The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

A Fairy-Tale Hope

Authored by Dr. Petroc Willey in Issue #33.1 of The Sower
A source of great hope to the very young can be fairy tales. For this reason they should really be part of the essential reading for pre-school children and beginning readers. For any who need convincing of their value in offering solid moral formation and encouraging the necessary values and help essential for enabling children to find ‘reasons for living and hoping’ I would recommend an excellent book by Bruno Bettleheim: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.[i] What I write here owes much to the wisdom contained in that book. Fairytales offer hope first because they are realistic about evil Because of this they enable children to face the things that can destroy hope. Despite popular identification of the term ‘Fairy tale’ with make believe and the avoidance of reality, the very opposite is true - fairy tales are full of ogres, giants, witches, wicked stepmothers, indifferent fathers, spiteful brothers and jealous sisters. They are filled with death, grief, danger and struggle. The pages teem with characters who are prone to all the basic human vices and weaknesses - fear, cruelty, hard-heartedness, greed, stupidity, disobedience, anger, thoughtlessness, cruelty, cunning and deception - all of these are found in the basic repertoire of stories. Fairy tales, then, do not shield a child from all that he knows about the world and about himself - including the basic facts of ugliness, evil, sin and death.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

RCIA & Adult Faith Formation: What’s in a Name?
By Scott Sollom
In the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate, the unbaptized person is referred to as a “candidate for the catechumenate.” This title continues into the Rite of Acceptance. A critical shift, however, occurs during the Signing of the Senses. The celebrant says, “Dear Candidates, your answers mean that you wish to share our life and hope in... Read more
Illuminating, Insightful Book from Ignatius Press
By Colleen Rainone
Free To order these book from Ignatius Press go to https://ignatius.com/ or call 800-651-1531.... Read more
Steubenville Parish Missions
By Colleen Rainone
Free To learn more or to schedule a Steubenville Parish Mission in your parish go to https://steubenvilleconferences.com/parish-missions/ or call 866-538-7426.... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now