Dream Interpretations

Just wondering, why does the Catholic Church condemn dream interpretation (specifically at the Council of Trent if I’m not mistaken) when it’s in Scripture?

Thanks in advance and God bless.

The same reason it condemns fortune telling and not genuine prophesy.

One is a gimmick at best, the other is a gift that was given by God and not sought by the recipient.

Good point. Same thing with magic and miracles too.

Dreams can be so helpful. They tell us a lot about ourselves. They are the language of the unconscious.

I was introduced recently to Fr. Ripperger’s youtube videos from a good CAF member. On one of the videos he recommended not paying attention to ‘dreams’. If the Lord wants you to know something, he can make it pretty apparent. He doesn’t have to come in a dream.

Sometimes a dream is really a dream. And if its not, well we’re not to pay too much mind anyway.

I am so grateful for good priests! And I am grateful for CAF and the awesome people here.

Dreams are entertaining at best , it’s the theatre of the mind putting on a show ,

So close your eyes &. Enjoy,

Sleep is now understood to be an important part of how the brain processes and stores things. When you sleep, your brain is actually processing things from how you observed them, into ideas that can be stored in your long term memory. Sleep helps you to process the days information into its important take-aways. These may be very emotional, and basic things or complex ideas that need sorting out. Your brain is doing this all the time you sleep, but at certain times when you are in between states, this processing is observable to your conscious mind - a dream. So your conscious mind interprets this processing using things like images, people, objects, other stuff that you consciously think about. But really a lower level processing is going on that is unconscious. You are just getting the brief interpretation of it.

There is a massive amount of processing going on in the mind. For example, when you try to learn a new song on a piano, you might start to get it in 10 minutes but can’t play it. Go away for a day and come back and you may find you can now play it. Your brain was actually working on it all the time.

You may actually have a dream that is related to that learning process and it might be interpreted in strange ways by your conscious mind because your conscious mind has no things to represent what you are actually processing so it uses whatever is available.

Acts 16:16 - Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

Not a gimmick - possible possession

Like people have hinted at, dreams have often been part of fortune telling. Generally speaking there is no way to know what if anything a dream might indicate without Divine help. Even in psychology we really have no idea how dreams work. People like Freud and other people in the psycho-analysis have speculated on dreams, but I have yet to see any scientific verification for any of their ideas. Dreams do seem to have a connection to body and mind as we see, for people’s health or life circumstances seem to affect dreams. As a previous post mentioned some theorize that dreams are involved in consolidating memory, in this care particularly in the hippocampus, but even this, as far as I am aware, has not been scientifically validated and remains speculative.

I meant why wouldn’t a priest, bishop, friar, monk, abbot, whatever religious person be allowed to interpret dreams; not just any lay person.

Religious are hardly any more likely to know how to interpret dreams than a lay person, since the ability to do so properly is a supernatural gift and is not only unusual, but not strictly limited to religious. For instance, Daniel was not a priest.

In my opinion this is a matter of Church discipline whereby they forbid it because it usually leads to sin (fortune telling), not because it is inherently evil. Therefore if theoretically someone was given the gift of interpretation of dreams like Daniel the Church could give a dispensation (permission) to do so.

I don’t claim to know anything, but I did have a dream that changed my life forever. I didn’t have to “interpret” it was just a feeling. I know that sounds crazy… but I know what my experience was.

One time I read somewhere (I forget where now) that we need to try to not interpret God, we need to just sit back. They compared God to a ray of light and us interpreting to a piece of glass… the glass will bend and twist the ray of light. We need to just let the ray of light be. Which I know isn’t possible… I have to ask why a lot :slight_smile:

Sounds like an interesting experience. I think dreams can certain move your mind toward something good. And if it brings you make good changes in your life there is certainly no harm in that. I think dreams can motivate people to do good, or activate good thoughts; as long as they move a person toward God and doing good things it is good, and it doesn’t really matter if they’re from God or just your subconscious mind as long as they move a person to the Good.

If we go with what the bible says then dreams can be used by God to save a soul from damnation via warning. Also the bible equates visions and dreams at the same level. The bible also states that dreams prosper a man nothing and can lead him astray. They can also be False.

That said dreams require an interpreter. Saint Don Bosco was often asked in his dream if he understood the meaning, and often did not, but his guardian angel did interpret for him.

Daniel interpreted the dreams of Nebiluadenzar. Joseph interpreted Pharaos dream.

So their is clearly the need for the interpreter. To interpret a dream requires a few things. A health understanding of the bible, a good relationship with God, am active prayer life, an understanding of psychology, and humility. Humility because not all dreams have an easy interpretation. Lastly experience.

The sleep experts have no idea what dreaming is and the American Academy of sleep medicine will tell you as much. The information processing theory of dreaming is just that, a theory.

Because of the sophistication required to be a good interpreter of dreams there are very few. That is why dream interpretation is not advised. That said their is no church prohibition and the referenced priest is free to express his opinion but it is just that. An opinion.


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