Cathedral in the Mist

From the Introduction to Lucid Dreams and the Holy Spirit
by Maria Isabel Pita

Listen to the Introduction, read by the Author:

I was raised Catholic, but only went to Sunday School for one year when I was still too young to remember any of it. All my life I attended public schools, except for in seventh and eighth grade, when I went to St. Leo’s in Fairfax, Virginia. I have always felt a deep love for Christ, and even though, as an adult, I became detached from my Christianity, I never stopped believing in the Divinity of Christ, who was always there in the back of my mind, secreted away in my heart.

It was not until after I dreamed the dreams in this book – in one of which I was gently but firmly told, “Don’t be silly, read your leaders” – that I began avidly reading the works of certain Christian mystics. It had been decades since I even looked at a Bible, of which I had only ever read brief excerpts from the four Gospels, along with a handful of stories from the Old Testament, specifically the ones about interesting women such as Ruth and Esther.

The lucid and semi-lucid dreams set down here cannot simply be dismissed as conscious or subconscious reflections of religious and mystical experiences I was already intimately familiar with. For more than three years, I did not fully comprehend many of my dreams. Not truly understanding the Holy Trinity, I did not know that it was possible to experience God personally.

The seed of my mysteriously seductive relationship with the Holy Spirit was planted five years ago. At the age of forty-nine, my husband and I moved to Virginia, where I had grown up and ached to return. We soon made an offer on a house in the Blue Ridge mountains, and the following afternoon, we drove back to see it again. It was mid-February, the weather was gray, drizzling rain, and the mountain top was shrouded in mist. We were hoping the ice-covered driveway winding up to the house would have thawed, but it hadn’t, so I parked beside the mailbox, and sat in the car as my husband skated up the frozen path to inspect the property.

The mist obscured the trees in a haunting way I was thoroughly savoring. Then slowly, and yet somehow also suddenly, I perceived a slender structure rising between a group of trees just above me on an ascending slope… a Cathedral. I studied the tall, narrow front doors with pleasure, waiting for the mist to shift and the illusion to vanish. But even after I looked away, and then back again, several times, the Cathedral remained distinctly there, so much so that I was able to study architectural features of the wooden door frame, which was sharply arched on top. I saw, and also sensed, the intimate Cathedral’s presence.

When our offer on the house was accepted, I found myself imagining that when I died, my spirit would rise out of my body and float through the woods to the Cathedral I had seen in the mist, the doors of which I would, at long last, have the power to open as I crossed the threshold into the next world…

Less than a year after we moved in, I had the lucid dream which began my spiritual practice. I know now that I was blessed by my vision of a Cathedral in the mist, and that it was a sign of what was to come.

It is my soul’s union with God I am joyfully cultivating in my dreams, both awake and asleep. This little book is an invitation to others to attend my personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, and share in its joy, as I toss it into the world like a bridal bouquet.