[quote="Matt_Collins, post:17, topic:306473"]
I think many people are very sincere in this. They don't want to commit sin and they want to make sure they're not cutting themselves any slack where they should not. And perhaps they've never been given the formation to know how to approach these questions. They may not understand, for example, that sin involves choice....
I think another source of anxiety is if the dream is very vivid and **in the dream** they deliberately chose to do evil, knowing it was evil. People may feel this reflects some subconscious, hidden desire or willingness to do the evil act they did in their dream, and that such a willingness or hidden desire is itself a sin.
I think people need to keep several things in mind, all of which seem to be common sense, once you take the time to think about it...
Put all of these together, and there is no reason whatsoever to give a second thought to evil acts "committed" in one's dreams, even if in the dream you enjoyed it, and even if the dream was influenced by temptations during the day.
Thanks for this, Matt. You hit the nail right on the head. I did not receive very good formation in RCIA on sin in general and especially culpability for sin (chances are also good that I may not have paid as much attention as I should have:o). I am learning as I go, and I find that CAF can be a very good resource (and also an opportunity to learn that you can't trust something just because somebody said it on the Internet. ;)) So I do appreciate that so many people have taken the time to inform me of Church teaching on this matter, because I really was ignorant of it! :o
I am usually a vivid dreamer and it does/did bother me a great deal that my dream included consent. I know the science of dreams is far from exact (and I don't think I fit the criteria for lucid dreaming, although sometimes I do dream and am aware of the fact that I'm dreaming...), but it did make me wonder if there was some kind of latent desire to commit the sin hiding back in my brain someplace where I wouldn't find it. For most of the sins, though, I think it was just because I have the memories there, even if they were rearranged in a new way. The new ones, that I have never committed, were scarier - they are not things I think I would ever do, so why am I dreaming about them? :shrug: I appreciate what Elizium23 said about demonic attack because I have had other experiences that make this seem like a possibility, although I know I don't need an exorcist, etc. Reading that post did not make me exceptionally scared about someday having an exorcist film made about me, rather, it just made me kind of go..."Huh. Isn't that funny, because x also happened. Maybe I do need to take some precautions."
JRKH, thanks for the suggestion about praying the (plastic) rosary before bed. I actually used to do this, then felt bad because I would fall asleep so easily while praying it! I try to pray it during the day during times when I am not likely to be sleepy, but maybe I need to bring it back to my bedtime prayer routine. :)
As far as the rich foods, they may not be a trigger for everyone, but based on past experiences I do think they are for me. Not necessarily for dreams about committing horrible sins, but for just very weird dreams or nightmares. Compounding that with the "off" dreams I am already having while pregnant (well, more "off" than when I'm not pregnant ;)) I think I definitely have an idea of how to at least try to avoid dreams like this in the future, though obviously I have no guarantee of success.
ringil - it's too bad what you said about blue cheese. I love blue cheese!