Asking Jesus What He Wrote

Lucid Dream of September 7, 2017

Mami and I are in a theater watching an old movie that stops suddenly, and after a few moments, the people up in the camera box announce that the remastered version can no longer be played, but we have the option to see the original version in another theater nearby. So Mami and I get up. I’m holding several Kindles and a notepad, and concentrating on them, so that Mami bumps against me, and says she knows what I’m up to now when I get like way with history. We reach steps I recognize lead down to the theater we want. Hurrying down them, I call up to Mami, urging her to hurry, because the movie is about to start. I remember the title of the old historical drama related to Christianity in some way begins with a “B”.

I’m moving really fast down a shadowy street, passing a dark city park on my right. I know danger possibly lurks there amidst the trees, so I veer to the left and travel even more swiftly along a sidewalk lined with shops, my progress unimpeded by a family sleeping on the sidewalk covered by blue and red blankets. I recognize now the dark cobbles of a street in downtown Boston I’m very familiar with both from waking life and dreams. I’m moving so fast, I stretch my arms out and begin flying. Oh yeah, this is a dream!

It’s daylight now, and as I fly down the street, it immediately occurs to me that my intent is to see what Jesus was writing in the dust (NLV Translation or “on the ground” according to other translations) as John observed and recorded in a passage of his Gospel (John 8: 1-12)

The idea to do this in a lucid dream came to me through my character Mary Fallon as she was talking to Steve in my new novel The Spirit of Imhotep  – Lucid Dreams & Spiritual Warfare Book 1. 

I know I’m flying in the direction of the ocean, a perfect place, so I pick up speed simply by willing it. I’m flying swift and sharp and sleek as the figurehead of a ship streaking through the blue air so around me all is a white surf-like blur.

I slow down as I near a boardwalk of sorts, and perceive steps leading down to it. I can’t seem to go any faster, but it’s fast enough. I land at the bottom of the steps, but now I realize that what looked liked sand is actually stone. I immediately inform the dream that I need sand (what I feel Jesus wrote on vs. dust) and close my eyes.

When I open my eyes again, the dark speckling of the stone has transformed into little shadows on sand. There is even a shallow but distinct oval indentation in the sand the shape and size of a large fish. Perfect! As I kneel beside it, I say, “Lord, please let me see what you were writing in the sand… in English, so that I can understand it.” I close my eyes.

When I open my eyes again, I see large carved or embossed letters with flowing lines, very fancy, lovely, obviously not a modern way of writing, but the letters themselves are recognizable as the English alphabet. Yet I wonder if they’re some form of ancient Greek as I seem to distinguish, from left to right, the letters C, X, Q or R. At first I think Jesus was writing what he was going to give us—eternal life and salvation through his birth as I imagine the letters might spell CHRISTMAS.

My vision moves along the row of letters, clearly distinguishing each one. I try to memorize them, but there are too many, and they don’t seem to form a word I can read or recognize. Bending even closer to them, I take one in my hands, because they have all stopped being merely letters. Swords, which are not quite as long or broad as my arm—they are more like huge letter openers—are topped by figures. I see a dragon’s head, a knight’s helmeted head, and then, on two smaller ones, the white head of a horse in profile, its mane flowing into the hilt. There are many of them, many more than the row of letters I originally saw. I handle quite a few of them, intrigued, because they are fascinating, yet I don’t see how Jesus could have been writing with them. I try to recognize the different figures, but I only remember a handful.

Dream Notes:

I am very much like the woman in the scriptural passage. I stood before Christ guilty of all sorts of sins, many of them sexual, but He did not condemn me, He forgave me, and now I sin no more.

I think perhaps the letters appearing in Old English is the Lord’s way of teasing me, of reminding me that a positive sense of humor is His gift, like everything else. The dream space can definitely tease us, play with us, have fun with us, and we have fun with it, precisely because it is NOT an IT.

I Googled “ancient Greek letters alphabet” then “ancient Hebrew letters” and it was obvious neither one was what I saw. So—since I had asked to be shown what Jesus wrote in English—I looked up Old English letters, and there it was, the script from my dream, which seemed to change from letters to images of dragons and knights and horses, but were still also the letters of an alphabet. When I looked up “Old English Christian manuscripts” many illustrations pulled up and reinforced my feeling this was definitely the language I saw in my dream. Many images were from Beowulf, which reminded me of the historical film Mami and I had been watching the remastered version of in my earlier dream, but we had to switch to the old original version, which made me think of modern English vs. Old English. I should have been even more specific and asked to see what Jesus wrote in modern English!

I’m sure my request was understood perfectly. Old English may technically have come up because it literally came first, was closest to Christ’s time, and because it was used to illustrate Christian manuscripts, etc. But I still feel it was the Lord playing with me in the most wonderful way, like a Father both indulging and teasing His child.

I emailed this dream to friends and family, and discovered another fascinating dimension to the experience when V., also a Christian, dreamer, wrote me back:

That is so amazing! This is my dream from that night:

I am somewhere… I write… it is fading now, but I am with a lot of people. There is one guy who is there dressed in white. I am watching him, and I tell my husband, “Look at this guy, he just jumped right in to help everyone.” I keep watching him and commenting on how great he is. My husband gets annoyed with the praise I’m heaping on this man. As I watch him, he is pouring white sand, or is it blessed salt? It is also sparkly, and he is picking up this sparkly sand/salt and pouring it into everyone’s hands as they come up to receive it. I say to my husband, “You usually can’t see goodness, but this man has manifested it and is giving goodness to everyone who comes up to see him.” I think as I watch him – Is this Jesus? I wake.

I thought it interesting, Maria, how we both saw sand, and Jesus was there giving words or goodness to us on the same night!!

That day we had gone to a Vermont cheese place my husband likes, and next door to it was a new Scottish store. We went in to look around, and there were what I thought were letter openers, one with a sword, one with a dragon, another a horseman. The lady told me that they were not letter openers but large pins for kilts! So I had to tell you that!

My mother, Juana Rosa Pita, also commented on my dream:

Perhaps what Jesus wrote cannot be grasped by our limited minds, and is a secret that we can share precisely only in this way, thus partaking in His Being.

I think He distributed salt in V’s dream since we are all supposed to be the salt of the earth.

I am inclined to agree with my mother, that I may not be meant to see what our Lord wrote that day on the ground, but in the spirit of  “Ask and you shall receive” I think I will try one more time. 

For our Mother

When I say the Rosary, I feel I am immersed in the Ocean of God’s
love,
with Mary, the Star of the Sea, watching over me and all my loved ones.
My fingers walking the paths of the beads, heart and soul I am
transported
into the presence of the person I am praying for. I have no power to
comfort
but the Mother of God does and, by some miracle, I feel I really see them,
am there in spirit, a witness to Mary’s open and lovingly protective arms
as the very space they exist in. The stars fall to earth, the sky is her
garment.
There is no space-time as my brain conceives of them when I am
immersed
in prayer, and the universe Itself enfolds the soul I petition for like a
cloak.
There is no distance and separation – everything has its being in Divine
Love.
The “Big Bang” is a barbaric label for this infinitely tender unfolding of
joy
in Creation, a gift revealing how much God treasures us, seeds of His
heart.
The Rosary waters, soothes, invigorates my soul as exercise does my
flesh.
Yet a dead part of me resists spending time doing what appears to be
nothing.
In Truth, the Rosary is a lifeline. When I take it in my hands and hold it
gently
it pulls me up out of this world’s materialistic misery and I float
somewhere
between heaven and earth in my hope and in my longing for God
inseparable
from my love for Jesus Christ. I am discovering, have begun to
comprehend,
this is my deepest self. More profound than emotions, feelings and
thoughts
is this one pure need that has always been there inside me: to know
God exists.
Mary is the one who comforts us when we feel alone and hopeless as
we suffer
the trials of this fallen realm for she knows, in the end, our souls will
triumph
if we love and follow her Son, our Lord and God, who gives us the Holy
Spirit.

Amen.

A Tiny Spark

Waiting for Mass to start this morning, I closed my eyes and prayed. I said to God (I don’t recall my exact words now, so I paraphrase somewhat):

Lord, all that is good about me is my soul, because you created it, but it’s like a tiny spark that needs Your breath to gently blow on it so it can gradually grow bigger and stronger. Thank you for saving my soul, for rescuing it from being extinguished in the black embers of sin. I am nothing, Lord, just a weak, trembling mess of emotions and feelings and thoughts flickering to and fro; fluctuating in the slightest breeze. My only steadiness and bracing warmth comes from gazing upon You with love and longing. I need the breath of your Spirit, Lord, to keep gently blowing on me as I aspire to grow into a blazing fire of love for You. All I desire from what remains of my life is to become a strong, radiant soul burning with a powerful love for God so that, when I die, I will not be extinguished, but blaze joyfully, without a trace of fear’s cold darkness, straight into the heaven of Your Presence. Amen.”

The Mass began, and in my mind’s eye I saw a tiny flame held safe and protected in the gently cupped hands of my Savior. I saw His beautiful profile gazing down on my soul as He gently breathed on it. That’s what I am – a spark of Divine love my Beloved rescued from sin’s smoldering black campfire before it was extinguished. For as long as I have left to live in this world, I feel I will always hold in my mind this image of God as the Person of Jesus gently filling me with the Holy Spirit.

Between Sleeping and Waking

Woke up after 4:00 in the morning, and stayed awake, lying in bed, eyes closed. When I caught my mind wandering like a dog to the same old “subject-smells” I yanked it back into focus. No, I thought, I am not lying alone in this bed. Christ is within me, lying on this bed with me, literally. At once, I felt a warmth, peace and comfort which is the soul’s equivalent of a lover spooning me from behind, but so much deeper and infinitely better.

For several weeks, I had been trying to come up with an intent I could really be excited about when I became lucid in a dream. I kept juggling the same ideas over and over, but none of them truly excited me. But it came to me then—was given to me by the Spirit—the request I will make the next time I become lucid in a dream:

“Lord, may I please have a glimpse of Your dream of me?”

Still trying to fall asleep consciously, and thinking about how such a lucid dream would be perceived should I be blessed with it, I asked:

“Lord, how can I best respond to people who think that everything that happens to them in a dream comes from their subconscious?”

And I received the reply:

When you open your eyes in the dark, can you make yourself see?

“No, Lord.”

Your soul was made for the Living Light.”

And like a pupil, the smaller I become in my own eyes, I thought, the more clearly I can see.

At Christ’s Crucifixion

Dream of January 22, 2017

I find myself semi-lucid in a moderately spacious room filled with chairs in which people are sitting. The chairs are in pairs, and I am to the right of Mami, near the front row. I try to hush Mami when she protests loudly about something. She doesn’t seem to believe me, or understand, what I told her—that we are actually witnessing a part of Christ’s crucifixion. It’s like a dream, but it isn’t, and it’s not a scene from a movie re-playing in 3-D either, because we are actually there, seeing and experiencing it as it happened and is happening, as if we are viewing it through a portal in time.

As I explain this to Mami again quickly, she settles down even as I realize I don’t care what anyone thinks about Mami and I talking openly and passionately, instead of timidly blending in; it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, the only important, and amazing, thing is what is happening, and that we have been brought to this uniquely special experience…

I see Jesus, a young, dark-haired man whose cleanly handsome and utterly kind, patient face is imprinted on my memory even though I only glimpse him for a few seconds. He is busy helping the slaves who have been employed to help the soldiers crucify him. The slaves are moving toward the audience, and the front rows, where they rummage through a series of glimmering gold, green and red boxes like oversized square Christmas ornaments. These boxes, I see clearly from my position, contain black nails of varying sizes, and other metal objects needed for the gruesome task at hand. Jesus is actually helping them procure the right nails.

I watch the scene, dismayed, and marveling at the same time. It hits me how long this process is taking as I experience, firsthand, the unwavering strength and fortitude Jesus displayed—is displaying—throughout the entire ordeal, which is taking much longer than I realized it had. I’m astonished with what equanimity he can endure having so much time to despair and to dread. Instead, He is helping those who are helping to crucify him! And I can sense the slaves are also beginning to feel a bit guilty about this, beginning to question why they are helping to kill this man. But they have no choice; they are only slaves.

I remember seeing Christ for just a few seconds, yet I am aware of His presence the entire time, and His face is imprinted on my heart—so sweet, so loving, so patient, his expression coolly reserved but at the same time also infinitely warm. I can’t understand why special nails are required, and can hardly believe how many different kinds of nails—along with a few special bolts and screws—are contained in these paradoxically lovely Christmas-present-type boxes, which are not merely in front of the audience, but mixed in with the front rows of spectators.

Dream Notes:

Regarding the Christmas ornament like boxes filled with black nails scattered among the feet of the audience – Each one of us crucifies Christ inside us in different ways. We each contribute nails to His crucifixion—our own particular weaknesses which prevent Him from fully resurrecting and living in our souls. And His patience with us is endless, unwavering, as he helps us pinpoint which nails are the ones we need to find in the gift of our salvation and bring to Him, so we can end the painful process of dying to our sinful, and helplessly weak nature, so He might rise and live forever inside us. It is really the death of our own self we prolong as Christ gently helps us discover what causes us the most pain, what weaknesses penetrate our being like nails, as He helps us pinpoint them, confront them, suffer them consciously, and be reborn.

“He and I”

I believe this is a fine example of how it can sometimes take years for the spiritual meaning and significance of a lucid dream to reveal itself.

Recently, I came across a book entitled He and I  by Gabrielle Bossis. I had never heard of this book or the author.

Or so I thought. Then I began reading, and how Jesus spoke to Gabrielle felt so familiar to my soul – in the sense of absolutely right and true – I was compelled to find out more about the woman who had written down the Lord’s intimate communications with her. Her name rang a bell inside me, and I suddenly remembered a lucid dream I had had, years ago, the significance of which remained a mystery. I had entitled that dream Gabrielle 1873:

Excerpt from my Lucid Dream of March 8, 2013:

Almost on the ground now, I resign myself to finding a door to use the key on hoping it will lead directly to the beach, where my lucid dreaming friend James and I are trying to meet. But I’m not happy with that. I do the usual thing of trying to find a way through the buildings by climbing through a window, and looking for an exit in the direction I want to go, but I have no patience for this anymore. Exasperated, I head back outside, sensing that gravity has become more realistic and that just flying away isn’t really an option for some reason. I perch on the thick, braided dark-green “rope” of a traffic signal and walk across it like a tightrope holding on to James’ key, which transforms, shedding two smaller keys and becoming the correct shape and color but easily three times bigger than the actual waking reality key. This seems odd but somehow promising.

The traffic signal “tightrope” leads me into the thick white branches of a tree. The city feels different around me, more quaint and residential. The tree is a barrier to my desire to move on to my destination, yet its intricate, and complexly curving ascending limbs, provide an irresistible obstacle coarse. I make my way up it, and am intrigued when I perceive a white door looming just above me to the right. The door is partially covered by the roots of a tree so vast, they are all I can see of it. The roots have grown around this door, clutching it rather like a cut gem is held in a ring’s setting. It looks as if I won’t be able to open this door even if I can manage to unlock it, but I’m compelled to investigate. The keyhole is much too small for James’ large key, so I simply produce a golden key chain, from which hang a small variety of keys. I study the assortment, honing in on a slender golden key with a delicate smooth round head. I slip-thrust it into the lock, working it in, and turn it to the right. So gratifying when I feel the movement and hear the deep “click” that means I’ve succeeded.

I push open the door and look inside. Below me, as though I’m viewing it from an open upstairs foyer, I two see small gas lamps, delicate antiques, their glass tops gently beveled and a soft white, very distinct. They are part of a similarly elegant but subdued decor, clearly a woman’s house or apartment. The modest living area opens onto a kitchen, in which I can just make out a woman’s figure to the far left apparently working over the stove. As she turns and walks into the living area, she says, “Come in, dear.”

She is an older woman with white hair, a little stout, wearing a long white dress simply cut, and she is really there, not a vague Dream Figure. She feels very nice and welcoming, and I distinctly sense something important is going on here. Seriously intrigued, I ask, “Who are you?” and she replies, “Gabrielle, 1873.” 

I become aware of another woman in the room – who is also dressed entirely in white – when she comes to stand beside the older woman close to a black fireplace mantle, and they both smile up at me. I ask, “And who are you?” She doesn’t respond, so I address the white-haired woman again, “You did say 1873?” She confirms that she did while gently turning in her hands a rectangular object that appears to be part of an antique clock. Looking at the younger woman again, I say, “And I assume you are also Gabrielle?” She simply smiles up at me again without replying, and I slowly wake up.

I used a golden key to open the white door into Gabrielle’s apartment, located in a massive white tree that seemed to join heaven and earth – the Tree of Life, the Living Vine to which Jesus compared himself. I did not know it at the time, but lucid dreaming was leading me on a path in keeping with Christian mystical tradition, so that I ended up re-embracing the Catholic faith I was born to.

After I re-read my dream, I went online to learn more about Gabrielle Bossis. I came across a few forums where other Christians were asking about her and her book, wondering if her personal revelations had been approved by the Church, and if it was “safe” to read He and I. I learned the Imprimatur for her book was given by his Excellency Jean-Marie Fortier, Archbishop, Sherbrooke, Quebec. From Wikipedia: “An imprimatur (from Latin, “let it be printed”) is an official declaration from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church that a literary or similar work is free from error in matters of Roman Catholic doctrine, and hence acceptable reading for faithful Roman Catholics.”  I was glad to hear it, but not surprised.

At first, nothing I read about Gabrielle seemed to relate to my dream except her name, until I found out she had been born in 1874, which means she was likely conceived in 1873.** This provided another tenuous link to my dream. But it was not until I saw a picture of the inside of her home, and a photo of her as a very young woman, that I began to think my dream had, indeed, foretold my discovery of He and I, and how deeply it would resonate with me.

In a photograph of her home, I saw sitting on a table, a clock nearly identical to the clock I had seen the Gabrielle of my dream holding in her hands where she stood beside a black fireplace mantle which was also in the photo. The feel, style and decoration of her home matched the one from my dream. And another photo – of Gabrielle as a very young woman dressed entirely in white – also seems to have been glimpsed beforehand by my dreaming soul.

On very rare occasions in her early life, Gabrielle had been surprised by a Mysterious Voice, which she heard and felt with awe, and sometimes anxious questionings, which she perceived to be the Voice of Christ. It was only at the age of 62, however, that this touching dialogue with the “Inner Voice” began in earnest, continuing (at least in her notes) until two weeks before her death on June 9, 1950.” From Mystics of the Catholic Church

This seemed to explain why I had seen an old woman and a very young woman standing side-by-side in my dream, and yet mysteriously known they were the same person.

I cannot, and have no desire, to prove Gabrielle Bossis truly was the Gabrielle from my lucid dream. But having learned that dreams, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can indeed offer us glimpses of the future – as well as reveal and unfold for us the deepest secrets of our hearts to help us overcome obstacles in our spiritual growth – I feel free to embrace the thought that I was blessed with this dream as Divine encouragement to trust Gabrielle’s personal revelations.++

Perhaps I had this dream because my soul’s path to God is similar to Gabrielle’s, who co-authored a book with our Lord. Years ago, in another lucid dream, I applied for the position of Secretary to the Lord, and not long afterward, I wrote Lucid Dreams and the Holy Spirit. 

** I have since learned that Gabrielle Bossis was born on February 26, 1874 which confirms she was indeed conceived in 1873.

++ Having now read nearly half the book, I can truly appreciate why my soul had this dream. Words cannot express the beauty and power of He and I and how personally and intensely I feel Christ speaking to me through it. I cannot possibly recommend it enough!

From “He and I” by Gabrielle Bossis:

Your measure will be to love Me beyond measure. I’ll pay you with love. Portion off your day in order to be more sure of offering it to Me. Offer Me this visit, that letter, this piece of work. See more of Me and less of you. Rise above these little earthly cares until you think of Me alone.”

Desire … Desire … To desire is to increase your capacity to receive … Let Me come in and take over everything. Give yourself to Me. Don’t let anything in you hinder Me from working through you. I act through those who put their entire selves at My disposal …”

“I want to heal you of your weak faith, of your life lived apart from Me rather than in Me, of your shortsighted and rare view of My actual Presence. Think, ‘My great friend. My beloved is not absent. I cannot see Him or touch Him, but He is there with His extravagance of love.’ And then you will take My love and offer it to Me as though it were your own. Do you want this? Tonight … Right away … Ceaselessly?”

“You’ll need great courage to become holy. Never lose sight of the goal: holiness; that means to be always in readiness for Me, to belong to Me utterly. It’s so very simple; believe Me. Would I ever ask anything that was too difficult for you? Just live in My love—holy, one moment at a time. Drive out all worries, all idle dreaming. Don’t complicate things. Give me your soul simply … Don’t fail to supernaturalize everything, night and day. It is My life that is living in you now, not yours. Adore. Give thanks. And when I ask you to be simple, I mean above all in your relations with Me. Don’t get the idea that I need any special words or gestures; just be yourself. Who is closer to you than God?”

“Don’t worry. Since you can’t do anything about these things, you don’t need to bother about them; they’re My concern. Just put them in My hands, and that’s all that matters. Don’t you need practice in trusting Me? You know how I love your childlike confidence in Me. These are moments to show how little you are and give Me a chance to take care of you as a husband takes care of his wife…”

“No, it’s not an illusion. You’re not in error, only in the shadow-land. Just feeling your way by faith. I planned it this way. So throw yourself into My arms. Say that you believe, that you hope, that you love, and commit your entire being to Me.”

 

 

Dream Figures and Guardian Angels

Published in the Lucid Dreaming Experience Magazine,Vol.5, No.3, December 2016

I have been lucid dreaming for over five years now, and from the very first night, I experienced a Dream Figure who stood out from the others, and who spoke to me with authority.

I regularly encounter helpful Dream Figures. For example, a variety of Dream Figures, both male and female, seem to appear for the specific purpose of helping me “step” consciously into a dream, sometimes literally offering me a helping hand when I induce a WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dream).

Precisely because of the great variety of Dream Figures I encounter, the ones commonly referred to as Dream Guides stand out. (I’m not writing now of a uniquely special Dream Figure Whose Presence in my dreams brought me home to my Catholic faith. I wrote about this Person in my book Lucid Dreams and the Holy Spirit.) For a long time, I thought I had more than one Dream Guide because, although most of them were male, they often varied in appearance. But after reading what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about Guardian Angels, I began to wonder if what I, as a lucid dreamer, call a Dream Guide might be my Guardian Angel assuming different forms:

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. [CCC 336].

Benedict XVI stated: The Lord is ever close and active in humanity’s history and accompanies us with the unique presence of his Angels, whom today the Church venerates as “Guardian Angels”, that is, ministers of the divine care for every human being. From the beginning until the hour of death, human life is surrounded by their constant protection [Angelus, Oct. 2, 2011].

Angels are beings made by God. They are pure spirits and personal beings. Each angel is a person. They are both powerful and intelligent. Some people are inclined to think that the word “person” applies only to human beings. On the contrary, “person” applies to each of the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity, to angels and to humans.

Thinking back on memorable dreams in which a Dream Guide helped me out, I realized that, although he looked like different people, the way I felt when I was with them all was very much the same. His appearance often frightened me at first, even though it was also exciting. But after this initial anxiety (picture a rabbit encountering a friendly wolf!) I felt perfectly relaxed and comfortable in his company. Not only that, his presence was something my dreaming mind expected, and felt to be mysteriously natural.

Excerpt from my lucid dream of February 22, 2012:

At this point, I can’t see a thing, as though my eyes are closed, but I’m determined to visualize the streets and houses as I know they exist. I come to a corner and have to decide if that’s zero or 1st street. I determine the next one down is 1st street and keep following my visualization, even though it’s difficult to construct an entire residential neighborhood with just my imagination. I make myself arrive at the appropriate address, walk up the steps, and tell my companion—who is a featureless silhouette—to try the key, and it works! “Good job,” I declare, and enter the building with confidence, because I know now the door to the apartment can also be unlocked.

I start up the steps, and when I come to the first landing, I can see it very distinctly. I’m really here! I made it, I’m in a lucid dream. In that instant, someone grabs my waist from behind, and propels me up the remaining steps to the door of the apartment. It feels good, part of the thrill of being conscious in a dream, but I don’t want to get too excited and wake up. We enter the apartment, and I wonder what it is I am meant to discover and do here. The presence behind me is still propelling me forward, and I glimpse a man’s silhouette as we pass in front of a mirror hanging on the wall. A very small part of me is anxious, but I’m really more curious than concerned when I ask him, “Who are you?” When he doesn’t respond, I repeat, “Who are you?”

Managing to turn around then, I’m pleased to make out in the darkness a hard but handsome face, and shoulder-length hair, even though he remains a silhouette. “Is there something I’m supposed to know?” I query, thinking he might have something to tell me, and he replies, his voice firm yet encouraging, “Just go with it.” “Okay!” I say, understanding that he wants me to just flow with the dream and see where it leads.

This Dream Figure remained with me for the entire long dream—which was all about helping a little boy believe in his dreams—silently watching me, and occasionally speaking a few words of encouragement without actually telling me what to do. Approximately three years later, I had a dream that urged me to begin questioning not only the apparently different identifies of my Dream Guides, but also their human nature:

Excerpt from my lucid dream of January 4, 2015:

I’m on the upper floor of a large, dark building with a man. We’re on some sort of quest. A gold and black portal forms before us, and slightly to my left. This is the way… A brief period of blackness, and suddenly I find myself transported to the other side of the portal. I think—It’s like a cut scene in a video game. I sort of wish I had had the chance to consciously go through the portal, but here I am. Then a Voice announces that I am in the University, and that from now on I will be able to travel here whenever I wish.

It’s quite dark in this long, great room lined with Cathedral style windows on one side, and incredibly tall bookshelves on the other. As I turn in place, looking around me, I’m suddenly more than a little frightened, because from the direction I came—where this structure ends, with a black chasm between it and the building I had just been in—I sense a Presence. And what happened to my companion? I’m alone now. I call out to him, my voice clear, but ringing with fear. I glance to my right, toward a section of shelves which I feel contain books, although I can’t discern any.

When I look back, I’m terrified to see a figure at least three times the size of a normal man looming at the end, or at the beginning, of the corridor. He’s wearing an ankle-length sleeveless white tunic with a touch of blue-gray, and his head is clean shaven. When he raises his right arm slightly, I take a step back, feeling utterly helpless; I can’t possibly fight this Being. Then he says, “This is the Hall of Records. You are welcome here.” He’s looking directly at me, with a slight smile on his face, and I realize, with intense relief, that he’s not hostile, and he might even be considered handsome, except that he’s obviously not a human being. Then he tells me something about being my Guide. I’m so immensely relieved that he seems to want to help me, I wake up.

The frighteningly powerful Being in this dream told me he was my Guide, and that I was in the Hall of Records, what felt like an endless “place” filled with books. I immediately thought of the theosophical concept of the Akashic Records, which purportedly contain the entire history of every soul since the dawn of Creation. The most extensive contemporary source of information regarding the Akashic Records comes from the clairvoyant, and Christian mystic, Edgar Cayce. References to The Book of Life are found throughout the Old and New Testaments. In Psalm 139, King David states that God has written down everything about him and all the details of his life, including everything that was imperfect and those deeds which had yet to be performed. Dan. 7:10, Rev. 20:12 indicate The Book of Life is to be opened in connection with divine judgment, and Jesus told His disciples, “Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

A few weeks ago, I made it my primary intent, when I became lucid, to learn more about my Dream Guide, who I now refer to as my Guardian Angel:

Excerpt from my lucid dream of September 20, 2016:

…Suspended from the ceiling of the dark passage I’m walking through are what look like the silvery-gold ends of fishnets as I address my Guardian Angel with words that spontaneously emerge,“My Guardian Angel, please protect me all the long days of my life” and even as I speak, I see light before me, and find myself emerging into a dream scene. It’s a beautiful day outside, and as I climb a short flight of steps, I find myself in an outdoor cafe of some kind. Noticing a brown public bench just outside the patio of the cafe, I deliberately land on the back of it, and jump up and down on the narrow edge like a gymnast warming up on a balance beam, limbering and stabilizing my dream body and senses… I’m high up on what appears to be the side of a great mountain, because far below me I can see the coast, and a large city facing the ocean—not a city with skyscrapers, but definitely a large place, although small and toy-like from my vantage point. The lighting is clear and luminous, like on a marvelously mild and cloudless day in waking reality.

Drifting away from the seeming cafe, floating in the blue sky—as though the location I’m in is built right on the edge of a long cliff—I concentrate on performing, in dream slow motion, a back flip. For some reason, I feel it’s important I be able to accomplish this in a realistic way, experiencing the change of perspective as I spin in place. At first it seems I won’t be able to do so, but I persevere, and flip slowly backward in slow motion.

Suddenly facing in the opposite direction, I find myself very close to a row of men who are much taller and stronger looking than normal men. There is a vivid, hyper-reality to the scene that makes me just a little wary, like my soul is seeing the edge of a very sharp blade that can cut me and hurt me if I’m not careful. But it’s only the heads of the men, and the tops of their broad shoulders, that actually emerge from the mountain-high wall they are somehow standing in. (I’m reminded of the steel reinforcing bars around which concrete is poured.) Their backs are to me, but the moment I come to be so close to them, one of them turns his head slightly to look at me. His expression is intensely stern, and that’s when I feel the sense of maybe being a little too close to some seriously powerful goings on.

Studying these men who are in the mountain, I wonder if this has something to do with my Guardian Angel. The “man” who is looking at me has short black hair, and though his skin is vivid with life and color, his features are hard, as though carved of stone, or the dream equivalent of purely timeless forces. I turn, backing away a little, and flying high in the sky above the world below, I experience the sense of some great upheaval behind me. Yet it doesn’t frighten me, and when I turn around again, I realize I can now see the full bodies of these larger-than-life men. In my field of vision there are only three or four of them wearing seamless full-length “uniforms” of a shining green with vertical bands of a slightly darker green. They seem to be emerging from what looks like a cross between a mountaintop and a fortress wall, or bastion, rising all the way up here into the sky from the ground far below. It’s like a crenelated castle wall, but instead of square stones there are mens’ heads. I distinctly feel now that this scene relates to my intent, which was to learn more about my Guardian Angel. As I’m wondering about this mysterious and powerful and dynamic “process” I’m catching a glimpse of, I wake up.

The Church teaches that angels are creations of God, but they are not human. The word Angel comes from the Greek word Angelus which means “messenger.” With their whole being they are servants and messengers of God. Angels “stand in the presence of God” and enforce His will. I felt something of that sword-sharp power in this dream, which was like a fine wine to my soul—the more I swish it around in my thoughts and feelings, the more I begin to taste a deep understanding of the “non-nature” of angels, for they are not part of the natural world, but are a power beyond it. I feel I may very well have been in the presence of my Guardian Angel—the “man” who looked right at me—and observed some of the mysterious work he and his fellow servants of God are engaged in for the good of individual souls and, by extension, for the benefit of all humanity.

Excerpt from my lucid dream of October 4, 2016
Note: Sean is a lucid dreamer I regularly dream share with.

The next thing I become conscious of is sitting at another small table placed almost directly in front, and slightly to the right, of an open doorway, through which some people trail in from the sidewalk. It’s night outside, and these persons seem attracted, like curious moths, to the bright energy of the voice of a man standing almost directly in front of me facing my table and the open threshold. I’m busy writing while also listening to this man, who begins a quiet discussion with the woman at the front of the line. I sense she thinks it’s merely a philosophical conversation, which she enjoys, but I know it’s much more than that. So I’m not surprised when the man suddenly begins yelling at her, not screaming angrily, simply speaking as loudly as possible,as though she is deaf and there’s just no other way to reach her. Looking up from my writing, I notice the woman looks unsure if she should listen to him, or turn around and leave, as though her life doesn’t really depend on the decision, which I know it does.

The man’s eloquent tirade at an end, he sits down at the table directly in front of me, and when I glance up from my writing again, he makes a brief statement that culminates with my name, “Maria.” I keep writing for a moment, but then it dawns on me this man said my name like he knows me. I ask the man sitting on my right, “Did he just say my name? Maria?” wondering how he knows who I am, for I don’t recognize him. Staring across the narrow table at him, I ask him directly, “Did you just call me Maria?” Silently, he holds my eyes, and I start becoming lucid as I study his appearance. He has blondish hair, and a straight nose. He’s not unattractive but not exactly handsome either. There’s nothing remarkable about his appearance, but he suddenly has all my attention. He doesn’t answer my question. Instead, he gets up, and walks out of the small public room.

I follow him onto the nocturnal street of a timeless looking town with no streetlights, yet it’s not completely dark for I can see the sidewalks. There aren’t any cars and people on this side street, and the act of following this Dream Figure makes me fully lucid. He has stopped next to a glass window, but he’s not standing, he’s kneeling beside it as I come to stand over him. Glancing from his profile to the glass on my right—the silvery reflective surface of which mysteriously sharpens my lucidity—I ask him, making sure to phrase my query as carefully as possible, “Will you answer my question truthfully, with just a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?”

He nods once, his expression neutrally reserved, yet also expectant, resigned, and yet also hopeful.

I ask, “Can my Guardian Angel change appearances in my different dreams?”

He answers, “Yes” and looks up at me.

Thrilled, and then so overjoyed I can scarcely contain myself, I shove him playfully over onto his side, declaring, “I have an idea who you are! Are you my Guardian Angel?”

This time he smiles as he nods, and it all becomes incredible now. I don’t even notice the transition to holding each other as we float just above the ground. I feel light and happy as a little child in an adult’s strong yet also carefully loving arms. And as we drift over the street, I can feel he is just as happy as I am that I finally asked him these questions and, as a result, took a big step forward in understanding “him” by recognizing the creative malleability of his appearance, which now begins changing. His countenance shifts again, and again so swiftly I can’t discern the transitions, but I’m delighted each time, even when he assumes an almost cartoon-like funny face.

Then, as he drifts down to recline on his side across a patch of grass in the form of a nice-looking man, I stare down at him as, smiling seriously up at me, he says, “I almost don’t recognize you. Who is this Maria?”

I can easily guess what he means. In the past, he was always obliged to take the form of a tall, dark and handsome stranger in my dreams. Throwing myself into his welcoming arms again, I ask, “Will you take me to Sean? Will you take me to Sean, please?!”

Grasping my hand, he pulls me forward, remarking quietly, “We have to hurry” as we fly into the darkness, which becomes a series of rooms, all well lit but furnished differently, and opening as if endlessly onto one another, so that after a few moments, I ask, “Why do we have to go through all these different rooms? Why is it that we have to do this so much in dreams?” He replies that it has to do with our projections, with our thoughts, with our future expectations, etc. etc. Although this comes as no surprise to me, I insist, “But why? Why can’ we just go straight there?” He does not answer me.

We finally come to what is clearly the exit—two rectangular metal panels set in a wall. They look very solid, with sharp edges that might actually hurt me if I’m not careful when pushing my way through the one on the right as my Guardian Angel opens the one on the left—like we’re facing a dream valve of some kind. But we make it through without much effort at all, and are finally outside at night again. He is still holding at least one of my hands—our connection is preserved somehow—but also standing before me as he begins rising into the sky, which is completely black. Yet it isn’t a solid, lifeless black but rather a living mass of dark clouds. His torso becomes visible to me then as a gray shaft or straight-edged column beneath his face, pale and handsome now, with short black hair that merges with the sky. His “body” is manifesting before my dream eyes as a tall “pillar of force” and the darkness of the dream sky is somehow also a part of him, as if what I initially took to be roiling black storm clouds are his living wings. As we begin ascending, I feel we’re about to do some serious fast traveling, but I slowly lose the dream.

Below, I transcribe excerpts from what Archbishop Fulton Sheen said decades ago on television. I stumbled on this video after I had my dreams, but everything he says feels in keeping with them:

An angel has no body. When angels appear to man, they only have the appearance of bodies. An angel does not know everything. An angel does not know future contingent events. An angel does not know the mysteries of Grace, unless God reveals those. And thirdly, an angel does not know the secrets of the heart and the motivations of the will. [But] an angel can illumine our mind in the way of Truth, and also infuse good ideals. We should not be surprised at that. After all, there is such a thing now, it would seem from our psychological laboratories, as Extra Sensory Perception, in which, in the sensible order, there does seem to be the influence of one mind over another mind. Nothing material passes between the minds.

I used to think Dream Figures who behaved like Guides, and appeared in different forms in my lucid dreams, were actually different persons or entities, but in this marvelous dream I was informed, and shown, that I have one Guardian Angel who—in addition to other reasons I cannot know—seems to vary his appearance in response to my needs and expectations. Once again, as the Venerable Fulton John Sheen said:

Every person in the world has a Guardian angel. But why? Because every single individual in the world is worth more than the entire universe. Each one is of sovereign worth, and God has given to each a Guardian. The reason we do not think of angels is because we do not think of God. Just as soon as we begin to think of God—or rather cease thinking of ourselves as tiny little gods—then we’ll begin to believe in spirits that are wiser than ourselves, that instruct and guard us. There are angels near you, to guide you and protect you, did you but invoke them! After all, aren’t we much better always when we travel in a society that’s a little bit nobler than ourselves?

Loving the Dream Space

Everything, dreaming and all, has got a soul in it, or else it’s worth nothing, and we don’t care a bit about it… If I were only a dream, you would not have been able to love me so.” –  George MacDonald

Ever since I stopped attempting to will myself through the dream space and began treating it as an all-powerful and loving Person, to Whom I address my lucid intents as hopeful requests, I have been richly rewarded.

I have been lucid dreaming for five years and have learned that it is sometimes possible, with varying degrees of success, to change, or creatively modify, a dream scene, to “fast travel” or to “teleport” to other dream scenes, and receive answers to my questions. I have also learned that it is a mistake to simply assume the dream space is obeying me with no will of its own. I think that on this point, most lucid dreamers can agree, but they are divided into primarily three camps:

Those who believe thinking and feeling are confined to our physical brain, and necessarily deny the dream’s autonomy, regarding it merely as part of their own personality and subconscious.

Those who believe that consciousness rather than matter is fundamental and are open to the concept of the dream space being autonomous, at least in certain respects.

Those who, like me, believe a Supreme Being created our minds and everything else.

I feel that my lucid dreams have been a way of developing an exciting, profoundly stimulating relationship between my soul and its Divine Artist, God.

A dream ceases… as we wake. But it does not become a nonentity. It is a real dream: and it may also be instructive. A stage set is not a real wood or drawing room: it is a real stage set, and may be a good one. (In fact, we should never ask of anything “Is it real?,” for everything is real. The proper question is “A real what?”)…The objects around me, and my idea of “me,” will deceive if taken at their face value. But they are momentous if taken as the end products of divine activities. Thus and not otherwise, the creation of matter and the creation of mind meet one another and the circuit is closed. – C.S. Lewis

Our religious beliefs, or lack thereof, notwithstanding, the fact is that we cannot always do whatever we want to in a lucid dream, or completely control it, no matter how lucid we feel/think ourselves to be, or how experienced we are with employing various methods, old and new, for achieving our intents.

In my view, our lucid dreaming minds are like children in kindergarten, and the dream space is the Teacher who, for example, we might order to immediately give us a chocolate ice cream cone. If judging the time and situation appropriate, the Teacher may metaphorically smile upon us, and appear to obey our command, but in truth, it is the Teacher—actively engaged in a relationship with us—who makes the decision to gratify our desires, or not.

My first lucid dreams were full of childish fun as I flew over the earth before diving down into magnificently detailed landscapes and cities while feeling joyfully invulnerable. But as I grew older, more knowledgeable and practiced, I began to understand that the dream space really seems to determine how best to interact with me in order to help me learn and grow in the most rewarding way possible.

I now have ample reason to believe the dream space cares about us, and for us, very personally, with exquisite, patient intimacy, and for that reason—and for other reasons we can no more fathom than a toddler can attain a PhD in quantum physics—I think there are rules in the dream space which appear to be limits to us but are actually there for our protection, rules which can change and evolve in proportion to how we mature as persons and, by extension, dreamers.

My experience, and the experience of some lucid dreamers I have spoken to, indicates that a humble, loving, hopeful and faithful attitude continues to bear remarkable fruit, enriching our dreams in ways we ourselves would never have imagined.

What Shakespeare’s Juliet says to Romeo as they embrace on the balcony outside her bedroom very much expresses how I have come to feel about my lucid dreams, and the loving Presence within them Who came courting me in the dark, with transcendent rather than tragic results:

And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Published in the Lucid Dreaming Experience, Vol. 4, No. 4, March 2016

Big Little Miracles

My soul was like a little lost ship before, but now I navigate humbly yet confidently, obediently and faithfully, by the Light of the Son. And when the wind of the Holy Spirit appears to die down, Mary – the Star of the Sea – comforts me as I stand at the foot of the cross-shaped mast flying the sail of Christianity, the Divinely drawn chart keeping me on course. Until the final day and night, when I can at last throw away my cross like an anchor in the Port of Heaven. Although I will have to go through the station of Purgatory first, I will be more than glad of it, for my exile will have ended. I only hope I can bring with me as many beautiful gifts for my Lord as possible in the form of dreams, poems and books.

I feel I am truly dancing with Reality, Who is our Lord, because every little thing happens in perfect time with my inner thoughts and outward activities in such a way that each day I know, more deeply and clearly,  God is with me at every moment as I experience His touch in subtle yet breathtakingly obvious ways. What many would dismiss as meaningless coincidences, I experience as messages from my Lord. I call them “Synchronicity Kisses.” Synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. 

June 1, 2015

Listening to C.S. Lewis in the car, he had just made reference to Christ’s urging that we must become as little children again if we wish to enter the Kingdom of God, when at that very moment, a small white car veered into my lane, directly in front of me, bearing the license plate:

KNDRGRDN

This was hardly the first time I had experienced a wonderful, teasing, loving hint of God’s Presence by way of bumper stickers and license plates. For a long time, I had been meaning to keep a record of them, yet had not done so (some foolish part of me thinking it was silly) but after this delightfully obvious “kiss” I finally began doing so.

Every event which might claim to be a miracle is, in the last resort, something presented to our senses, something seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted… What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.  
– C.S. Lewis

September 27, 2016

South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, is not as rich in customized license plates as rural Virginia was, but to date, I have experienced two wonderful “kisses”:

On my first time driving up to Mami’s house, thinking about her, and how happy I am to be able to go and visit her as often as we please, I saw in a lane to my left the license plate:

LUVJRP

A completely accurate expression/synthesis of my thoughts: I love Juana Rosa Pita!

And today was a big one. Driving home from Stop-n-Shop, I was imagining what I would say to my priest in my first confession here, because it became painfully clear to me yesterday that some wounded part of me suffers from a lack of faith in Love. Part of me is afraid love is a lie, and that what we idealize as love is just need, attachment, essentially a selfish thing, and therefore when someone who loves you promises you something, it is a lie, only true as long as it satisfies their needs, etc. etc. Of course, I do not BELIEVE any of this, but there is a stain on my emotional soul from the negative experiences I have had which were the result of bad choices floundering in the sea of sin, before being rescued by the fishermen who had brought the Good News I was raised to believe in but neglected to truly live by.

The principal way the devil seeks to torment and influence me is to make me doubt love, because if I doubt the reality of Love, I doubt the existence of God. The truth is, I am – like all fallen humans – guilty of being selfish, needy, etc. But I have felt, and known, since I was very young, that life is all about love. “Love, love, love, without love, where would I be?” I asked myself in a poem I wrote when I was nine years old. The answer is “Hell” into which I sink whenever I fail to trust in the Eternal Truth of Love.

So, I had just confessed all this, in a condensed form, to my priest in my head, when I stopped at a light behind a blue car with three bumper stickers arranged in the shape of a pyramid, with one on top in the center, and the other two below on each side. The one on top was composed of three words, but I could only make out the third one clearly. There was some small print on the two bottom bumper stickers impossible to read, so this is the message my physical eyes received, and which my soul “saw” completely:

 GOD

  Angels       Believe

I emailed my brother and Mami these two “kisses” and they replied:

Mario: Those are great! LUVJRP is so precise as a message that would not have meant anything to other drivers! Regarding your thoughts on love, I think I understand completely what you mean, and the way I have seen it is the Platonic way that human love is a very pale, imperfect and incomplete reflection of Divine love, in the same way that a star is reflected in a pond, sometimes brightly and sometimes not at all, if the pond is wavy and muddy.

Mami: Amazing grace!

“My tender care is ever around My children. But they don’t see it. They look upon all the happy incidents in their lives as only natural and are inclined to attribute them to chance. Yet a word of happy thanks would bring Me such joy that My joy would rebound to them in new gifts. Oh, when evening falls may they think of coming to My embrace, their hearts overflowing with gratitude, asking Me to come again with new blessings. And I will come again. And in this way we shall approach the end of life and the last of My blessings. For this last blessing, My child, give Me your tender thanks now.” – Gabrielle Bossis, He & I

 

 

Powers of the Rosary

August 31, 2016

This morning in church, with my eyes closed,
listening to the chanting of those saying the Rosary
led by a woman, the atonal way she spoke,
in a rote-like manor, without inflection, each word
clearly pronounced yet delivered in the same almost
flat, unchanging key, evoked in my mind’s eye a vision
of a dark, choppy ocean, a close-up view of waves in
which I saw people, refugees struggling not to drown…
I felt the voices chanting the Rosary flowing into
that turbulent water and mysteriously supporting,
upholding the people, making it possible for them
not to sink but instead to be rescued, and saved.
The blind force of nature which otherwise would have
swallowed them up, was penetrated by the devotional chant,
a repetitive, unbroken, relentless flow of sound akin to,
but much more, than a natural force, for it was driven
by a meaningful intent serving to draw Divine Power
into the world, and making it easier for Angels to save
those in danger of drowning. Although “easier” is not
the right word, and nor is “possible”, I felt the repetitive
yet soul-filled sound was essential to securing the intervention
of supernatural forces. The chanting to Mary, Mother of God
and the Star of the Sea, merged with the dark depths as on
its unfailing conscious current the people floated, able to keep
their heads above water as they struggled and waited to be saved.

Hildegard’s Cosmic Tree

Today I began reading a novel based on the life of Hildegard von Bingen, and after just a few pages, a description of Hildegard’s vision of a golden sphere containing a living breathing tree made me think of a powerful lucid dream I had not long ago. And as I kept reading, I simply had to go find this dream in my journal. I then did a web search for “Hildegard Circle of Fire” and came upon this illustration by the Saint entitled “Cultivating the Cosmic Tree.”  I was blown away. I have never read anything written by Hildegard von Bingen, or seen any of her illustrations. Pretty much all I knew about her until today was that she composed music. Of course, I cannot prove I was completely unaware of the images she had made of her mystical experiences, but I know it’s true that I wasn’t, and I feel blessed that I had a dream vision which can be so perfectly expressed by this illustration of the Saint’s writings.

Dream of April 10, 2015—Circle of Light

I find myself lucid, as if in mist, surrounded by trees, although I can only see the smooth and sinuous gray trunks of a single tree directly in front of me. I want to go up above the trees so that I can study them, but I feel rooted to the spot. I close my eyes, and will myself to be high up in the sky. I’m feeling frustrated, because there’s no reason I should have to literally fly up there since this is a dream; I should be able to will myself into the sky. Then I feel a shift, and when I open my eyes again, all I see is very pale, almost white sky around me, and feel like I’ve made it very high up. But I’m still somewhat tethered to gravity as, very slowly, I spin around, making a full rotation. Then, as I drift gently along, I notice that I’m not as high up as I thought when I see, close by, the branches of a tree, with fresh bright green leaves. The tree must be miles high, and there are a few other exceptionally tall trees nearby.

Wondering why I felt the need to come up this high, I remember that I wanted to study the trees as a living field of some kind. There is some mysterious information up here—all the branches of the trees are like a communication field. Before long, I realize I’m surrounded by a circular field of some sort. It’s pretty big, but not so big that I can’t spin into the center of it, and see it all very closely. The encircling ring is in the shape of a zigzag pattern composed of a golden-orange light, a beautiful light made up of small—approximately as high as my waist—“pyramids” ^^^^^ all connected and flowing into each other. A Ring of Fire, and yet also of water, because ^^^^^ was the hieroglyph for water in ancient Egypt, so whenever I see it, I think of water.

I know I should study this ring of fiery light, so I continue spinning slowly in place. As I do so, I discern in the light what appear to be trees, and at first they all look like pine trees; like Christmas trees. These trees are contained in the glowing light, and I make out other species of trees within this vivid, molten, living light. And as I continue studying the light, I notice something else embedded in it, but rising a little above it—clear rectangles or squares reminiscent of glass fish tanks, but much more pristine, like crystals.

I then become aware of no longer being in the sky. A room has taken shape around this living circle of light, but the walls are all either in shadow, or are simply black. I curiously study one of these “crystal containers” inside of which float crystalline spheres. I don’t see any fish, instead I perceive whole scenes inside the spheres. Modern fish tanks are often adorned with little models of treasure chests, sunken ships, seaweed, etc., and what I see is something similar, but much more complex, subtle and detailed, and the scenes all feel related to humanity.

I wonder—Is this what’s holding me back, in the sense of confining me? Then I think—No, it’s not necessarily a limitation… my Father wants me to play. It doesn’t feel like a negative thing to have different pieces of the world contained in these crystal spheres, set into the living ring of golden-orange fiery light surrounding me like a great crown.

I now become fully aware of the room I’m standing in, which is empty except for this mysterious luminous ring. When again I think—My Father wants me to play—I suddenly find myself facing large double doors that extend from floor to ceiling. The doors are a dark-red color, and I immediately walk toward them. The ring of light around me does not confine me; I do not have to break through it to get to the doors. The doors open for me, and I enter another dream.

O Nobilissima Viriditas… “O most noble greenness, you whose roots are in the sun and who shine in bright serenity in a wheel that no earthly eminence can comprehend.” Hildegard von Bingen

“Look, I am coming soon!”

Rev 22:12

Dream of March 29, 2015 – Palm Sunday

Surrounded by other people, I’m sitting at a large round table outdoors, part of a very large gathering. My sister, Lourdes, is sitting on my left. It’s a sunny day, and I’m relatively close to the front of the crowd, all of us facing in the same direction. I can’t be sure, but I think the people in the front rows are standing. To my left is a great building with various entrances and levels, including a shadowy foyer. Parallel with the people in the front rows is what looks and feels like the main entrance—a tall and straight, sky-blue glass or crystal facade. Behind me and to my right sprawls a very large ultra-modern, almost futuristic city.

I’m quite busy, and so listen with only half an ear to the man who occasionally walks out from near the main entrance, and addresses the very cheerful crowd. He is the priest in charge of this particular gathering. The dream comes into sharp focus, and I become semi-lucid, when I hear a woman in the front rows say something to the priest, whose reply does not please her. “You’re not doing that well,” he informs her, “even though you are well taught.” The woman doesn’t like being told that, even though she has reserved a place near the front, she is not doing enough to merit her position.

Abruptly, I see the priest—whose hair is such a bright blonde it borders on white—walking directly toward our table, and when he meets my eyes, I quickly push my chair back and stand up, because he is obviously coming to greet my sister and I. Lourdes is sitting silently to my left, and does not get up. I’m not too surprised the priest has come to meet us, for we are new members of the congregation, but I AM very pleased, and happy, that he noticed us, so much so that I can’t find my voice. Reaching across the table to firmly shake the hand he offers me, I only manage to murmur, “Bless you” not sure what else to say.

The priest smiles at me with intense kindness and appreciation, but he is speaking to the crowd when he draws their attention to my sister and I by calling us, “The guests at the wedding” which I know is a reference to the Gospels. He seems to be saying that although we are newcomers, we pose a challenge to those who have been here for a very long time, and who have become complacent, believing they are due everything with little or no passionate effort. As he walks back toward the entrance, the priest declares, “May the competitors win!” and as I sit down again, people look our way. I smile self-consciously, then get back to work…

It has grown darker. Finished with my work, at least for the moment, I turn in my chair and lean back against a wall as I gaze up at the sky. All my attention is on the mysteriously quiet and thrilling rumble of thunder alerting the world that something is happening—that Someone, the Lord, is coming. I am lucidly aware of my profile as some of the people around me observe my rapt attention on the sky, and soon we are all looking up at it, waiting. I am very conscious of the fact that my face is no more attractive than any other face, and that its appeal lies not in the youth I often project on my dream body, but in its God-given uniqueness, and I know this feeling of being ageless is inseparable from my soul. I absorb all this in mere instants, for all my attention and profound expectation is turned up toward the vast sky, which is mostly obscured by black clouds. My vision is focused on the sky’s zenith, from which the sound of thunder is emanating. The view is miles wide and high, and I am sitting parallel with what feels like an ocean bay around which the city is built.

Heralded by the promising voice of the thunder, a bright white light slowly begins manifesting at the heart of the darkness, like moonlight breaking through clouds, except that it is NOT moonlight. I know what we are all waiting for—we are waiting for our Lord, for the second coming of Christ, and my joyful, awe-struck anticipation is answered by a vision:

Enfolded by the black clouds, as though by a heavenly cloak, I see a Christian cross akin to a diamond broach of infinite worth—a cross brighter, more alive and more beautiful than anything else, a cross made of stars. Yet it is much more accurate to say that the stars composing the cross are all the stars in the universe concentrated into their Source—God, Christ our Lord Who shines as the greatest of all the stars, more brilliant than any supernova, at the summit of the cross.

Then, to the right of the cross, I see rising—on a long horizon of grayish-blue clouds—rectangular spires of varying heights forming a city, a silvery celestial city! I perceive then that the man-made skyscrapers around me are only reflections of this heavenly city. As soon as I notice this, I become aware that a great celebration is in progress. The rumbling of thunder that initially announced the second coming of Christ is being echoed on earth by fireworks being launched into the sky directly over the water around which the city is built. I have a clear view of these luminous displays of rejoicing as they sparkle in the sky between the starry cross and the water. The fireworks are launched three at a time in broad, somewhat ovular circles with sharp tops and bottoms reminiscent of Christmas ornaments. Each is composed of tiny glimmering lights that cannot remotely compare to the unwavering depth and brilliance of the cross of stars, and yet they are lovely. I distinctly remember seeing a delicate green one, and a soft orange one.

Then, much closer to me, I catch sight of a department store gift bag, made of shining silver and filled with blue paper, descending from the sky and coasting toward the shore parallel to a sidewalk fronting a hotel-like building. From the look of it, I somehow know the bag contains a bottle of champagne, or some other wine with which to celebrate this infinitely joyful occasion. But as the bag nears a flight of steps leading up from the water to the street, it seamlessly transforms into the faceless mannequin of a woman, cut off at the hips, holding two shining colorful shopping bags. I’m a little amused as I watch “her” bump against the concrete, her torso light as a balloon drifting from here to there. This seems a gentle, humorous reminder of worldly pleasures and distractions.

I find myself sitting on the opposite side of the table, leaning back in my chair, and looking slightly to my right toward the great building beside me in which lights are shining. I’m lucidly remembering being in this same dream last night. I’m happy I was able to enter this dream again, and I know I need to return a third time, because there is more to come. Eventually, I rise to leave, and am immediately pulled up into the sky across the water. I feel the Lord is about to rouse me so that I will remember what I experienced, and as I say to myself, “I was in this dream last night filling out a form” I wake up.

Dream Letter to My Priest

Dear Father Murphy,

I am new to your congregation, and wish to introduce myself, but I have no idea how I can possibly say in just a few words how I came to be a member of your congregation. But today, as I was writing in my dream journal after church, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to send you this letter, which will give you a pretty good idea how God is working in my life:

Semi-Lucid Dream of February 21, 2016—Sleeping in Church

I become aware of sleeping in church. I’m sitting in a pew, on the right side of the church I attend now (the opposite side I usually sit in) leaning forward, my head resting on my arms, which are bent on top of the pew in front of me. I am in myself, yet I can also see myself, very close up, in the clear bright lighting. I’m wearing a red sweater, and am near the end of the right side of the pew. I’m sleeping with my eyes closed, and yet I can see myself and my immediate surroundings. I wonder about the fact that I’m sleeping so comfortably in church, and what people will think. But I also somehow know it’s okay, and feel more guilty about how this looks than worried I’m being judged, because I really don’t feel that I am being judged. Nevertheless, making an effort, I open my eyes and sit up. Just a couple of feet away on my right, two women are smiling and talking in the aisle, standing just below a window in the white wall, and I’m very glad to be here in my church.

Dream Notes:

I slept in the Den last night in order to try and lucid dream, but the latter goal was very relaxed, almost lazy. I haven’t had a single lucid dream in February, and have tried to get worked up about it, tried to motivate myself to make more of an effort, but I just haven’t been able to care all that much. My relationship with Jesus Christ is what matters to me now more than anything. Lucid dreaming will never be my number one priority again, for it is only one facet of my life in Christ.

Father Murphy gave the sermon today, and it blew my mind. But it had already come to me, even before he began speaking, that what my soul has chosen to give up for Lent – but which my self only just realized today in church – is lucid dreaming. That is what I am consciously giving up for Lent. I will not try to have a lucid dream again until after Lent. I felt the Lord was waiting for me to understand this, and showing me that my other Lenten intention, although good, was not really the important one, and the one He wanted me to embrace. So I felt very much at peace before the Sermon, and then very excited to hear what Father Murphy had to say, because I felt it was going to be good.

Then Father Murphy commented on the Gospel reading:

Verse Before the Gospel cf. Mt 17:5
From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, hear him.
Gospel Lk 9:28b-36

He expressed how Jesus had given the three Apostles this experience to prepare them for the shock of His crucifixion, so they would be able to overcome its trauma. Immediately, I thought about how many of the experiences I have had in lucid dreams have had a similar effect on me. The workings of the Holy Spirit in my dreams was instrumental in helping my soul overcome the doubt, fear and spiritual pain that crucified my faith for decades, even though I never gave up on God or on longing to really fully believe in Him.

But then what Father Murphy said next gave me a thrill! He talked about how the disciples fell asleep when they accompanied Jesus onto the mountain, and also when they were together before he was arrested, and he said (I am paraphrasing) this was natural (for us humans) and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, because when we fall asleep together, it means we are familiar and comfortable with each other. He pointed out how we don’t get angry when people close to us fall asleep in our presence, and certainly we don’t mind when a dog falls asleep at our feet, for it is a sign of absolute trust to make ourselves so vulnerable. Everything he said described how I felt in my dream as I became aware of being asleep in church, and wanting to wake up, but knowing it was okay that I had fallen asleep there. It was, of course, a kind of lucidity to both feel being in myself, and to see myself from the outside, sleeping and aware that I was sleeping.

So, I did not have a so-called full blown lucid dream last night, but it was better than that! Because of my dream, I felt my Lord talking directly to me through Father Murphy’s sermon, and yet it was Father Murphy’s sermon that inspired my dream in that timeless way where cause and effect show themselves to be one and the same thing – GOD.

End of Dream Notes

I am so very happy to have found my way Home, and to your church, Father Murphy.

God bless you!
Maria Isabel

___________________________________________________________________________

Letter From Fr. Murphy

María Isabel,

Thank you so much for sharing with me the positive effect of my homily. So often, we priests have no idea what results of the words that we deliver. I’m glad that I was able to confirm you in the Lord. I must admit that while I’m aware of God using dreams in the Bible to communicate, like the patriarch Joseph or Jesus’ foster father Joseph, I’m not aware of any systematic way of utilizing this avenue of communication with God. I wish you the best in your exploration of this fascinating aspect of our lives. I think that your note of caution about obsessing over it is wise. We just can’t force the Holy Spirit to communicate. The best that we can do is to make sure that we are available, that the avenues of communication are open through a good life. So often, this does involve regular sleep which it seems to me is in harmony with your special charism.

I look forward to your continued support in the parish. Welcome.

Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Murphy

“In Christian theology, a charism (plural: charisms or charismata) in general denotes any good gift that flows from God’s love to humans.”

Consecrated to God

Dream of October 7, 2015

I’m walking through a large well lit jewelry store with my mother, amid various long counters. As I pass one – behind which a female attendant is standing ready to assist customers – I become semi-lucid when I suddenly spot a ring lying on the gray-white floor, almost touching the edge of the counter looming over it. Surprised, I squat down and pick the ring up with my right hand, at which point I notice two solid gold women’s watches lying on the floor at my feet, a few inches apart from each other. Silently amazed by all this fallen jewelry, I crouch down and scoop the watches up into my left hand.

Standing again, I feel awkward about holding the watches in plain view, and begin slipping them into my left pocket, but I abort the gesture as we approach a woman standing behind the opposite counter. I somehow know these precious items no longer belong to the store, but had been dropped by their owners for reasons I cannot fathom. The watches were near the ring, which is what really matters, and looking down at it as I walk, I glimpse one of the tiny round gems set on the inside of the band, which is made of silver.

I hand the ring to the salesperson and ask her, “What stones are those on the inside of the band?” She takes the ring from me, lets out a quiet exclamation of pleasure as she examines it, and replies, “Amethysts.” I am so pleased! I was hoping she would confirm my impression. Amethyst is my birth stone, a fact that reinforces my feeling the ring is meant for me; that I was meant to find it, and keep it. Unbidden, the woman quickly appraises the ring, “It’s worth at least $10,000,” she informs me, “but we don’t buy jewelry here.” She holds out the ring and I take it back from her, assuring her, “I have no intention of selling it.”

My mother remains standing silently on my right as I look down and study the ring, fully seeing it for the first time. It is about one inch in diameter, and relatively thick; not a thin band. The outside is made of solid gold, and the inside of polished silver, in which I now discern three very small amethysts set apart from each other at equal distances. The center of the ring is a slightly raised four-sided flower, made of a slightly darker, richer gold than the band. The stylized flower is composed of four identical leaf-like petals set with gems of various colors, almost like a stained glass window, and is intensely beautiful. But what fills me with joy is the black figure of an eagle to the right of the flower shape. It is definitely an eagle sitting with its wings folded facing the heart of the ring, and the sight of this bird associated with Christ (both traditionally and in my own heart through my lucid dreams) identifies for my soul beyond any doubt the origin of the ring—my Lord. The bird appears made of onyx, and is set in a pearl-white circle about a third of the size of the four-petaled flower.

My mother and I continue walking together, but now I am overflowing with joy, for I feel with all my heart and soul that my Lord has given me a special, intimate gift in the form of this beautiful ring. I pause for a moment, and attempt to slip the ring onto a middle finger of my right hand, but a ring I bought myself is in the way. Yet I try to force it onto this particular finger a few times, before finally giving up and turning to my left hand, which is completely free of rings. I slip the ring onto my wedding finger, but I have lost so much weight recently (a true fact in waking reality) that the band is too large, so I transfer it to my index finger, where it fits both comfortably and securely.

Dream Notes:

The ring was overshadowed by the counter selling other much more common jewelry, nearly invisible beneath it, away from the well traveled path between the counters. This strikes me as a visual expression of how mainstream thought, both materialistic and pseudo-religious, steers clear of Christianity. But I saw the ring, and the moment I picked it up, I new it was meant for me, which is how every soul exposed to the Word feels when the Holy Spirit reveals the Truth to us through Jesus Christ. Where I found the ring, on the floor as if discarded, may also express how many people who have heard the Good News have chosen to ignore it, erroneously believing it to have no real and everlasting value.

From the Diocese of Shrewsbury’s website: “Christ calls certain women to live ‘for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 19:12) as consecrated virgins. This has been so ever since the earliest days of the Church, when such women, along with widows, could serve the Lord with a great freedom of heart, body and spirit.” 

The text refers to Consecrated Virgins, but I feel it can apply to any unmarried Catholic woman purely and passionately devoted to Jesus Christ, Who said:

YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; and your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

Consecrated Virgins do not take vows of poverty or obedience, and live in the world, not a religious community, but they all receive a ring during the ceremony of espousal to their Bridegroom, Jesus Christ

I have been given to understand that my soul is now consecrated to God, and I know this is so, because my one and only joy – the TRUE joy around which all of my life’s various sources of fulfillment revolve – is prayerfully cultivating my relationship with my soul’s Spouse, Jesus Christ as I serve His church through my profession, putting all my talents at His disposal. Since I was Born Again of Water and the Spirit, I no longer live for my self, but as Saint Paul declares we should:

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

After writing down my dreams and accompanying notes, I opened the Bible, and my eyes fell on these words spoken by Jesus:

This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” 
John 6:29

Star of the Sea

One night recently, while lying in bed trying to fall asleep consciously, peacefully surfing hypnagogic imagery, I slip into a visual I can’t remember now but which I know relates to my Lord, and I am fully conscious as I suddenly seem to be pulled at high speed into another scene. My disembodied awareness akin to a ship floating on the ocean at night, I have eyes only for the young and slender female being floating above the black water a few yards away. She is in profile to me, and her short hair is white as the moon. Her elegant figure is clad in the “fabric” of the sky – a darkness softly glimmering as though with the light of distant stars, further obscured by clouds and the atmosphere of the dream night.

Enthralled, I am fully focused on her presence as she “performs” like a dancer, a relaxed, joyful smile on her gently luminous face. She appears to be, very slowly, sinking into the water, yet she actually remains poised above it as, with a supreme elegance, her palms open gently upward, she slowly raises her luminous bare arms, one before her and the other behind her, each arm gently curved upward. There is a purely potent, effortless yet powerful grace in all her movements, and the instant her arms are level with her face – like a conductor preparing to perform a symphony with all creation – I slip into, and yet also somehow leap into a lucid dream as my body sinks into sleep.

Wow! I have never experienced a more beautiful and arresting transition into full lucidity!

It’s as if this luminous being, clad in the night of my dream space, took very special pleasure in showing herself to me, and letting me see how “powers” like herself help direct us into conscious dreams, our physical bodies akin to instruments playing our souls, which are under the higher direction of angelic beings helping us compose our dreams like a Divine music.

The second I felt my body fall asleep, infinitely soft white and fluffy clouds became visible to me just above the dark waters, and stretching for as far as I could see while my awareness drifted along, just below and beyond them. The woman had disappeared, but I remained so in awe of her, and of what had just happened, I couldn’t concentrate on finding another dream scene to slip into, and soon woke up.

Paris and Forgiveness

Three days after the terrorist attacks in Paris, I had two lucid dreams. I copy them from my Dream Journal, including my thoughts before bed, and my interpretation of the dreams:

Before bed, I prayed to be able to forgive our enemies, for in truth I do not feel hatred for the attackers, I pity them. I have heard the stories told by those who escaped about how all they thought of was their loved ones, and how they heard others dying and trapped telling each other how much they loved each other. Terrorists do not know what love is, but hating them will not take back their terrible actions. Our souls are all in God’s hands, and it is for Him to judge and dispense justice. I must pity people who are so deluded, so tormented, so possessed by the evil that is in all of us, and which strives to control us. Pope Francis said that to kill in the name of God is blasphemy. Perhaps those who choose to believe in such a hateful God have already damned themselves. But Christ tells us to love our enemies, so I pray for their souls.

Lucid Dream #1:

Don’t know how I become semi-lucid as I get up. Arthur is sprawled on his back asleep to my left in this clear white space. Facing a wall that is a mirror, I begin tap dancing with my white shoes. I am tapping out a specific rhythm, one I somehow know, and which means something. I alternate between looking down at my white heels, and over at my reflection. I am holding a gun in my right hand, which is strange, but also makes sense; it is part of this mysterious choreography. But so is eventually throwing the gun away. I try to do so, with a wide forceful sweep of my arm directing it toward the dark windows on my right, but when I feel I might also go flying with it, I retract the gesture. I try again, and this time succeed in tossing the gun through the glass panes with a measured strength.

Becoming lucid, I walk over to the windows, and step through them slowly, head first, and as I do so, I hear a quiet, roaring-buzzing sound that is almost musical. Outside at night, I am pulled up into the sky as I slip back into hypnagogic imagery. Hoping to fall completely asleep again, and re-enter a lucid dream, I study the countenances of Middle Eastern-looking men being formed from—smoothly sculpted by—the flowing darkness, their skin the color of ancient stone statues, their eyes closed. This goes on for a few moments before I wake.

Lucid Dream #2:

I have left the place where I was, ostensibly on my way to the rendezvous I set up, but something is going wrong. I am in some sort of small vehicle with a man who is being shot at, attacked in some fiery way. It is dark out; all I remember is the color red, and the faintly luminous outline of his form so close to mine. I am not afraid as I wonder what is attacking our vehicle, and realize it is unlikely I can escape the violence. Indeed, as I seem to exit the “car” I feel myself being hit by the bullets and/or fire, and there is nothing to do but accept that I will die; I feel myself disintegrating like a character in a video game, which will soon go black… But I become lucid, and walk away from the line of fire. I open my arms, which feel like great invisible wings, and rise up into the sky. Below me, I distinctly make out partially bombed out concrete buildings stretching out across a relatively flat landscape. I lose the dream.

I see the dance I was doing in my white shoes as the proper steps to take as a Christian when it comes to forgiving, but also punishing, my enemies. The important thing is not to hate them, which is what I feel like doing, hence the gun I was holding. My violent reaction, the gesture I made holding the gun, threatened to take all of me with it. I had to restrain myself, and get rid of the gun in a gesture of self control. This dream seems a visual representation of the passages from CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity which I just so happened to hear today in the process of listening to the audio book, synchronicity at its most profound.

In my second lucid, I was in the same vehicle as a man under attack, who was consumed by flames. I feel he represents those souls who commit murder, especially indiscriminate mass murder in the name of God—they are destroying themselves, condemning themselves to hell unless they repent. I was in the place of the victims when I knew I would die, but I was not afraid, for I fully believe in a loving God. 

I am listening to Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, and what he says resonates very strongly with me, for this is perhaps the hardest thing to do in the face of brutal attacks like the one in Paris:

“It is laid down in the Christian rule, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Because in Christian morals, ‘thy neighbor’ includes ‘thy enemy’, … we come upon the terrible duty of forgiving our enemies…

“Christian teachers… would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it… Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them… But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere he can be cured and made human again.

“Now a step further. Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment… The idea of the knight—the Christian in arms for the defense of a good cause—is one of the great Christian ideas… (But) even as we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not. I admit that this means loving people who have nothing lovable about them.” – CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

Some days I want to weep…

Prayer Poem 119

Some days I want to weep
for the longings of our souls
often murdered by the fallen
earth where the slaves of evil
run riot, breaking luminous glass
windows of love and faith, along
those sacred paths of our Being
extinguishing the burning lamps
of hope and trust, casting shadows
where drugs are sold for all grief.

Yet there is a Light at the dead end
alley of this brief journey opening
through Christ to Life Everlasting.

This Prayer Poem is dedicated to all those who have been killed, and are being killed as I type, and will continue to be killed because they love Jesus Christ, and refuse to surrender their faith even under threat of a violent death.

May those of us sitting comfortably at home, or at work, on our computers with no fear of bombs going off just outside our windows, remember our brothers and sisters all over the world who are not as fortunate, and yet who, in a Mysterious Sense, are even more blessed than we are by their martyrdom, for their souls step straight into our Lord’s embrace.

Dogs and my Soul

Months ago I had a vision
driving back from the Vet
in which I saw my Lord
dressed in black walking
up our drive to St. Francis
accompanied by Merlin
and Arthur, my dear dogs
one dead, one in the car
with me blessedly healthy
and immune to my dread
of a future without him.
Sadness became a Sense
in which I saw my Lord
looking toward my mind
His gentle smile knowing
so reassuring to my soul
promising my dear pets
already are safe with Him
in a Life freed from death.
Then I saw the road again
just beyond the windshield
yet the daydream remained
more vivid than what seems
reality to my rational brain
accusing me of imagining
a miracle real as my heart
happy to embrace the Truth
of this unexpected blessing
peace a gift from my Lord
responding to my pure love
of sweet helpless creatures
I adore as God cherishes us.

Surely a loving relationship
between a human and a dog
is pleasurable to our Master
Who, Supreme above us all
in every conceivable fashion,
cherishes and gifts us treats
despite how dumb we can be.

Ode to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty

This was my favorite movie as a child, and still remains one of my most beloved cartoons. Movies like this can appeal to young and old alike because they speak directly to the human soul. Like all the great fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty isn’t really about a girl meeting a guy and getting married, it is a spiritual allegory. Prince Phillip wields “the Sword of Truth” and the “Weapons of Righteousness.”

What will happen when we burn
all the nations’ spinning wheels?
The Truth in Us will be revealed.

Humankind is Princess Aurora
Humankind is Princess Aurora
the Prince Who has come riding out of the dawn is God
in His Son our one True Love
in His Son our one True Love
Who broke Maleficent chains
Who broke Maleficent chains
defeated all the powers of hell
defeated all the powers of hell
and betrothing our souls to His roused us from sin's evil spell.
and betrothing our souls to His roused us from sin’s evil spell.
Reigning on earth as in heaven
Reigning on earth as in heaven
our Lord is forever by our side
our Lord is forever by our side
proclaiming the Good News as our two Kingdoms unite.
proclaiming the Good News as our two Kingdoms unite.

In 1949, Disney wrote in Guideposts magazine: “I believe firmly in the efficacy of religion, in its powerful influence on a person’s whole life. It helps immeasurably to meet the storm and stress of life and keep you attuned to the Divine inspiration. Without inspiration, we would perish.”

He also wrote in Faith is a Star (Gammon, New York E. P. Dutton & Co. 1963): “Every person has his own ideas of the act of praying for God’s guidance, tolerance, and mercy to fulfill his duties and responsibilities… A prayer, it seems to me, implies a promise as well as a request; at the highest level, prayer not only is a supplication for strength and guidance, but also becomes an affirmation of life and thus a reverent praise of God.”

The expression, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees can often be applied to the reading of the old fairy tales, where magic and superstition obscure the Christian truths at their center, like the forest of thorns that surrounded Stephen’s castle. Our mind and emotions thoroughly entertained, our souls are set free to imbibe the spiritual depths expressed through stories that are often as violent and bloody as the Mystery of the Cross they secretly uphold.

The Veiled Christ

My mother, Juana Rosa Pita, just returned from (yet another!) trip to Italy. She went to Pisa, a city beloved to her, and then Naples, where she visited the Museo Capella Sansevero. She described to me how she slowly circled this magnificent sculpture – carved in marble from a single block of stone –  located in the Sansevero Chapel, drawing ever closer to it through the crowds of tourists. She was so impressed, in the most profound sense, with this work of art by Giuseppe Sanmartino that, after she spent some time in its presence, she turned, and walked out of the building. It wasn’t until hours later that it occurred to her she had not seen anything else in the museum! The experience of the veiled Christ, “Covered from head to toe in a fine veil made of marble, a transparent veil clinging to all parts of His body carved of marble,” she told me this morning, the awe in her voice clearly distinguishable over the phone, was so intense, she completely forgot to visit the rest of the museum, as if, by comparison, there could be nothing else worth seeing there. Photos are a poor substitute, but for anyone who loves Christ, and may never visit Naples, they are better than nothing.

Comforting Christ

Lucid Dream of July 8, 2015

I enter a small unfurnished room in a great Mansion. I can’t remember now everything I had been doing out in the city, and in other rooms within the building, but at once, I feel everything was leading me here. A young man, wrapped in a white sheet, is lying on his back on some kind of a slab not much wider than his body. I cannot recall whether or not his lips are actually moving, but I clearly hear the words he is saying over and over again, “I did this. I did this. I did this…” Even though His expression only hints at the fact, I know He is in great pain, that He is suffering unimaginable anguish. I sit down beside him, also aware that his words are not filled with self recrimination or despair, on the contrary—He chose to endure this suffering, and even now He is Master of the agony. He is not waiting or longing for death, He has instead, by permitting Himself to be crucified, defeated death for all of us, for I have known, almost from the moment I entered the room, who He is.

Mere seconds have passed from my opening the door, to my coming to sit beside him, and now I gently turn His face toward me slightly as, bending over him, I gently kiss His right cheek once, and then again. I know this is all I can do to comfort Him, and that somehow it is enough, at least for now, even though I wish, with all my heart and soul, that I had the power to ease His torment. His skin is smooth, pale yet gently flushed, like an early morning sky just before the sun rises. His hair is straight where it frames His face, and seems long, for its smooth dark length, brightened by a reddish gold, disappears into the white sheet wrapped around his body. I am looking down at Jesus Christ, whose face is that of a handsome man. And yet subtly, but intensely, His face is more beautiful than any mortal man’s could ever be. He in no way resembles any of the actors I have seen portray Him in films or television. Gazing at Him, I think about how I could never have imagined His face, remembering how I scarcely dared to even hope I might see Him one night in a dream. And yet here I am, tenderly kissing the cheek of a man just like any other man, and yet unlike any other man in His “luminous” perfection, which cannot be measured feature by feature by the eyes of my dreaming soul, only felt and experienced.

I am both amazed, and not at all surprised, that I am looking upon the face of Christ.  His cheek felt smooth and tender as a child’s against my lips, and yet His face is that of a man in the prime of life, what a man can look like. I understand that “part” of Him is still crucified, is still suffering, and will continue to do so until His redemption of humanity is complete. I know He has already risen,  conquered all pain and death itself, but that in my soul—as in every God fearing and loving soul that has not yet reached perfection—He is still lying as if in a tomb, fresh from the agony of the cross, not yet ascended to the Father. Comforting Him now in my dream, being with Him, accompanying Him in his pain, I know it is my own soul, which lives forever in Him, I am at last rescuing and taking responsibility for. Never again will I leave the side of my Lord, I will stay with Him, and lovingly, comfortingly kiss His cheek, until all His suffering on my account has ended, is finally finished.

Preliminary Dream Notes:

I heard Him repeating the words, “I did this” and in the dream I understood what he was saying to mean: “Nothing was done to Me that God did not will.”

The few times I dared imagine seeing Christ in a lucid dream, He always appeared standing before me, arms slightly outstretched, his robed figure an outline of bright colors in an even brighter light, so that His face would scarcely be visible as a blinding joy emanating from my own longing, and filled in by traditional images of our Lord.

This dream has helped me understand that in loving Jesus Christ more and more every day—in striving to obey Him, to walk with Him in all my thoughts, feelings and actions, in seeking His comfort and strength when I feel weak and afraid—I am also comforting Him. The fact that all I could do in my dream was keep Him company, conscious of how willingly He suffered and still suffers for my sins, gently kissing His cheek, tells me my soul has a long way to go, a fact which in no way diminishes how blessed I feel to have seen my Lord’s face, and to have kissed Him in a lucid dream, for until last night, only He had kissed me in a dream.

I could never have imagined His face as I perceived it. I feel that for every soul His face is equally beautiful in its own unique way, for Christ is the very Spirit of mankind as God created us. And yet Jesus also was, and forever remains, Himself, a man unlike no other for He is God, who took flesh, and lived and walked among us to lead our souls safely Home.

Approximately seven years ago, I had the dream of the man lying in a tomb wrapped in a white shroud, the first dream in “my” book. His eyes were open, but He did not speak. I feel, I hope, this dream begins another seven year period in my spiritual growth.

God Painting

I dreamed I dared begin a large painting. I brushed in the top half, and stood back to look. I seemed to have perfectly emulated a Master’s skill and talent. But I knew at once it was God had done this, perfected my childish but earnest efforts.

Amazed and content in equal measure, I made to leave the room, my old childhood bedroom. But when I glanced over my shoulder at the new painting, I immediately turned back toward it, filled with wonder and joy, for I suddenly perceived new landscapes behind the foreground, something like a mountaintop. And far below, I saw a shoreline and beautiful blue water. Oh wonder! I knew then—I felt beyond any doubt—God was in my painting, which was, and would always be, alive and growing! Even as I turned my head, and then quickly looked back again, the ocean had already flooded half the scene. Its Powerful Presence gave me a shock of joyful dread, for the shining water seemed about to crest out of the canvas. I understood—God is with me! This Ocean of Love that is all Creation!

As in waking reality I believe, in the dream I felt that, without God, I really can do nothing, whereas together, we can work on unfolding wonders. I also felt then how intensely God invites, and even desires, our collaboration. His Loving Power flowing through my heart has the potential to bring us both boundless joy!

When I showed the new growing work to my mother and her male companion, I wanted so much for them to see how the blood-red water in the foreground was completely real, flowing with a living golden light as it poured downward. The whole painting was alive; there was no actual flat dead canvas. “A mixed medium of painting and film!” I exclaimed, feeling incredibly honored the Lord had chosen me as one of the artists for this marvelous medium.

The dream space is, of course, a living painting, an expression of the soul and its relationship with God.

“I Dared to Call Him Father”

Publisher’s Summary

How do I give myself to God completely? What happens when I do? This is a book for everyone who has ever asked these questions.

I Dared to Call Him Father is the fascinating true story of Bilquis Sheikh, a prominent Muslim woman in Pakistan who faced these questions at the crossroads of her life and found the astonishing answers. Her unusual journey to a personal relationship with God turned her world upside down – and put her life in danger – as a series of strange dreams launched her on a quest that would forever consume her heart, mind, and soul.

©1978, 2003 Bilquis Sheikh (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

I began listening to this Audio Book three days ago, and it is completely blowing my mind and scouring my soul. The Lord put it before me now, because I wouldn’t have been ready to listen to it before my own similar experiences of meeting Him in dreams. Through this wonderful woman, God is showing me where I am still weak in my faith, and what I need do about it. Yesterday, after listening to a few chapters, I got up and went through my home office like a human tornado. I couldn’t believe the strength that filled my 54 year old body to move and lift, and do everything I did in just a couple of hours! It was a symbolic act of what I am striving to do with my thought and emotional processes. Yesterday, I cleared away many old habitual ways of thinking and feeling that were tripping me up in my desire to walk closer to God day by day, depending only on the stimulating peace and promise of His Presence.

When would I learn that I cannot worry and trust God at the same time?”

A very salient point for me, because for the past few weeks, I have been obsessively worrying about how “my” book will be received, when it will get its first review, how many copies it will sell, etc. etc. In truth, His Presence is all that really matters. What happened to Bilquis happens to me: whenever I find myself thinking in certain ways, resisting doing something I wouldn’t normally do, I  lose the glorious sense of His Presence – a spiritual “sensation” akin to standing in warm sunshine on a cold day when the sun is suddenly obscured by a cloud. When I prayerfully strive to untangle decades of ingrained thought and emotional processes, obediently listening to what the Lord is telling me (sometimes through opening the New Testament at random) and I realize there is something God either wants me to do, or wants me to stop doing, the deep, steady, quiet joy of His Presence blessedly returns.

I highly highly recommend this Audio book! It is a joy to listen to.

A Portrait of Jesus

I took this photograph of a scene from an episode of AD The Bible Continues in which Christ first appears to his Apostles after the Resurrection. I was so struck by the sublime contrast of light and shadow – which so beautifully blended our Lord’s divine and human nature – that I just had to try and capture it in a picture I could gaze upon for as long as I wanted to. The result is this portrait of Jesus:

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

“I had so little ability for picturing things in my mind that if I did not actually see a thing I could not use my imagination, as other people do… Of Christ as Man I could only think: however much I read about His beauty and however often I looked at pictures of Him, I could never form any picture of Him myself. I was like a person who is blind, or in the dark: he may be talking to someone, and know that he is with him, because he is quite sure he is there – I mean, he understands and believes he is there – but he cannot see him. Thus it was with me when I thought of our Lord. It was for this reason that I was so fond of pictures. Unhappy are those who through their own fault lose this blessing! It really looks as if they do not love the Lord, for if they loved Him they would delight in looking at pictures of Him, just as they take pleasure in seeing pictures of anyone else whom they love.” – Saint Theresa of Avila