :cool:


#14

Absolutely true. We still have to learn to control our tongues, though. It serves no purpose to speak negative words upon a child, even jokingly. Our tongues can, to a great extent, determine the paths of our lives.

James 3:3-12
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 **Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. **11Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.


#15

Words are things of power. True curse were practiced by the ancient Jews who would invoke the name of God against there enemies.

The supernatural should not be tampered with.


#16

#17

Thank you Peary! That’s what I wanted to know. I understand there are curses with the tongue but what I said wasn’t one. I would never, ever curse my children in any way. It was a comment on an action that even though I joked about it, it did frighten me a bit! I never even said a word to my 2 year old about acting posessed. I obviously meant no malice by it. It was a comment made to someone else about her action. Obviously, if I had turned to my daughter and yelled at her with the words “You are posessed!!!”, that is another story, but that is NOT what happened. I do know that abusive words have a powerful effect on a child - BTDT in my own childhood. I’ve been carrying an unnecessary guilt I believe.


#18

I think God is smarter than your friends and knows very well when something is said in jest, and you have enough common sense to know that there is not going to be any ill effect on your child. Don’t worry about it. and don’t let your friends’ strange ideas have any power over YOU.:slight_smile:


#19

Amen! Thank you for reiterating my thoughts :slight_smile:


#20

I know I’m coming late to the discussion, but I’m wondering, do these Protestants that you know, who are so quick to claim the ability to bless things, put stock in items blessed by a priest?

I’ve not met many Protestants who gave a second (positive) thought to holy items blessed by a priest (though a good many who have reviled the practice), so it seems odd to me that they would go on about blessing/cursing items/people on their own authority.

Weird. :shrug:


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