I am not “into” dream interpretation, but I do believe that our subconscious thoughts manifest themselves in our dreams.  With that being said…  I had the strangest dream the other night.

I dreamed that I was attending a college class (in person, not on-line) and had an assignment due.   WAIT!  Was this a dream or a nightmare?

Of course, the assignment wasn’t ready for submission.  I had spent a lot of time on research, et cetera, but had not written THE PAPER.  I’ll be honest with you.  I am a true Virgo and I procrastinate (which literally means “for tomorrow”).  So my dream was pretty believable so far.

I decided to go to class anyway and Face The Music.  It was in one of those big lecture halls.  After everyone was seated, the professor asked the students to bring forward their assignments.  I raised my hand and, with shame on my face, admitted that I did not have the assignment.  I was prepared to be further shamed and humiliated in front of the class.  His response took me off guard.  Rather than pointing out my shortcomings, he gently asked if I had done any work on the project.  I explained to him that I had done all the background work and just didn’t write the actual paper.  He said “I understand that we all get distracted sometimes and I will forgive this.  Go home now, complete the paper, submit it tomorrow, and do better next time.”

When I wakened and thought about the dream, I remembered the Gospel I heard just a few weeks ago about the Prodigal Son.

Remember I keep saying that there are certain lessons we must learn and they’ll keep coming around for us?   The lessons are plain as day—we just need to be cognizant of the signs.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, I attended the presentation on MERCY given by Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom.  He was so inspiring.  He is a very learned man, but is quite charming and told some wonderful stories! During his presentation, he talked about The Prodigal Son.

Then, because it was Covenant Weekend, I attended all five of the English-Speaking Masses on Saturday and Sunday.  Do you remember the Gospel reading?  It was The Prodigal Son!

Clearly, this is an important lesson for all of us.  MERCY.  God, our loving and merciful Father, gives us chance after chance to get our act together.  And when we come to Him day after day “with our assignment incomplete”, He gives us another chance and reminds that He loves us and believes in us.

I remember when my children were young and Rachel was studying to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.  I had an epiphany and from that time on I was willing to admit that, even as a parent, I could be wrong sometimes.  It usually had to do with overreacting about something they did.  I would apologize for the overreaction, ask them for their mercy and understanding,  and  then continue to address the incident.

In the one version of the Act of Contrition, we say “I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance,  sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to make wrong choices”.

God wants us to succeed.  He doesn’t care how much money we make, or what car we drive, or how many people we supervise at our jobs.

He wants us to succeed in our lives as good and faithful servants; good people with pure hearts; good people with pure hearts who are merciful to those around them and themselves.  (Sometimes we can be very hard on ourselves.)  Look at the signs all around you.  You are being called to be merciful.  Beginning today.