“You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”—Ex 20:5-6
This podcast is about a couple whose conversion led to a vasectomy-reversal which led to a marriage-restoration ranch in Texas that has saved 4,500 couples from divorce.
In today’s podcast Leila Miller and I talk about the complementarity of men and women including headship of family, modesty, transgender issues, male-only priesthood in the Old and New Testament, personal conversions and practical advice to those already married and a bit for those in marriage prep.
“Have you noted the measure of obedience? Pay attention to love’s high standard. If you take the premise that your wife should submit to you, as the church submits to Christ, then you should also take the same kind of careful, sacrificial thought for her that Christ takes for the church. Even if you must offer your own life for her, you must not refuse. Even if you must undergo countless struggles on her behalf and have all kinds of things to endure and suffer, you must not refuse. Even if you suffer all this, you have still not done as much as Christ has for the church. For you are already married when you act this way, whereas Christ is acting for one who has rejected and hated him. So just as he, when she was rejecting, hating, spurning and nagging him, brought her to trust him by his great solicitude, not by threatening, lording it over her or intimidating her or anything like that, so you must also act toward your wife. Even if you see her looking down on you, nagging and despising you, you will be able to win her over with your great love and affection for her.”—St. John Chrysostom
What is Transferred in the Generational Line
One of the most amazing things about the God of the New and Old Testament is how He deals with families. Although women are frequently holier than their husbands, God has chosen—already found in the first book of the Bible—the generational blessing to be transferred from the husband through the boys of his family and so on.
Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.—Genesis 27:38
We long for our father’s blessing, but we often only receive his negligence or bad habits. Nowadays, there is a lot of talk these days about generational curses, and these do indeed exist, but we have to be careful about falling overboard into generational fatalism. At one point in the history of Israel, God gets so fed up with the Hebrew “daddy-wound” excuse that He prohibits this parable from being spoke all over Israel: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.
What this means is that God prohibited the excuse, “I sinned because my Dad sinned.” It’s like: My Dad ate bad grapes, so I can’t get my act together. In modern terms, it would be “I’m an alcoholic because my Dad is an alcoholic.” or “I’m addicted to porn because my Dad abused me.” Although there is a high correlation for both of these evils that I do not mean to mock, we must also remember that God prohibits excuses, for God has given to every man a free-will to begin a new family with fresh responsibility:
The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.—Ezekiel 18:1-4. 1
The reason we can not use a pious “daddy wound” excuse for our sins is because the grace we receive from God in the sacraments is infinitely more powerful than our physical, fallen bloodline. The grace and peace coming through the Precious Blood of Jesus is more powerful than the sins of the bloodline of the Maranzano family or the Mangano family or your family or my family. This is why God prohibits the ancient “daddy wound” excuse of the fathers eating sour grapes as it somehow transfers to the kids. 2
Although only original sin (not actual sins) transfers down a bloodline, the propensity for sins can indeed transfer down a bloodline, especially when mortal sins are committed under the roof of your children (and yes, pornography and drunkenness are both mortal sins.) This is where I am going to admonish the men reading this blog post to double-down in their vigilance against curses (that come primarily from their own sins) and blessings (literal blessings upon their children) to leave a legacy in their families today. I am going to give five battle-goals in this post.
Why should our vigilance be doubled?
Good Catholic parents keep telling me about their good children who are more frequently showing a propensity for same-sex attraction, transgender feelings, children making strange noises (yes, I know most kids make odd noises, but I mean preternaturally strange noises) as well as a highly-unusual propensity for finding pornography. Even relatively sheltered kids are doing sexual dances without ever having been taught. How is this possible?
It is either through learned behavior via the five-senses or through some type of cultural osmosis or even by demons that come into the home. I had written in an earlier blog post against pornography that a man must not use pornography unless he wants demons to invade his home. I realize this is a rather show-stopping claim, but every exorcist I know will back me up on this claim. Thus, I stick by this original claim.
But now, I am realizing something more scary: Even men who are successfully avoiding pornography and other mortal sins are finding their very young children get into sexual dancing and perverted experiments with themselves or other strange things. Some of this is the common effect of original sin that is only avoided in the childhood accounts of canonized saints. But nowadays, some of these unusual perversions are because the fathers of families are not providing the full gamut of protection prayers and blessings that their children need against the most perverse and pro-death culture in the history of the world. Indeed, refraining from pornography is only the beginning of keeping many demons out of the home. But from what many good Catholic families are now reporting to me, I see: It is not enough.
I want to give my top five suggestions for how men can begin to provide spiritual protection for their families.
Five-Point Battle Plan:
1. Pray at least Five Decades of Daily Rosary with your family. You can no longer afford to say “We try for one decade at night but we have little kids who are too unruly.” Fine. Put the little ones to bed and say the five decades with the kids who can stay awake. Or, if none can stay awake, go to your bed and get on your knees with your wife at your side, and pray five decades of the Rosary with her. Or, perhaps you are waiting for her to lead the family? Men, you must take the initiative of spiritual warfare here, or you will lose. No exagerration here with what I’m coming against even in good Catholic families. You can’t afford to call me an extremist anymore with the preternatural proof I have of what is going on in even sheltered Catholic families. With the current spiritual and cultural war, you can not afford to spiritually lead your family without the minimum of 5 decades of the Rosary a day.
2. Auxilium Christianorum: The exorcist Fr. Ripperger has put together an international team of tens of thousands of lay men and women and priests. They are now praying basic prayers of spiritual protection over their families and over each other from afar. (One laywoman told me that there are now hundreds of thousands of people signed up!) The goal of Auxilium Christianorum is to provide prayers for the members – priests, laity, family and friends – so that they are not adversely affected by the demonic. Because men have the greatest gift of spiritual authority and protection in their families, I suggest as many men as possible enroll in this venture, provided they meet these few requirements. These are the willing ones, the spiritually vigilant warriors who want to fight to get their families to heaven. Auxilium Christianorum has an excellent FAQ here that you should read before signing up.
3. Praise God for His goodness together as a family! This is first because praise is God’s due and secondly because it is our salvation to praise God and thirdly because it unites our families to thank God but as a distant fourth: Praise is exorcismal against Satan. Satan and his legion of demons can not stand a family that praises God. Satan got especially angry at St. Faustina for writing about His goodness: “Do not write about the goodness of God! He is just!”—Satan to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy Diary 1338.
4. Praise your wife and children. By “praise” I do not mean “praise” in the same way as number three above, for the above refers to “latria” in the sense of adoration due only to God. By praise of your family, I mean encouragement and compliments. At least, let your encouragements be as frequent as your corrections.
5. Bless your wife and your children. This is the blessing that is transferred inter-generationally for as many generations as will exist from your progeny until the second coming of Jesus Christ. Imagine this blessing passing through your son, to his son, to your grandson, to the point of leaving a dynastic legacy. Satan can not do this, because his only legacy is de-creation. A humble man becomes God-like by simply blessing his children before they go to bed. This blessing is not to make them feel good (although it will make them feel more protected than living in a fortress!) or encouraged (although it will make them feel like the son or daughter of a warrior!) but because the multi-generational blessing that a father can give his son is real. A blessing is efficacious, meaning it will change world history, as we see in Aaron’s blessing in the Old Testament:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”—Numbers 6:22-27
If you’re not good at making up spontaneous prayers, just memorize and pray the bold above, every night upon your wife and children. 3
We long to be blessed by our fathers, to be protected by our fathers, to be praised by our fathers. This is done through blessings, encouragements and protection prayers. Men, I admonish you to begin one or even all of the above five today.
All of Ezekiel 18 is worth reading: The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. “If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God. “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. “Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. “Yet you say, Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. “But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” ↩
A friend wrote me an email after reading this article tonight and it read: “As a veterinarian, I can tell you that wounds that are licked fester and become extremely gross.” I had never thought of licking wounds this way! ↩
There is a modern myth among conservative Catholics that only a priest can bless people. This is simply not the tradition of the Church. You can find St. Catherine of Siena blessing people. You can find biological fathers blessing their family in all ancient rites of the Catholic Church (Roman, Byzantine, Armenian, Greek, Russian, etc.) To be sure, there are some unique things about a priest’s blessing. First, only a priest carries with him the whole blessing of the Church behind him. Secondly, it is probably best that only the priest bless with his whole arm “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (although I think some non-priestly saints did this occasionally, too.) But certainly, every father of a family can bless his wife and children by tracing the sign of the cross on her forehead as he says the above prayer, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Every mother can bless her children in a similar way, but she can not bless her husband this way. This is not to say that she is not holier than him. She probably is holier than her husband! But God established the blessing to go down the latter of spiritual authority, not holiness. This is also why a holy layman should not bless a rotten priest. The layman’s prayers for the priest will be more powerful than vice versa, but we must respect the authority given in a blessing. Finally, I want to give one more reason why you should not be afraid of blessing your children: Satanists and witches have absolutely no qualms about cursing strangers (especially those with big families) with their diabolical hexes, curses and voodoo. Families should not live in fear of these people. Why? Because the curses of Satanists upon children are not as powerful as the blessings that parents bring into their children’s lives…provided the parents are actually blessing their children before bed. Again, just trace the sign of the cross on their forehead as they go to bed and bless them in spontaneous prayer or the above Aaronic blessing. ↩
This sermon was given on Sexagesima Sunday, 4 February 2018, in Jacksonville, Florida. It is about the hierarchy of creation containing the hierarchy of knowledge as transmitted through the angels. This will launch us to consider how the Catholic Faith was originally transmitted from the Apostles to bishops to priests to the families of early Christianity.
Please do not let anyone who has not yet heard the “birds and the bees” listen to this podcast. It is about the medical effects of the birth control pill that I’m reposting from a recent radio interview that I did. I’m traveling this weekend, so only this Sunday will be a repost from another podcast channel. Our radio show tonight on birth control methods references several modern medical studies, including those I linked here, here, here and here.
Family spiritual warfare that is necessary before the peace of heaven.
The people that John the Baptist preached to were very similar to the people of today.
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”—St. Luke 16:18
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”—1 Cor 11:29
“For no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use of the Eucharist.”—Council of Trent, Chapter 6 on the Eucharist
The Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin:
- By counsel
- By command
- By consent
- By provocation
- By praise or flattery
- By concealment
- By partaking
- By silence
- By defense of the ill done