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The Role of the Father, according to Exorcists

By the author of Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know

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The father of a family has real spiritual authority and influence over his wife and children. This is a Biblical reality and a matter of divine revelation. Exorcists note the impact of the father, and the power of the role he plays, in the cases that they encounter.

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Many of the wounds that people carry are acquired early in life when they are under the authority of their parents and are being formed in their “domestic Church.”  A father who fulfills his role in the family is key in preventing these wounds by providing both nourishment and protection to his children.

The father of the family exercises his authority in many ways.  The following are some of the major objectives the father fulfills, in this current age of the world, as the head of his family.

1.     Living in a state of grace.

The first effort, as head of the family, is to be the spiritual beacon and light which points every other member to Our Lord and His holy Church.  By a life free of mortal sin, and prompt recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the father will emanate the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ to his family, both actually, since grace resides within him, and by example, since he will daily grow in holiness into the image of Christ.

2.     Shutting the gates against demons who may enter by means of the father.

The father of the family is the shepherd and the gatekeeper for his little flock.  He, in his own person, plays a big role in protecting his family from diabolical influences.  As the primary authority in the family, if he opens the door to a demonic influence, that demon has permission to harass the rest of the family as well.  These doors can be opened through, among other things, mortal sins committed by the father.  If the father takes up his spiritual authority responsibly and wields it in holiness, serious diabolical issues are much less likely to occur for his wife and children.  More of these spiritual responsibilities will be discussed below.

3.     Blessing the family daily.

The father has the authority, from Christ and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, to bless his wife and his children.  This is done is a way similar to how priests bless their parishioners and all people who come to them.  The father will, however, only trace his thumb, in the shape of the Cross, on the forehead of his wife and children, but not make any priestly gestures like the Sign of the Cross.  He may also bless them with holy water or blessed oil in the same manner as just mentioned.  The blessing of the father brings real protection and peace to his little flock.

4.     Ensuring the home is blessed.

The sacramentals of the Church are there for our spiritual and material good and were instituted by the Church with the authority given to her by Our Lord Jesus Christ.  For the family, the first and central sacramental is the blessing of the home.  This blessing consecrates the home to Christ and brings abundant additional blessings with it.  Angels are commissioned to reside there to protect it, demons are banished that may have previously been attached to that location, further protections are placed on the home to prevent diabolical influence, the light and peace of Christ is commanded to reside there and on all who dwell therein, and those who live there will be further inspired to sing the praises of the Lord while in that abode.  It is the role of the father, and falls to his final decision, to ensure the home is promptly and properly blessed.  This blessing is traditionally renewed every year on the Solemnity of Epiphany, which the father himself may do.

5.     Utilizing and teaching about all the sacramentals.

The number and efficacy of the sacramentals which the Church has instituted are very much underappreciated and unknown today.  It falls to the father to both acquire these sacramentals and to instruct his family on the proper use of them.  Every candle in the home should receive the traditional blessing, which contains an exorcism.  This blessing is effective wherever the candle is placed or lit.  Blessed oil and blessed salt, also containing an exorcism blessing, are useful in both food, for consumption, and in blessing the home and objects in the home.  Holy water which, in the traditional form, also contains an exorcism blessing, may be used in food or in blessing objects.  This sacramental is also renowned for its power against the diabolical, and its liberal usage is encouraged.  Wherever these sacramentals are used with faith, the blessing that is placed on it has its effect.

6.     Ensuring the quick acquisition of all the Sacraments.

The life of grace begins to flow into the soul of every man at Baptism.  When a new child comes into a family, it is the role of the father to ensure the child is baptized without delay.  The Church commands that the child be baptized within the first few weeks after birth.  Some traditions have the child baptized in the first few days.  There is no reason why delay should be employed in seeking Baptism if the father knows the power and importance of this Sacrament.  Until Baptism, the child is not adopted into the family of God and is not yet an heir to eternal life with God.  Likewise, the other Sacraments are critical for the spiritual life to be maintained and to grow.  In some dioceses, Confirmation is available to the child at the age of reason.  Children must also be trained to eagerly desire the Sacraments, so that their reception of the Sacraments produces the most abundant fruit possible.

7.     Using the binding prayer personally and over the family as needed or discerned.

The binding prayer could easily be deemed the essential prayer for this age.  It is a utilization of our baptismal participation in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our Lord is the One who came to “bind the strong man” and crush the Kingdom of Satan.  When we are united with Our Lord, we share in the same power and authority, to an extent, to bind Satan and his demons as well.  The binding prayer should be utilized by the father against every temptation that he personally experiences and against any sinful inclination, or suspected temptation, that he observes in the members of his family.  Using this prayer on a regular and daily basis trains the intellect and the will to notice diabolical attacks and to resist and renounce those attacks.  Further, it trains the mind to focus on what is good and holy, and it trains the will to resist the temptations which the demons regularly wage against it.  It also forms the ability of the intellect to detect even the subtlest of diabolical suggestions.  This will lead to a true sense of peace and spiritual liberation.

8.     Blessing all objects that enter the home.

One of the ways in which diabolical influence in the form of oppression or infestation can begin is through the possession of a cursed item.  It is advisable today to be especially cautious about the foods and items that we bring into our home.  The standard blessing before meals should be utilized before we consume any food or drink.  Any new item that enters the home should be claimed by the father as now under his authority.  A simple blessing with holy water could be useful in ensuring there are no diabolical “tag-alongs” on the object.  A repeated consecration of one’s external goods to the Blessed Virgin Mary would help ensure that all new objects that have come into the home are also freed from any evil influence and are consecrated to Our Lord.  From the Acts of the Apostles, we can see the early Church declaring that meat sacrificed to idols was acceptable to eat, provided it did not scandalize any new Christians.  With this, though, we must remember that the blessing before meals is said in order to remove any curses or diabolical attachments on the food about to be consumed.  So, if you have any suspicions about the origin of your food, or any object, it is best to invoke God’s blessings upon it before letting it into your home or your body.

9.     Discerning all objects that enter the home.

Similar to the above, take note of the details of objects that enter the home.  You might be surprised by the associations that some companies have with new age and occultic groups.  A simple internet search can reveal the details if you have cause for concern.  Typically, a chair is just a chair, but sometimes a candle or a jar of scented oils may, according to the manufacturer, have been left out under a full moon in order to pull in the special “energies” the full moon emanates.  This could just be a silly thing they did or claimed to do, or it could be associated with a Wiccan ritual.  Witchcraft is real, active in our culture, and growing in popularity.  Though it is becoming more accepted by society, it remains evil and poses a danger to those who interact with it.

10.  Blocking all evil music or television or toys from entering the home.

Our technological age requires an intense vigilance against the intrusion of disordered music and images.  Radios, CDs, DVDs, cable TV, and streaming videos are all capable of glorifying God or of leading man directly or indirectly away from Him.  Most of these tools are present in the average home today.  It is often difficult to vet every song or image that will be broadcasted, but the widespread presence in the culture, of attitudes, philosophies, attire, and gestures gravely contrary to Christian truth and sentiments, demands that the father guards against any permissiveness toward such evils in the home.  Music and imagery are both powerfully memorable and difficult to remove from the mind once they have been introduced.  It is easier to preserve innocence than to restore it after it is defiled.

Similarly, we live in a culture saturated with toys and material goods.  Many of these are good and helpful but others are reflective of a godless and disordered culture and view of mankind.  Fathers should ensure that the toys which come into the home only help foster, in the impressionable minds of the children, a healthy view of God, self, and others.  Similarly, they should ensure that the toys do not disturb the peace and tranquility of the children and the home due to the excessively noisy or distracting electronic components which characterize many of the toys in our age.

11.  Ensuring proper communication and forgiveness in the home.

The father is the image of Christ in the home, according to the imagery given to us by St. Paul when he says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph.5:25)  The father is also the first image of God the Father in the minds of the children.  As a result, he must ensure that the children encounter the mercy
of Christ in an appropriate manner by promoting both a spirit of repentance and of forgiveness among family members.  This focus will teach the children to be humble and to take responsibility for their actions, understanding the consequence of their deeds.  This spirit of forgiveness has characterized the homes and upbringing of many notable saints.  It is healthy and effective in forming the child’s view of God and a proper trust in His mercy.

12.  Ensuring, in the home, the knowledge of, and obedience to, all the teachings of the Church.

It falls to the father to take responsibility for the family’s fidelity to the demands which Holy Mother Church places on all those who call themselves Christians.  The father must, then, seek to fully understand all the teachings of the Church and implement an obedience to them in the family.  He must ensure that a proper study of the Faith takes place in the home, in particular on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, which are set apart for a particular focus on Our Lord.  This will help all in the home to fulfill the purpose of life, which is to know, love, and serve God in this life, so we may live with Him forever in the life to come.

13.  Ensuring proper Catholic cultural and liturgical celebrations throughout the year.

The Catholic Faith encompasses our entire lives and provides countless opportunities to celebrate the goodness of God and give thanks to Him for His abundant blessings.  These opportunities include the different liturgical seasons and Feast days of the saints.  There are many enriching local and historical customs which accompany these celebrations and provide moments for the family, in particular for the children, to encounter the beauty and joy of life and the Catholic religion.  These intentional celebrations also help fill the space in daily life with activities that are inspired by and consecrated to Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our current age pressures us to fill these leisure times with mindless behaviors or secular indulgences which will have the opposite effect, if we allow it to happen.  This must be resisted, and intentional Catholic celebrations will make that more easily accomplishable.  Engaging the family in these celebrations will further anchor the minds of the children on God, placing Him as the center of their minds, hearts, and imaginations.

14.  Avoiding excesses and ensuring virtue and moderation in the home.

Virtue guides Christian life.  In an age of excess, though, this is a difficult thing to maintain, especially regarding excesses of delicacies like sweets, as well as food in general.  When virtue is wanting and vice is in control, demons can easily keep us in our extreme behaviors and push us further along those paths.  A home prone to excesses becomes unstable, burdensome, and distracted from the kind of focus that is necessary to maintain the Christian way of life.  The father’s example and insistence on living a life of virtue, self-discipline, and moderation will add critical spiritual protections over the family.

15.  Ensuring that the discipline of children is both loving and just.

Disciplining children is almost counter-cultural today.  Far too many adults treat children as if they are also adults and the children will quickly pick up on this and respond accordingly.  This can lead to habits of disrespect and disobedience which will gravely undermine all the other efforts to establish a home centered on Our Lord and our Catholic religion.  The discipline of children must be just and loving, effective and fair, balanced and restrained.  The father will need to be a virtuous man in order to discipline his children in such a way that the children truly learn what is good and evil.  This should lead them to always seek to do what is good out of a love for God, and a duty to do what is right simply because it is right.

If you enjoyed this article, you will enjoy reading Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know, by the same author – available in paperback and eBook.  Get one for yourself and your friends.  The book is also a great book for men’s Catholic study groups.  May God bless you.

NB: This article is meant to highlight the role of the father in the family in order to help men understand and live this reality.  God has also given mothers a significant role in the family.  This article does not address that reality but is not meant to imply that it does not exist.

Comments

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    1. Love this article. Thanks and God bless.

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    2. Great checklist Charles, thanks for the guidance.

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    3. You're welcome! Please share and spread the word! I'm working from a near-zero-dollar advertising budget - I can use the assistance.

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    4. Which binding prayer are you referring to specifically?

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    5. The binding prayer is the one taught by Fr. Ripperger and others and is mentioned often in my book, "Slaying Dragons." It says, "In the Name of Jesus, I bind you, spirit of _____________, and I cast you to the foot of the Cross to receive your judgment." The "spirit of ______" would be something like "spirit of lust" or "spirit of anger" or "spirit of disobedience" - basically, the spirit of whichever temptation is coming against you, or someone under your authority, like your wife and children. If you were using this prayer for someone who is not under your authority, you would change the beginning to "O Jesus, I ask you to bind the spirit of..."

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  2. This is powerful! This helps to explain why I've had to wait so long to meet a husband. I'll keep praying for him, wherever he is.

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    1. My wife was praying for me before we met. It works. Some of the ways by which God brought us together were nothing short of miraculous. Persevere and trust He will provide. He desires us to trust Him and rewards us when we do!

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  3. FYI: The image of St. Joseph used in this article was commissioned by me (Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC). It is titled "St. Joseph, Terror of Demons." It was commissioned for my new book "Consecration to St. Joseph." The image can be purchased at www.consecrationtostjoseph.org God bless!

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    1. Thank you, Father, for contacting me about the image. I did not realize it belonged to you! I had originally attached a link, in the image, to the store where it was being sold to attempt to give attribution. I will happily place an ad on my website for the image as a "thank you" for "lending" the image for this article. God bless you!

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    2. Just so you know, Father, I put the image front and center at the top of the page while traffic to my website is high. Pax et bonum.

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