It is very important to remember that the sins of previous generations can be visited upon the present generation, as well as our sins today being visited on future generations. The Bible says in Exodus 20:5 (where God gives us His First Commandment to have no strange gods before Him), Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, & Deuteronomy 5:9, that the punishment for sins can be given to the 3rd and 4th succeeding generations.
1 Kings 11:11-12: Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
You may want to think about that while you are considering committing a mortal sin. Do you really want the punishment for your sin given to your baby daughter, or to your grandson? This actually happened to David, where his son was killed for his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:14), even after his guilt was removed. In the New Testament, Jesus talks about the blood of the prophets killed in previous generations being brought to bear on the current generation in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:29-36 and Luke 11:47-51). That's a scary thought for us alive today, with all of the blood of the 60 million or so innocent babies who were legally killed in the womb in the USA since 1973 being brought to bear upon us someday. There are people who don't believe in future generations being punished for the sins of previous generations, but then you have to remember that we are ALL still suffering for the one sin of Adam and Eve. In 2 Maccabees 6:14, it says that God waits patiently to punish nations until they have reached the full measure of their sins.
Of course, the really good news is that for those who love and serve Jesus, his love is extended to a thousand generations, from Deuteronomy 7:9.
So what do we need to do about all of these inter-generational curses caused by ancestral sins? Two things - You can recite the prayer below from Father Hampsch and the Claretian Teaching Ministry every day. The best time to recite it is immediately after Holy Communion, when you and Jesus Christ are one; when you are like the Blessed Virgin Mary - a living tabernacle of The Savior. That is when you are the holiest, and when your prayers are the most efficacious. A few minutes of heartfelt prayer after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist while in the state of grace are worth many hours of prayer later on.
PRAYER FOR HEALING THE FAMILY TREE
"Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.
With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.
I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members' guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.
In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus' precious Name. Amen."
St. Joseph, Patron of family life, pray for us.
Response to Objections about the Healing of the Family Tree
Father John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.
Almost every week I receive letters of objection, based on false or misinterpreted information, about the Healing Your Family Tree program. In my 300-page book by that title, I present hundreds of questions and answers (or objections and answers), supported by approximately 1200 Old-and New Testament scripture citations, such as Lamentations 5: 7: "Our forefathers have sinned and are now dead, and we bear their punishment." The Healing of the Family Tree program is directed to lifting this “punishment” or bondage of body, mind or spirit; and this is done by simply applying The Healing Power of the Eucharist (which incidentally is the title of another of my books).
Essentially, the core of the healing service is the simply the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated for the intention of lifting (healing) these bondages that are transgenerational in one’s family tree. Of course nothing is changed in the liturgical celebration of such Masses. The most powerful means of healing any disorder, but especially the family’s transgenerational bondages that Scripture refers to so often, is the holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Communion. At the closing of the HFT healing Mass a post-Communion prayer is recited by the priest alone or with the congregation, praying for the healing of all family members of the congregants, living or deceased, and even for “preventative” healing for family members who don’t yet even exist.
What objections are usually presented regarding this healing program? Mainly, the objectors ignore the distinction between sin and the effects of sin. (Only original sin—not personal sin—is inherited, as Paul teaches in Romans 5:12). But the Bible teaches that all sin has negative effects—punishment in the form of suffering, illness, etc. and inclinations toward sinful habits, addictions, ignorance, suicide, etc. These spiritual disorders can be, and often are, inherited, just as physical disorders like diabetes, asthma, etc. are inherited.
Jesus’ redemptive act did not remove the original sin that we all inherited from Adam (Rom. 5:12-17); only baptism removes that sin (Acts 2:38); Jesus did not remove even the effects of that original sin, such as ignorance, sickness, death, immoral inclinations like lust, anger, hatred, etc. Essentially, his redemptive act did not produce healing, but salvation (and of course even that salvation is not received by the unrepentant; he died to save all, but not all will be saved).
The faith act of accepting Jesus as one’s Savior or Redeemer (John 1: 12; Acts 18:8) makes us eligible for salvation if we repent (Acts 2:38). That state of being “saved” continues as long as we don’t backslide into serious sin. (Repeated backsliding requires repeated repentance so as not to “change the grace of God into a license for immorality,” as it says in Jude 4.)
Did Jesus’ act of redemption make healing useless?
His sacrificial redemptive death provided for our redemption, but not for our healing; this is more than obvious by reason of the universal presence of sickness in both believers and non-believers through every century of human existence. Healing is the removal of the above-mentioned effects of sin—whether original sin or any personal sin that could cause sickness, such as promiscuity, drunkenness, gluttony, etc.). After
Did Jesus reverse the Old Testament teaching about the transmission of disorders from the sins of ancestors? Not one single biblical text can be adduced to support that absurdity. Just the opposite; he actually reaffirmed the Old Testament truth about transgenerational bondages. Many of these New Testament passages are listed in my book.
One specious objection is the false claim that we "family tree healing proponents" assert that all suffering and sin-proclivity is from ancestral sin. It is true that an enormous amount of suffering, sickness, disorders, etc. come from transgenerational bondage. But it is not true that all suffering results from the sins of our ancestors. Jesus condemned this common Jewish teaching about ancestral sin as the universal explanation of suffering (see John 9:3), for there are certainly exceptions to ancestral sin’s effects. I deal with this and many similar objections in my question and answer book, Healing Your Family Tree, and also in my four-hour tape/CD album, as well as in my videotape/DVD album—a four-hour HFT program shown on national TV and EWTN. (By the way, these materials are available from my web site and/or the address below; proceeds are used to help the poor of our Claretian missions.)
Objectors tend to emphasize the negative and de-emphasize the positive aspects of the program. While emphasizing their misgivings about God’s biblical threat of “three-or-four-generational punishment," they tend to disregard the more positive emphasis in the program, namely, God’s promise of the "thousand generation reward” for families that fulfill God's will in a heroic degree, (rewards flowing until interrupted by sinful descendants). In the Bible, both "reward transmission" and "punishment transmission," are mentioned quite specifically 56 times—for instance, in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Isaiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, etc. and in the New Testament also, as quoted in my book on this topic.
Three major pastoral incentives for the program are: 1) to remove (heal) our present physical, emotional and spiritual problems—some (not all) of which are forms of punishment resulting from our ancestors' sins; 2) to prevent the family's future generational suffering ("preventative” or “prophylactic” healing); and 3), to draw down God's graces on present and future generations in the fullness of spiritual healing—which is our sanctification. All three of these objectives embrace aspects of God's loving mercy. This entire program is a prayerful and sacramental appeal to his infinite mercy—which is detailed in my book, The Awesome Mercy of God. His mercy is patent in the flood of reports expressing gratitude to God for the program's countless astonishing results.
Many skeptical priests and several bishops (especially in Asia and
Original sin is inherited as part of our very nature (see Psalm 51: 5 and Eph. 2:3), and also its negative effects like death, sickness, moral weakness, etc., as Paul reminds us in Rom. 5:12-17; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, etc. ). In contradistinction to this, ancestral sin is not itself inherited, but its effects very often are, as shown by overwhelming empirical evidence. These effects are the thousands of targets of this healing program: numerous physical diseases (not just the 3500 known genetic diseases), trauma, emotional problems like depression, anxiety, etc. and spiritual problems like chemical abuse addictions, sexual abuse, rape, abortion, incest, loveless marriages, resentment, hatred, murder, suicide, etc.
The religious censors of two large Catholic publishing companies have approved the doctrinal content of my book, and many monasteries sell the book and conduct special retreats on that subject. I have never heard of any person, clergy or lay, who has taken a position against the program after carefully reading my book. Only those who evaluate the program superficially, or who learn of it by hearsay from less informed individuals, have challenged the program. They do not even know that Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, "Adveniente Millennio Tertio," made affirming statements regarding the need to heal the effects in us in the present resulting from sins committed in past generations. He urged the Bible-based mentality of Leviticus 26:40: “Confess your iniquity and the iniquity of your ancestors.” This approach to healing was first used publicly by Josiah (2 Kings, 23).
The devil hates this program, so he allows ignorance, prejudice and narrow-mindedness (even in some of the clergy) to try to torpedo this scriptural and Eucharistically-focused movement. Many of these purveyors of falsehood, being “never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7), bring great harm to God’s people. It is hard to convince objectors of the validity of this movement, when those objectors choose to remain ignorant—by evaluating it superficially and by claiming that the movement teaches things that are certainly not claimed by its advocates. For instance, they claim it is one form of the New Age movement, which we condemn just as it was condemned by the Holy See in 1996. It is most taxing to be patient with accusers who refuse to face their own ignorance. Their position is: "My mind is made up—don’t confuse me with the facts!"
Almost every day I receive emails, letters and phone calls reporting many family members’ conversions, addiction cures, marriage restorations, etc. from the Healing of the Family Tree program. The most remarkable of these miracle-reporting letters I have accumulated into large loose-leaf notebooks made up of hundreds of testimonies that bring great glory to God in praise of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, the Lover of families. These testimonies provide existential proof of the program's validity, over and above the Scriptural and theological proofs mentioned here and many more in my book, Healing Your Family Tree.
For a HFT prayer, and also for a somewhat detailed explanation of how to arrange for Masses for the HFT program, and how to participate more effectively, see that section of my Internet web site, which is: http://www.claretiantapeministry.org/
Let us pray, through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for all families suffering the devastating effects of ancestral sin, biblically defined as: "sins of their forefathers visited upon their children to the third and fourth generation." And let us pray that all families will align themselves spiritually to strive for true holiness and thus become transmitters of “a thousand generations of blessings” promised by the Lord.
Father John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.