HR-LP1 – Introduction – Encountering Foreign Worlds with The Little Prince with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B. – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Introduction – Encountering Foreign Worlds with The Little Prince with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B.

Fr. Mauritius Wilde and Kris McGregor discuss “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Fr. Mauritius shares his personal connection with the novella, which he discovered while reading bedtime stories to children. He reflects on the Catholic influence in the story and its universal appeal, attributing its resonance to its beauty and wisdom, akin to God’s nature.

They delve into the significance of seeing each human as a whole world, illustrated through the little prince’s encounters with characters on different planets. Fr. Mauritius highlights how individuals inhabit unique worlds with varying perceptions of time, language, and meaning. He talks about the importance of understanding others’ perspectives to bridge communication gaps and avoid misunderstandings, drawing examples from the novella’s portrayal of stars and the differing interpretations among characters.

Fr. Mauritius reminds us of the value of taking time to engage with literature like “The Little Prince” as a means of deepening empathy and connection in an ever-changing cultural landscape.


Discerning Hearts Reflection Questions:

  1. Exploring Catholic Themes: How does Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Catholic background influence the themes and messages found within “The Little Prince”?
  2. Universality of Beauty and Wisdom: In what ways do the beauty and wisdom portrayed in “The Little Prince” resonate with Catholic teachings and reflect aspects of God’s nature?
  3. Seeing Others as Unique Worlds: How does the concept of each person being their own world, as depicted in the novella, relate to Catholic understanding of human dignity and individuality?
  4. Understanding and Empathy: How can the lessons from “The Little Prince” about understanding others’ perspectives and languages be applied to fostering empathy and unity within Catholic communities and beyond?
  5. Bridging Communication Gaps: Reflecting on the examples of misunderstanding in the novella, how can Catholics work towards better communication and dialogue, particularly across generational and cultural divides?

One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. 

The story of a stranded pilot, an extraordinary little boy, and their remarkable friendship, The Little Prince has become a cherished fable for generations of readers. As enchanting as it is wise, this beloved classic captures the mysteries of the heart and opens us to the meaning of life and the magic of love.

taken from the back an edition of the book no longer in print

 


Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome. For more information about the ministry of the Missionary Benedictines of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, NE

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