by James Paulin
People have one thing in common, dreams. At some point in our lives they dream about how things would be if the circumstances were perfect. For some there would be invincible power, for some there would be untold wealth and others infinite wisdom and on and on. At times, dreams are our hearts desire put into an imaginary fantasy. In good dreams we have success and happiness is achieved. We might find ourselves awakened with an actual smile on our face. On the other hand, nightmares may cause our heart to palpitate with thrashing or intense sweating. Perceived hopes and fears often play out in sleep as they rise in the mind when the brain is relaxed enough to let them surface. Dreams play an important role in describing everything from anguish to anticipation, from agony to ecstasy.
When children have dreams about monsters or even angels, they often are left with deep impressions that may last indefinitely. The only reassurance that can be offered is “it was just a dream” therefore it has no significance. Subconsciously, their mind is using its natural instincts to cope with perceptions of real or imagined experiences. Kids also have active imaginations that are based in make believe circumstances. Pretending things are more exciting or ideal comes easily to dreamers.
Doctor Martin Luther King’s most famous words were “I have a dream”. He was including these in a speech devoted to his deep yearning that all people should be judged by only “the content of their character”. Many times this expression is used to describe a wishful thought; however, Dr. King seemed to have had an insight on things forthcoming, including his assassination. It wouldn’t the first time a dream came true. Times have changed since his speech and equality based upon non-discrimination is much more prevalent. Dreams are not just sleep bound meanderings of random good and bad experiences, when they represent conscious aspirations or possibilities they are powerful as motivational inspiration. Visions of how things could be better have often been used by leaders in every arena and with the right combination of positive influences, seemingly impossible tasks are accomplished.
“Sweet dreams” is a favorite nighttime regard. Assurance of peace of mind and a sense of being loved are keys to mental and spiritual well being. Unfortunately, many don’t have either in the material world but there is one way for everyone to enjoy peace and feel loved. It comes as the gift of God’s vision for the perfect unity of Creator and creation. Jesus explained it in a parable about a pearl of great price which a man found on a property not his own, so he sold all he had to buy the property and own the pearl. Inexplicable but inescapable, the sacrifice of Jesus proved how much every person is treasured and with that confidence there is peace.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.