The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

How to Overcome the Prince Rilian Complex

Authored by Maria O’Shea in Issue #2.2 of Catechetical Review
C. S. Lewis was a conjurer, whose words evoke the magic of ordinary things, breach the ramparts of rationalism, awaken the appetite for the eternal, and evangelize through the medium of fiction. Plato’s “allegory of the cave,” as related by Socrates, tells of a group of people imprisoned in a cave since childhood. They have never seen the light of day and so imagine that shadows projected on a wall compose the whole of reality. The progressive narrowing of thought in the Western world since the Enlightenment has achieved a similar kind of effect, shrinking our horizons and restricting our vision of reality. We could say that this intellectual narrowing has dimmed the memory of our true homeland, or, as philosopher Peter Kreeft describes, it has screwed “down the manhole covers on us so we became squinting underground creatures” instead of eagles capable of soaring towards the sun. Like the cave dweller’s attraction to reality in Plato’s famous allegory, however, the longing for light (which is the desire for the infinite) cannot be fully extinguished. Though buried deeply, it lies dormant and waits for someone to bring it to life. As with many of our metaphysical troubles, often the path of awakening passes through a baptism of the imagination, the faculty that acts like a router to the deepest recesses of the soul. The art of storytelling is an exquisitely appropriate means to the rehabilitation of our capacity to perceive reality. Stories pique our curiosity and sense of wonder, and they excite our spiritual taste buds. With our souls’ senses heightened, our vision begins to clear and sharpen, and we perceive the magic and mystery that lies beneath the surface of everyday things. Jesus used stories, symbols, parables, and paradoxes to reveal the “mysteries of the Kingdom.” The Word Incarnate, whose story is “the most tremendous tale of all,” revealed the magic of ordinary things, like seeds, sowers, trees, food, and drink in order to unlock the portals of the imagination and awaken our longing for infinite love and joy.[i] He is the storyteller par excellence and the bearer of Good News from a far-off country, the “happy homeland of the Trinity,” which is our true origin and destiny.

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

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor’s Reflections: Eucharistic Communion and Seeing Those in Need
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that receiving the Eucharist “commits us to the poor” (1397). Why is this so? Receiving the Eucharist means that we enter into union with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. And being in Holy Communion with Jesus himself means something profound. Let’s consider one facet of this great mystery.... Read more
The Anawim and the Kerygma
By Colin and Aimee MacIver
Sarah: aged and barren. Joseph: rejected, betrayed, and enslaved. Moses: desperately cast afloat in a basket. Daniel: sent to death by lions. Mary: unknown, unmarried, unbelieved. Salvation history is the story of the poor ones, the bowed down, the lowly—the anawim , as they are named in Hebrew. In both the Old Testament and the New, God tends to... Read more
The Spiritual Life: Poverty, Purity of Heart, & Eucharistic Living
By Sr. Alicia Torres, FE
Free This article is part of a 3-year series dedicated to promoting the efforts of the National Eucharistic Revival in the United States. “The Body of Christ.” “Amen.” Each time we participate in Mass, we have the opportunity to encounter the Lord Jesus in the most intimate way through the reception of Holy Communion. This moment is the most practical... 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