Q. I woke up abruptly at 3 o’clock in the morning with blasphemous thoughts about the Blessed Mother. Did I cause these thoughts? Have I have committed a mortal sin?
A. You’re not responsible for the expressions of your unconscious mind or your dreams. Weird, unexplainable, and even terrifying thoughts, words, and images are part of the dream state. We don’t fully understand the experience, but we do understand that we’re not responsible for what happens.
Q. My next-door neighbor has a dog that barks nonstop. I often prayed the dog would die so I could get some peace. Then he died unexpectedly and suddenly. Did I somehow cause his death?
A. You do not have the power to make things happen by thinking or wanting them. Healthy dogs die unexpectedly. You just happen to live next door to a neighbor whose dog died unexpectedly. Enjoy the quiet and stop thinking you are responsible for the dog’s death or the quiet.