I’m LCMS Lutheran (but Roman Catholic baptized) researching into the Catholic Church with the intention to join RCIA in the next few years.
This has been bugging me lately so I thought I’d share it with you all to get some insight.
This happened over 2 years ago, when I first began seriously entertaining the thought of researching Catholicism with the intention to convert. One morning I had an epiphany after praying through a prayer with a Catholic - when I started the prayer, I was indifferent; by the end, I was full in. It was the best, most fulfilling prayer I had ever prayed. I wanted to start RCIA right away.
A week later, I had an incredibly vivid dream - I had never experienced a dream that felt so real. I was in my own room, sitting on the floor by my bookshelf.It was at night, the room was pitch black. A vision of the Virgin Mary appeared; she was in a traditional black and white nun’s habit. She was glowing…no, more like shining brightly that emanated from her.
I was incredibly frightened but also intrigued. I was glued to the spot. She spoke directly to me. This is the incredibly confusing part. She said something to the effect of: “You know this is wrong, do not join the Catholic Church. You must wait.” I awoke very shaken. It simultaneously confirmed to me that the Catholic Church is accurate yet also made me afraid of the Church.
It retrospect, it was an incredibly short dream, but the feeling in the dream, it felt like it lasted forever.
Anyways, after that…coupled by a few real-life experiences…I heeded the warning and I reverted. But I’m back to researching Catholicism again with a renewed vigor. I’m just wondering about this dream. Was this the Virgin Mary visiting me in a dream to tell me I wasn’t ready yet to join in the fullness of the Church and to wait until I was ready? Or was it Satan playing a trick on me to attempt to drive me away from the Church? Or was it just a weird dream I had that meant nothing and I just put too much stock in it?
Any thoughts/concerns/advice is appreciated!
I haven’t told anyone this - not even my own parents - except for one trusted friend who isn’t even a Catholic and she had nothing to say about it.
My personal opinion is this: You were right in saying that the dream you had was Satan. He was a nun in disguise. It wasn’t Mother Mary whom you saw in a dream because so far I know when She made some apparitions she wasn’t seen wearing any black or dark color for that matter: it is always dazzling white long gown either with gold and blue band/sash or any pastel color that would enhance her Immaculate and radiant beauty. Black or anything dark colors represent darkness therefore that is Satan. Satan is always in darkness and lives in darkness. And also if Mama Mary wants to convert you to Catholicism She wants you to do it right away, no pause, no ifs, and no buts. Salvation should be acted upon not in delaying action because Jesu Christ Her Son is waiting for you and so excited to embrace you to become a new member of His Catholic Church which is the infallible truth. So please don’t ever let Satan to hold you, refrain you, or control you and much more to empower you. Leave him, ignore him, and defeat him. Don’t ever give him your thought or space where he can embed in yourself. Convert to Catholicism right away your journey home. I will pray for you!!! God Bless your heart…
I’d also like to add a bit of backstory here: I’ve only had a handful of authentic dreams in my life. Starting from the first “dream” that I can remember (at age 7) up til now, I’ve only ever had nightmares. Mostly dealing with things like demonic possession, demons, animal maulings, the Church having to hide underground, etc.
I don’t know if that means anything or puts this dream into more perspective? Or if that fact even matters?
I am not going to give you spiritual direction but I wouldn’t hesitate to tell someone who could not in good conscience recite all of what the RCIA people recite the night they come into the Catholic Church . . . .
. . . . (I too would tell them) “Wait!” “Wait until you CAN recite it ALL with a joyful affirmation! THEN COME IN”
If (I am not saying you are but “if”) you cannot recite and believe the Creed they have you state: I too would tell you to “wait” (“wait” does NOT mean “never”).
I would suggest in your case, you ask a FAITHFUL Catholic friend in your area (someone who believes ALL of what the Church teaches) who a FAITHFUL Catholic priest in your area is.
Don’t tell this Catholic anything about your dream. Just ask them about who a faithful Catholic Priest is.
Karl Keating has suggested (concerning Theologians but it would be applicable to Catholic folks in general too I suppose) using the affirmation of Humanae Vitae (H.V.) as a litmus test.
Affirms H.V. = Likely faithful
Does NOT affirm H.V. = Not completely faithful
Then I would suggest going and talking to this faithful Catholic Priest and telling him about all of this.
The Blessed Mother would NEVER tell anyone not to join the Church founded by Her Divine Son. I would start RCIA as soon as possible, There are no obligations to going but you can learn as you go. I would talk to a priest and let him help you with the dream situation. Learn to say the Rosary and ask the Blessed Mother to help you and she will. God Bless, Memaw
Be leery of dreams. Many writings from monastics point to this. The are often rubbish but when they are not it can be misleading without good spiritual direction. Monastics warn dreams can come more often from the other side to temp or mislead novice monks (they would point out at night you are spiritually defenseless since your mind is not aware and cannot filter your thoughts). It is very possible this was an effort to deceive you into not joining the Church, the evil-one can masquerade (the great deceiver) as a variety of things (false apparitions are a good example).
it can be a dream but also can be Satan, look I’m going to share something with you, i refused to join another church, i wasn’t sure what to do, instead of change of church I start learning more about my faith, and I ask Jesus to show me the truth, also i ask him if I was wrong to love His blessing and Beautiful mother, and I love my church more every day, but I lost my family, my girlfriend kick me out of the house, I can’t see my son everyday, and I have so many problems, you think all this happened because God is bad with me? no !!every problem i have, or any pain i suffer take me more close to him, and i leave everything in his hands, so I believe that “el diablo” don’t want you that come to the church to receive the body of Christ, Keep praying ask Jesus to show you the truth, also ask Our Mother that show you her love. God bless you.
We dream what we are thinking about - what we are concerned about.
Here’s what I see:
You are a Catholic who at some point left the Catholic Church and became Lutheran.
You start to think about coming back to your Faith. You have a dream and even dream Mother Mary dressed as a stereotypical Catholic nun - not even as Mother Mary is usually depicted or even as herself in dress of the time and place she lived.
The dream addressed your fears, which is what dreams do many times.
I do not believe it was a personal revelation sent by God to you through His Mother dressed as a nun. Nor do I believe it was the devil trying to trick you. I think it was your mind telling you what you were worried about.
DISCLAIMER: Catholic Answers has turned over the archive to Catholic-Questions.org and no longer owns, manages, or moderates the forums. For additional apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.