Hell and obsession

I dreamed last night about Hell -- about telling people what it was like. As if I knew!

In my dream, 20-30 people were having Mass in the living room of my childhood home.The people were utterly disconnected from each other -- and to the liturgy. There were 5 or 6 guitarists, me among them, all packed together. I could not find my music -- a typically dream scenario, right?The musicians were jostling each other, joking around and playing without regard to the music or to each other. The other people were talking very loudly. There was chaos and a cacaphonous din.

I brought order to the place (by using a not nice word) and talked about how Hell was where people ran to get the attention of others who were running away from them -- people desperate for attention running after people desperate to escape them.

After that, everyone calmed down and we all able to sing together. Even without the music!

When I woke, I immediately thought of a woman I know who considers herself to be a good and holy person. I know this because every story she tells is about herself -- about some very good or very holy thing that she herself has done. She needs to tell me, and I need to get away from her self-centeredness. Like in the dream!

It is Hell on earth to constantly need to seek the approval of others. There is no rest there, and no satifaction. It reminds of the damned in Dante's Inferno, always tracking around the same circle, living and reliving their sinful lives. As a punishment, they are trapped in their sins forever.

What an insight!
Lord, when we are trapped in our own perceptions and obsessive needs, help us to break out of these hellish circles to find freedom in you. Amen.