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The Secret of Dreams

The Secret of Dreams

Roman Catholic Books

Regular price $24.80 Sale

What should Catholics think about dreams? While the Church warns against using them superstitiously, and condemns the errors underlying Freudian dream analysis, dreams are a familiar part of Catholic tradition. In this groundbreaking work, priest psychologist Pedro Meseguer, SJ, reveals the important role—strongly supported by tradition—that dreams can play in the Christian spiritual life, where they can be of the utmost use to confessors and penitents alike. A few highlights:


  • What is our moral responsibility (if any) for the content of our dreams? St. Thomas’s answer
  • Rules laid down by the great Catholic spiritual writers for the discernment of dreams and other imaginative visions
  • How dreams work: the role of memory, imagination, sight, sound, the will, thought, emotion, wish fullfilment, anxiety, and more
  • How dreams reflect the state of the body, the mind and the soul
  • Dreams in Scripture and prophecy: what does the Church teach?
  • Why dreams can be a source or vehicle of temptation
  • How God sometimes uses dreams to communicate with men—and even to grant favors
  • How St. Augustine anticipated the sane findings of modern psychology about dreams
  • How dreams may indicate the extent to which one has assimilated Christian morality
  • How dreams express a “central idea” (crucial to interpretation)
  • How the “law of association” operates in the selection of dream images
  • Dream “symbols”: how they give form to ideas and feelings
  • How personal crises provoke the most significant dreams
  • How dreams can sometimes “try out” solutions to problems
  • The “cathartic” function of dreams, purging repressed or powerful emotions
  • Recurring dreams: their causes and significance
  • 13 practical rules for using dreams in spiritual direction
  • Why the value of dreams is secondary—and the normal means of directing human life to its proper end is the conscious mind
  • 20 “general laws” of dreams (#4: “The preceding day’s desires and fears, particularly unconscious, tend to become dreams”)

    Fr. Meseguer begins by surveying the dream theories of the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, St. Augustine and the Scholastics. He then discusses dreams as vehicles of divine communication, both in Scripture and in the lives of saints and mystics.

    Catholic reviewers praised this volume highly in 1960:

    “It is refreshing to have someone bring back into focus the role of dreams in the Catholic tradition and Catholic theology....The section devoted to dreams and spiritual direction is particularly helpful and clarifying....This serious and deliberate study of a delicate human phenomenon shows tact, wisdom and reverence, and makes for instructive as well as delightful reading. The keynote of the study is balance and reasonableness…This is a well-written, thoroughly documented study of dreams and their place in the life of the spirit.”—The Critic

    “Broad and authoritative...tightly packed with data and with wellreasoned explanations of the material at hand....Fr. Meseguer has no hesitation about discussing difficult subjects. Telepathy, angelism, demonism, prophetic dreams, dreams and chastity, apparitions of the dead in dreams—all of these are touched upon intelligently and with clear insight.”—America