A lucid dream begins at the moment you become aware that you are dreaming, and fully conscious of the experience even though your body is sound asleep. In lucid, as well as in semi-lucid dreams, the Holy Spirit may choose to speak personally with our soul. In my intimate autobiographical account, I share how I was led home to Christ through lucid dreaming as a spiritual practice.
I was born in Havana, Cuba, but my family fled into exile after the communist revolution, and I grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. Raised Catholic, I was Baptized and Confirmed. As an adult, however, I came to lead a secular life, concentrating primarily on my career as a writer. I never expected God to personally enter my life.
Then I began experiencing lucid dreams. At first I called them “flying dreams” because flying felt fantastic, and I could think of no better way to make use of them. But as my skill and control as a lucid dreamer improved, a pure and overwhelming Love introduced itself into my life in the form of a mysteriously wonderful Man who began appearing regularly in my dreams. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, dream by dream my soul was being guided along a path in keeping with Christian mystical tradition.
“By taking a summary look at the teaching and practice of the Church Fathers. . . we can discern a well-integrated tradition of dreams and dreamwork and recognize its continuity with that of the Old and New Testament.”
“There are few better ways of learning to observe the hand of God in our lives than the persistent Christian practice of listening to messengers of the night.
“Tertullian spoke of dreams as one of the charismata of God, and believed that dreams and visions were promised to people of his own day just as much as they were to the first apostles.
“Origen saw dreams as part of God’s providence ‘for the benefit of the one who had the dream and for those who hear the account of it from him.
“‘Dreams, more than any other thing, entice us toward hope,’ wrote Synesius of Cyrene, a fifth century bishop of Ptolemais. ‘And when our heart spontaneously presents hope to us, as happens in our sleeping state, then we have in the promise of our dreams a pledge from the divinity.
“Saint Jerome made little distinction between dreams and visions… For Jerome, God spoke through visions, whether they occurred during sleep or awake… Jerome agrees with Jeremiah that God can use dreaming as well as prophesying as a vehicle of revelation to a person. Such revelation can be a valuable gift from God if the dreamer’s life is turned toward God.”
Excerpts from Dreams and Spiritual Growth – A Judeo-Christian Way of Dreamwork by Louis M. Savary, Patricia H. Berne, Strephon Kaplan Williams
From the very first night I began lucid dreaming on a regular basis, I encountered a male dream figure who stood out from all the others. In His presence, I was nearly overwhelmed by the love we felt for each other. There was nothing sexual about it; our love was simply everything. Then one night, I felt his breath in the dream when he told me he loved me, and kissed me. No one in my dreams had ever spoken those words to me, “I love you.”
That morning when I woke up, I finally dared to ask myself: Could this beloved Guardian of my dreams be Christ—God Himself?
Following the clues, I discovered what I least expected, and C.S. Lewis perfectly describes the shock I felt, except I did not draw back, on the contrary:
“The shock comes at the precise moment when the thrill of life is communicated to us along the clue we have been following. It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. ‘Look out!’ we cry, ‘it’s alive’. And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. An ‘impersonal God’—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter.
“There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion… suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us? So it is a sort of Rubicon. One goes across; or not. But if one does, there is no manner of security against miracles. One may be in for anything.”
Links to the Audio Book version of Lucid Dreams & the Holy Spirit: