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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I believe I have mentioned before that I have done a lot of studying in the area of dream research. I once took a course in the Old Testament at Loyola University in Chicago with a Jesuit priest. He was sort of a hippy looking fellow with a pony tail and sandals, but since he was a Jesuit, I guess he could get away with it. I know people back then were fond of pointing out how Jesus styled His hair.

This priest had some interesting things to say. For example, he pointed out that manna is some sort of thing that falls off of trees there in the Holy Land and than you could go eat manna today, if you wanted. The manna never did come from heaven. He also noted that sections of the Red Sea part all the time, when silt piles up and is washed away again.

He was undaunted in the the idea that these things were miraculous. He felt that that the miracle was not in the event, but in the timing of the event.

One day he got on a tear about dreams, because he felt that if you look at what the prophets had to say as a dream someone was relating, what they were saying made a lot more sense. He said that in sleep and dream research, when a person or a cat was deprived of sleep they got cranky and eventually a little wacky, but it took several days for them to become downright psychotic. I'm not sure how they could tell with the cats.

But when people or cats were deprived of dream sleep, they became psychotic overnight. Again, I'm not sure how they could tell with the cats.

That's what got me going. I know a lot about dreaming.

This is your area anyway, so I'm sure it'll be a cinch! Last night I dreamt I was in one of those Catholic stores with all the books and saintly prayer cards...in my dream, I was looking for and I found the card of a saint who was the patron saint of beaches. I keep getting images of beaches, the ocean, either Australia or some kind of tropical climate. The problem is, I don't know who this saint actually is! In my dream I did though. Could you possibly help me?!

I think you're missing the boat on this dream. Here's what you have to keep in mind: Except in the case of a recurring dream, dreams are always about what happened to you on the day you had the dream. Dreaming is your brain's way of defragmenting, like your computer does in the middle of the night. You have to look at what it meant to be in a Catholic bookstore looking for the patron saint of beaches in the context of what happened to you that day.

Whatever you do, don't go running to one of those stupid dream books, to find out what 'book store' means. Those things are 100% useless. Here's what one of those stupid books says about what it means to dream about strawberries:

To see or eat strawberries in your dream, signifies your sensual desires and temptation. Strawberries is often associated with feminine qualities and female sexuality. Alternatively, to see strawberries in your dream indicates that your ideas and goals are soon realized.


You know what strawberries mean to me? Hives.

I can't analyze your dream for you because the images came out of your brain after whatever day you had. I don't think the specific saint is important at all. I think the key thoughts in the dream are "Catholic" and "books" and "beaches". It wouldn't surprise me, though, if you were a homeschooling mom who is getting ready for this school year and would just like to go play in the sand.

Here's another fun thought: for the most part in dreams, everyone in the dream is really you. Why wouldn't they be? It's your brain that's making it up this little screenplay. It's never your mother that is actually in the dream. Your mother is at home in her own bed.

So...you are the saint. The saint of beaches. The saint on a card in the Catholic book store. The patron saint of sand and beaches and the ocean and a tropical climate is you.

We are all, after all, called upon to be saints.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, you lost me after you said this priest taught you about dreams and then went on to say he didn't believe the miracles of the OT (at least the manna and the Red Sea) were really miracles at all, other than the timing. So how is it this man, who couldn't figure out the miracle thing, which is clearly spelled out in the Bible, be an expert on dreams, which are usually so vague and confusing? So St.Joseph was really the angel in his dream and the warning in the wise men's dreams were really from themselves? I don't believe that all dreams are safely tucked away into that defragmentation theory. If you've had a vision dream, you'll know it. And they aren't always clear as to their meaning, at least not right away. I truly believe God uses dreams sometimes to get our attention and put us on a path of discovery.


Anonymous said...

So what are the sources of recurring dreams and how do we interpret them?

Jade Dunlop said...

"Miracles are like comedy - it's all in the timing."

I can't rememeber who said that...who knows, maybe I just dreamt it up!

(Ha ha, see? There's that timing thing again!)

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Yup, I have a nun aunt who believes all that dream theory stuff. How can anybody PROVE any of that stuff could be true? I believe in the defrag theory. I think I dream crazy dreams because I read a lot, I have a photographic memory, and have a good imagination. I ALWAYS dream about stuff that's going on in my life, in vivid color, with lots of crazy plot twists. I don't think there are any mysteries about dreams, they are just brain farts while sleeping.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Let's watch our language, shall we?

Julia Oleinik said...

Hello Sister,

I enjoy your blog so much! You are truly a blessing!

I am wondering how one can submit a question for you? Is there a separate email address where you can be reached?


Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
I wrote you about a month ago, asking for saint recommendations as my husband was trying to get a loan to start a business in the medical field. You graciously provided some options.

We had some of the process drag out, so I turned to St. Jude,and St. Anthony, the miracle workers. Thanks to their prayers, and God's goodness. I am back to report that we got loan approval yesterday!

We saw others in his same field be turned down by other banks, due to the economy,etc, but we never lost faith. I even kept a St. Jude candle lit for weeks, and said a little thank youi prayer every time I walked past it.

I want to encourage my fellow brothers and sisters who may be reading this to keep the faith, keep praying, and keep reading!

Thank you for your blog, and I hope to learn more.

Anonymous said...

I dream constantly - probably because I don't sleep that well:)
I agree completely - I can always put my dreams into the context of what's been on my mind recently. The great thing is that after you dream it and your brain "reboots", there's a wonderful sense of relaxation or peacefulness. Sometimes what we can't sort out consciously, we sort out subconciously.
Wonderful reading, as always!
Thank you

Anonymous said...

"Let's watch our language, shall we?"

*pounds the table* AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

Sister, I think the first commenter had an interesting question:

So St.Joseph was really the angel in his dream and the warning in the wise men's dreams were really from themselves?

How does the defrag theory apply to Biblical and/or mystical dreams such as those sited above or the dreams of St. John Bosco?

Anonymous said...

Hello Sister! I'm so glad you are here--to answer simple questions in understandable/practical ways. Your photos and memory devices are so vivid that I can remember your teachings long after reading your blog. I'm too embarrassed to ask so many questions to a priest, and cannot follow the logic of those "know it all" blogtypes!

I married a Baptist and was out of the church for 20 years, and just cannot remember much of what I learned as a child--if I learned it--and my mom is much like Sister Fiacre these days, though "stuck on happy" after her last stroke, so she giggles about everything. It makes it fun to work with her, but she has no answers anymore!

So here's today's question: I have a stack of protestant Bibles around and would like to get rid of them. I seem to remember that we had to burn Bibles and blessed articles and bury the ashes. Does this apply to protestant Bibles? It just seems wrong to throw them in the trash. I don't think I can do that.

It's important that I don't do things that would lead my supposedly Baptist husband astray as he's been watching me more and more regarding the Catholic church and is often open to hearing about it in snippits. He "officially" doesn't want to become Catholic, but he doesn't really believe the "once saved/always saved" idea and if you believe in Purgatory, you'd might as well be Catholic. I'm saying novenas for him, and our adult son who was raised Methodist at the time. What a tangled web! Anyway, I want to do what's right, and be a good example for my family in all things.

By the way, is there a patron saint for praying Protestants in to the Church?

Thanks for your help, and again, thanks for being there and being you.

bill7tx said...

anonymous with the Baptist husband -- Thanks for asking the question about the Bibles. I am the administrator for the estate of one of my late aunts. She was a Baptist when she died (was baptized Methodist, had no use for Catholics, ironic that she died intestate and the only surviving relatives are all Catholic), and had several Bibles. I don't know what to do with them. They are study Bibles, mostly. One is sort of a family Bible, in that she left some notes in it about marriages, births, deaths, etc. in the family, and I will probably keep that one. The others are in various states of deterioration. I'd give them to her old Sunday School class in her memory, but I think she'd be embarrassed about their condition (the Bibles, not the class). So I hope Sister answers your question. Like you, I don't want to throw them in the trash. They are still the Word of God, even if incomplete and badly mangled.

Do you have a Green Scapular for your husband? He doesn't have to wear it or even know about it. Sister has posted on this before.

Teal Chic said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, I really appreciate it! I agree that what you think about during the day will often times end up in your dreams.

I looked up your patron saints and didn't find anything for job seekers? I help my mom care for my elderly grandmother with dementia, and I'm presently looking for a job, which will help me pay the bills so I can get on with my life, and into the career (journalism) I want. Also, I worry about my mom as it's so difficult watching somebody with dementia...do you happen to recommend a patron saint to help with health, job seekers, and money? Many thanks!

joannaB73 said...

I think sometimes we do get a one off dream - I've had them about something God is trying to communicate to us. How about St Peter - he is apparaently a Saint for The Parish of Saint Peter ("St. Peter") one of eleven parishes in the Caribbean island country of Barbados. It is named after the Christian Apostle and patron saint, Saint Peter. It is located in the north of Barbados, and is the only parish besides Saint Lucy that extends to both the east and west coasts. (Info From Wikepedia.com).