Can we affect preborn babies with words and emotions -- even causing wounds and traumas?
It's an aspect of what Father Christopher Ngozi Onuoha of the Omaha, Nebraska, diocese (formerly with Intercessors of the Lamb), describes as "healing the family tree," for indeed it seems we can have quite an impact on unborn children, who are affected not just by living relatives but ancestors. Or so -- with the generational healing viewpoint -- it is posited by an increasing number of priests.
As father points out in his book, Healing You and Your Family Tree: A Contemplative Approach to Personal and Generational Healing, we know that the unborn react to words, circumstances, and healing -- to the movement of the Spirit -- by the narrative in Luke's Gospel of Mary visiting Elizabeth and how the child John leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb (Luke 1:39-42).
Often, babies recognize a parent's voice immediately after birth for a simple reason: they hear those voices in the womb. Sounds easily penetrates. They also feel emotions in the womb: When a mother or father is upset, feelings can be transmitted. How important are mothers and fathers, not just after birth, but during pregnancy!
"They sense danger and peace," writes Father Onuoha, referring to prenatal children. "They know when they are loved and when they are not. A woman shared with me that during her pregnancy, whenever she entered the church for Sunday Liturgy, and there was singing, her son would leap and kick happily in the womb."
When the unborn hear words of comfort and love, notes the priest, when they are surrounded by peace and grace, there is a feeling of safety, security, and acceptance that may affect them the rest of their lives -- form their very outlooks on and approaches to life. They feel God's Love through the love of their parents.
A child exists to receive love, he says.
Can you imagine the opposite effect of not wanting a child, and even attempting to abort one? "I have learned through working with people that a preborn child can be violent as an adult, if he/she was exposed to violence while in the womb," says the priest. "If an expectant mother experiences abuse and violence, the child in the womb is affected and may become abusive and violent in his/her relationships as an adult."
This is why only God may judge.
Research has found that women with negative attitudes toward their pregnancies experience a higher ratio of medical problems and often give birth to low-weight and emotionally disturbed infants. Mothers who are ambivalent, meanwhile, subconsciously convey rejection.
Those who are confused or indifferent may have lethargic children with bland personalities, according to a study the priest cited in this valuable book.
The subconscious is deep water! We physically affect babies with the chemicals we use (even in make-up).
There are also spiritual influences.
If the opposite of comfort, peace, and love are experienced by the child, wounds are inflicted to which darkness can then attach; this needs to be purged. We may reflect on our own lives and ask the Lord in prayer if anything effected us in the womb or immediately after (for a child may even feel fear as a result of what transpires in the delivery room).
"Emotional wounds created in preborn infants and children can be open doors to spiritual contamination," notes Father Onuoha. "Evil spirits behave very much like bats or flies. Bats prefer dark places as their hideouts to avoid detection; they flee when light is introduced into their hideout. Flies are easily attracted to open wounds on our bodies and to rotten smell. These emotional wounds represent the dark and the wounds of our spiritual nature that attract evil spirits, and they attach to those areas."
Knowing this, would it not be wise to rub Holy Water or blessed oil on the abdomen during pregnancy, or even take an occasional sip of Holy Water? Keep a picture of Guadalupe nearby. (Wasn't Mary pregnant in this image? Does it not thus speak to the preborn -- as occurred in Luke 1:39-42?)
And then there are the effects of the fathers.
A researcher named Dr. Thomas Verny of Toronto showed that the quality of a woman's relationship with her husband had a decisive effect on offspring, pre-birth. When the effect is negative, healing is in order, the initiation of which is through prayer that uncovers issues -- what is in the dark -- and shines that beam of light on them, dispersing them. Here is a mission not only for mothers and fathers but grandparents: praying for rectification of anything that occurred before the birth of descendants, as well as anything that lingers from past generations; and of course, for the baby in the womb, if there is a pregnancy in the family.
He knitted us in the womb, did the Lord, and He can heal anything that occurred before or after we were born into this fallen and challenging but exciting world.