Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Holy Fathers have taught us that we should not put our trust in dreams ( Saint John Climacus )

Saint John Climacus wrote concerning dreams:

“The demons of vainglory prophesy in dreams. Being unscrupulous, they guess the future and foretell it to us. When these visions come true, we are amazed; and we are elated with the thought that we are already near to the gift of foreknowledge. A demon is often a prophet to those who believe him, but he is always a liar to those who despise him. Being a spirit, he sees what is happening in this lower air, and noticing that someone is dying, he foretells it through dreams to the more light-minded. But demons know nothing about the future from foreknowledge. For if they did, then the fortunetellers would also be able to foretell our death… He who believes in dreams is completely inexperienced. But he who distrusts all dreams is a wise man…” (The Ladder of Divine Ascent 3:28, 3:29)

The Holy Fathers have taught us that we should not put our trust in dreams.

There is an account of an elder who spent many years in asceticism on Mount Sinai who was deceived by the evil one through dreams:

The Sabaite Antiochus… tells as a warning against trust in dreams the story of a solitary on Sinai of many years’ standing, who had a series of dreams that came true, and then one that showed him the people of the martyrs and apostles and all the Christians dark and filled with shame, while Moses, the prophets, and the Jews were enveloped in light, living in joy and gladness. He left the Holy Mountain, came to the Jewish settlements at Noara and Livias, on the two sides of the Jordan Valley (Noara was only three or four miles from Choziba), was circumcised, married a wife, and conducted open propaganda on behalf of the Jews against the Christians… (The Desert A City by Derwas J. Chitty)
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