I generally wouldn't
worry too much about bad dreams or be overly concerned based on a dream. They
might mean nothing. Nevertheless, it is good to always be prepared for death at
any time, because that is such an important moment in terms of our salvation.
Other events in life also require adequate reflection and preparation, but it
seems that needless and unprofitable worrying over a dream is not useful but
rather can cause harm (e.g. due to stress). If something from a dream bothers
you, it might be useful to bring it up with a good priest to see if he can be of
assistance. If the situation warrants, it may also be helpful to consult a good
mental health professional.
In case it
helps, I'll mention that I'm aware of a good & holy priest who instructed
someone very worried over a bad dream to not let it bother them. It concerned
the supposed bad state of their soul and was terrifying to them. Perhaps the
dream was a trick of Satan to lead the person (a practicing Catholic!) into
despair. That is one of the dangers of putting to much value in a dream (which
may NOT be from God).
"Empty and false are the hopes of the senseless, and fools are borne aloft by
dreams. Like a man who catches at shadows or chases the wind, is the one who
believes in dreams. What is seen in dreams is to reality what the reflection of
a face is to the face itself. Can the unclean produce the clean? can the liar
ever speak the truth? Divination, omens and dreams all are unreal; what you
already expect, the mind depicts. Unless it be a vision specially sent by the
Most High, fix not your heart on it; For dreams have led many astray, and those
who believed in them have perished." (Sirach 34:1-7)
And as the Baltimore
"Dreams are the
thoughts we have in sleep, when our will is unable to guide them. It is
forbidden to believe in them, because they are often ridiculous, unreasonable,
or wicked, and are not governed by either reason or faith."
frequently in the Old Law make use of dreams as a means of making known His
Will; but on such occasions He always gave proof that what He made known was not
a mere dream, but rather a revelation or inspiration. He no longer makes use of
such means, for He now makes known His will through the inspiration of His
Regarding messages in dreams, you might be aided by good research concerning traditional
Church teachings with respect to discernment of spirits. Remember that there are
working for our destruction. So we must be careful.
Yet even if a message
is not from God, there is the chance that God can utilize the mental imagery
from our sleep for our good. For example, perhaps the dream presents a
convenient opportunity to prepare for a happy death or to speak with a holy
priest who can provide some useful spiritual direction. Or maybe the dream might
cause you to put your fears into your loving Father's hands through prayer. He
loves you very much and wants your best always. Go to Him!
I know it's disturbing
when things like this happen and I understand your worry, but personally I've
had so many dreams and probably almost none ever happen (e.g. none come true in
real life). That doesn't mean it's impossible, of course, just that
statistically speaking most (all or nearly all) bad dreams that I recall have NOT
come true. It seems indisputable that needless and unprofitable worrying over a
dream is not useful but rather can cause harm (e.g. due to stress).
If it was me,
I would not put much value into what dreams "mean". The might mean nothing at
all, or they might be easily misinterpreted. Again, you could seek the advice of
a holy priest (or, as necessary, of a good mental health professional). And, of
course prayer is a wonderful idea. Remember that God 'works everything to good
for those who love Him'. If
God wants to communicate something with you, He can certainly find a way.
And of course, if the
dream was prompted by watching bad programs (or even if it wasn't), such viewing
should be stopped. Likewise, it may be wise to evaluate if you have engaged in
(or refrained from) some activity that may be related to the dream (e.g.
unnecessarily participating in dangerous activities, forgoing appropriate
medical care, etc.). If so, consider making needed changes.
All and all
I would think it best to just be prepared and try not to worry too much. Use
this incident as a good opportunity to become even better prepared. Speak to God
in prayer and contact a holy priest (or mental health professional) if
necessary. Perhaps in the long run, you'll eventually find yourself grateful for
the "bad" dream, or at least for what came out of it!
As a side note, if
the dreams have you thinking about dying, it might be an excellent time to
prepare for a holy death – it's always a good practice for Catholics to be
prepared for eventual death (hopefully long into the future!). You might
consider a brown scapular if you don't already wear one (see
here), and you might also want to
here for some death-related
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