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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Of dreams, visions, apparitions, and Mary

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Psychoanalysis would have us believe that dreams are an access point to our unconscious. On the other hand, researchers who study sleep and dreaming have proposed that dreams are just noise, a byproduct of the firing of neural pathways as the brain runs nightly maintenance scripts. Scientists and laymen alike have puzzled over the mystery of dreams for centuries. 

God has conveyed important messages to people in a variety of ways.

In Biblical times, he used dreams.

But these were not every day vague, illogical dreams. Dreams from God were vivid and coherent, and they had a definite message. Many of the dreams and visions recorded in the Bible were prophetic—that is, they foretold future events. 

There are dreams I will never forget. The messages become clear as things unfold.

A dream that I was in the middle of a ferocious sea, with glaciers coming my way, finding myself drowning and asking for help terrified me, until I saw some huge ships fleeting by but offering no help. Then a small ship came along, paddled by a woman and she said:

“Come in and you will be saved!”

This dream happened the night I joined my sister in her initiative of starting a devotion every Wednesday to our Mother of Perpetual Help. We found it confirming support for us to go ahead. At present, we have about 20 members joining a phone conference prayer time.

What about visions?

The presence of God is all around us. He makes Himself known to us more than we could understand and admit. One night as I was lying in bed with a prolonged illness, I saw the Virgin Mother descend; but I only had a glimpse of her feet. The next day, I got better.

And divine visits?

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The most recent I had was odd. One evening in my dark room, I had my eyes closed, praying fervently, and a bright light penetrated my closed eyes as if someone was examining them with a flashlight. The light did not hurt. It was sweet, glowing, and calming. Soon scripture verses abounded – on “opening the eyes of my heart”. The Lord was most likely leading me to have a significant shift in life, the incident happening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when I needed to scrutinise what is truly important.

One day, I was telling my family that I want to visit Fatima in Portugal and Lourdes in France. Maybe because I am drawn to mysticism, visions, apparitions, miracles. As I was expressing this, Morgan Freeman’s Youtube series on “The Story of God” popped onto the TV screen. The segment was about visions, including that of Lourdes. It came at a time when I submitted a prayer request to this holy site. Strange coincidences or confirmation that God is listening?

We are cautioned that dreams, visions, apparitions, divine visits should bring us closer to the Lord, as these are only signs and should not direct us away from the Word of God or sound doctrine. These supernatural gifts will be tested by the good fruit we bear. They should not have a detrimental or confusing effect in our lives, instead they should lead us closer to God. Greater love and compassion for others are usually the outcomes of such treasured divine favors.  

May is the month of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for most of 1.3 billion of Roman Catholics. A “May Altar” is erected with a statue or picture of Mary, flowers, and perhaps candles. Catholics do not worship Mary, we honor, or venerate, her as Jesus’ mother. We give her significance because she is the instrument of the Incarnation and her “yes”, or fiat, made it possible for our Lord to become the God-Man who was crucified for our salvation. She is the first and most perfect disciple, the first to hear the Good News, and the first to follow Christ.

Mary is an advocate, helper, benefactress, and mediatrix. Her job, so to speak, began at the moment she conceived Jesus in her womb and continues until this day. What is more, it will continue for all eternity. Her help is perpetual. She is at work 24/7/365/forever, for whatever we need, whenever we need it, most especially during critical times like the crisis we have under COVID-19.

500 Years of Virgin Mary Sightings in One Map, is an interesting site for those who want to read about Mary’s sightings all over the world, that have inspired wonder among millions, and have been tracked for centuries. 

I was in prayer one night when I observed that her crown was speaking to me quietly but strongly. Together with the Crown of Thorns of her son Jesus, she was giving us hope for healing.  Jesus directly crushed the serpent while Mary indirectly crushed it due to her cooperation in becoming the mother of Christ. Many mystics prophesied about this pandemic, and some have been attached to the apparitions of the Blessed Mother. It is reassuring to know that in the midst of this catastrophe, we have friends in high places who can help us, direct us, guide and protect our fragile lives.

For all these reasons and more, Mary deserves honor, not only during the month of May, but always. That’s why we greet her: Hail Mary, full of grace!

———————

References taken from: 

https://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Religion/Five-reasons-Catholics-honour-Mary-in-May

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/11/151113-virgin-mary-sightings-map/

https://www.bing.com/search?q=psychologists+on+dreams+and+emaning&

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/who-will-crush-the-serpents-head


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