Forty Dreams Of St. John Bosco: From St. John Boscos Biographical Memoirs by John BoscoThe book has some very good moral lessons on confession, temptation, and striving to lead a holy life.
This materialistic world that we live in, has infected our minds so much that we discount spiritual realities to some extent due to our lack of faith. Through his dreams, St. John Bosco make these spiritual realities become concrete. The devil is as real as a wild animal and the threat he poses is deadly as a mountain lion is deadly.
My favorite dream, the one that stands out the most, was not a warning but an invitation to be holy. It involved Dominic Savio in a quasi-heavenly place, but as Savio informs the priest, is not heaven exactly. The imagery in this scene fills you with wonder and is truly awe-inspiring.
With all this being said, about halfway through the book, I began each new chapter with a subtle dread, because the moral lessons started getting redundant, where the devil is some cat/elephant/snake/dog/horse, or some other thing, and some boys succumb to the evil thing and some dont. I breezed through the last half of the book because, at least for my part, I felt the lessons were learned.
Overall, I recommend this book to get a taste of what St. Bosco was all about. This method of lessons involving turning abstract spiritual ideas into concrete imagery, will absolutely help your faith. This book is also a source of inspiration. St. John Bosco is an important and holy saint to know about and his body is numbered among the incorruptible saints.
*The Road to Hell
Know that satan will try to remove the reality of the existence of his kingdom, hell, from you. If he makes a farce of his existence among you, he will deceive you so that you will sin and remove yourselves from the Spirit of light. And when you remove yourselves from the Spirit of light, you remove yourselves from eternal life in the Kingdom of your Father, the most high God in Heaven. American Needs Fatima Blog reported on January 31, Dickens wrote his famed story in Don Bosco, as he was known, dedicated his priestly life to the welfare of wayward boys. One such vision was that of Hell.
Everything is complicated; life grows more difficult and heavy, with an increasingly somber economic outlook. It is when we turn our eyes to Heaven that the shadows of this earth vanish and confidence and the joy of living are reborn in us. Obviously, we are not referring to the blue skies at times gray and fraught with threats that envelop us. We are talking about heavenly Paradise, the place of eternal happiness where the just enjoy the vision of God, the company of the Blessed Mother, and of the angels and saints. The thought of Heaven is like a beacon that illuminates the whole Christian life. It reminds us of our ultimate end and gives us our bearings.
“But our citizenship is in heaven,” Saint Paul reminds us. Saint John Bosco had a vision of Heaven in the form of a dream, which he related to.
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Many of the dreams of St. John Bosco could more properly be called visions, for God used this means to reveal His will for the Saint and for the boys of the Oratory, as well as the future of the Salesian Congregation. Not only did his dreams lead and direct the Saint, they also gave him wisdom and guidance by which he was able to help and guide others upon their ways.
Actually, what he was told by St. Dominic Savio in the dream was that what he was seeing was not Heaven. I think what this means is that St. Bosco, since he was still mortal, could not behold the Beatific Vision but was seeing other wonders of Paradise. Is everything he is seeing - meadows, flowers, buildings - real things of Heaven? Or is all of this only symbolic as the commentary at the end seems to suggest?
Dreams are a product of our unconscious mind and imagination. To pay too much attention to them is foolhardy. Some dreams are more than just unconscious renderings of our conscious lives. In some rare cases, dreams are inspired visions from heaven. John Bosco.
So during the night hours of December 6 while I was in my room - whether reading or pacing back and forth or resting in bed, I am not sure I began dreaming…. It suddenly seemed to me that I was standing on a small mound or hillock…all was blue as the calmest sea, though what I saw was not water….. Broad imposing avenues divided the plain into grand gardens of indescribable beauty…. As I stood there basking in the splendor of those gardens, I suddenly heard music most sweetso delightful and enchanting a melody that I could never adequately describe it…. As I listened enthralled by the heavenly choir I saw an endless multitude of boys approaching me. Many I recognized as having been at the Oratory and in our other schools, but by far the majority of them were total strangers to me. I kept asking myself: Am I sleeping or am I awake?