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Question 56

Pater, I need help explaining to a Greek American woman on why it can be dangerous if we dream of our dead loved ones, I have said that it is possible that it might be a demon disguised as our loved one.



Answer to Question 56


It is true that the fathers tell us not to trust our dreams because they might be a demonic deception, but we should not teach that all dreams are a demonic influence. We do not know enough about the state of the soul when we are sleeping, but Holy Scripture is full of accounts of how God speaks to people through dreams. Joseph was told in a dream to take Mary as his wife and that the Child in her womb was from God, again he was told in a dream to depart with Mary and the Child and go to Egypt because Herod sought to kill the Child. Dreams therefore are used by God to reveal his will to us and many Saints have appeared in dreams to people.


But demons can also use dreams to delude us. They might for example appear to a man in far away Australia and tell him that his brother in Cyprus has passed away. On waking, the man phones his brother and is informed that his brother did indeed pass away at the very hour he saw the dream. Now why you may ask did the demons use the truth? Because from now on the man will believe that his dreams do come true and will from now trust his dreams leaving himself open to demonic deception. Thus we are told not to trust our dreams and try to give them an interpretation. 


On the other hand, when we see our loved ones in dreams very often it is comforting and a sign that they are alive in another place. It does not mean that it is a demonic delusion and I would say it is not harmful unless our loved ones give us messages that we must do certain things. Like I already said we do not know enough of what we experience when we are sleeping and the only reason we should not trust our dreams is because we do not have the knowledge and experience to recognize if they are good or bad.