Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Story: Chapter Three, Part Three

Chapter Three, Part Three

Naturally, everything wasn’t always dark and tawdry, there are a few funny “coming of age” stories related to all of the depravity as well, but I’ll save them for later. Obviously growing up in such a household as mine was confusing at best, yet it seems I was remarkably blasé about life. For instance, I had no idea we were poor, and I assumed our family life was normal. I never believed my brother Skip disliked me, I just thought I embarrassed him, and accepted the fact I had to play by myself. I knew he loved me, because if someone bothered me, he usually came to my defense. Yet it was my sister Beth who took on the responsibility of watching over me, and it was through her I learned the most about being Catholic. She answered all of my questions about devotions, Mass, the Blessed Virgin and the saints. Religion began to be my solace and strength from that time, and I have my sister Beth to thank for it. It seems to me the verse from St. Paul was confirmed for us at that time: “Where sin abounds, grace super abounds.”

That said, wickedness seemed to stalk our family. It’s a phenomenon some people might refer to as a generational curse. Protestants believe such things exist, as do a growing number of Catholics. They base their belief upon Exodus 34:6-7:

“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

A niche healing industry has been emerging to heal memories and generational curses. Believers who accept this notion insist the sins of the fathers follow each generation, and that a “familiar” evil spirit incites the same sins from generation to generation. Perhaps there is some truth in that, for instance, psychologists believe children of alcoholics may have some sort of predisposition for addiction, in much the same way physical diseases may be genetic.

I’m rather dubious about the fundamentalist belief in the generational curse thing; I doubt very much it is as black and white as all of that. On the other hand, I’m certain “demons” of some sort may follow families for generations, inciting family members to repeat the sins of their fathers – but not always. I see it more in terms of temptation – subsequent generations may endure similar temptations, yet are not compelled to repeat the same sins. I have always looked upon adversity as a challenge to rise above, as a sort of discipline that can make you stronger.

I’m convinced of this because of the doctrine of free will. This may explain the fact that although my parents may have been abused or “sexualized at an early age” they never perpetrated the same behavior upon us. (Except in the case of my sister perhaps.) What is more, neither my siblings nor I ever repeated such abuse in our own lives. In fact, all of us seem to have gone out of our way to avoid behaving anything at all like our parents, despite the fact their flaws left their mark upon our lives. When Skip and Beth had families, the family life they created was the opposite of how we had been raised. Both of my older siblings had been determined not to repeat the mistakes of our parents, although my younger brother has been less successful..

As for myself, I resolved at a very young age to never marry, I wanted to live a life of chastity, like the saints. In many ways, this led to even greater difficulties as I matured, as you’ll see. Needless to say, what I have written of my life before the age of reason, my behavior offers proof to the doctrine of original sin and its risidual effects.

To be continued.
[Photo credit: Topper with George and Marion Kirby haunting in the background.]

1 comment:

  1. I, too, believe it to be possible to turn around bad patterns of behavior, curses, whatever, that seem to afflict some families, through prayer and sacrifice.


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