The journey toward life-giving transformation calls to each of us, inviting us to love more deeply, live more fully, and think more expansively. This is the journey of the gospels and the journey of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. For the mystical stories of Jesus and the magical stories of Beauty and the Beast portray the power of transformation and the paths toward life-giving transformation upon which we are meant to walk. Such transformation begins within. It is only by embarking on this hero’s inner journey that we have the strength and wisdom to look beyond external appearances and see the beauty that resides within us all. By undertaking this inward journey, we learn how to become the best versions of ourselves. Embracing the divine light that resides within and giving our time and attention to the best parts of ourselves, we feed and strengthen the beauty inside that longs to shine forth.
If you are intrigued by stories of people who reveal new paths and new possibilities—the growing child, the imaginative inventor, the creative artist, and the courageous explorer—then my newest book, The Gospel According to Beauty & the Beast is for you! Discover your own insights and develop new perspectives as Belle explores a strange, enchanted castle. Discern truths about how you perceive and judge the world as Beast discovers that the enchantress’ spell has simply made his physical form reflect his inner cruelty. It is his heart that must be transformed for the castle’s sorrow to turn to joy, and for hope to overcome despair. Only the transformation of Beast’s attitude and behavior can effect the final physical transformation that will break the enchantress’ spell and allow Beast and his castle servants to become truly human again.
Beast’s struggle to feed the friendship and love growing within him while refusing to yield to old impulses of fury and rage is beautifully captured in a Cherokee parable about two wolves. “A terrible fight is going on inside me,” an old Cherokee chief told his grandson. “There are two wolves constantly at war with each other. One wolf brings death and destruction. He is anger, fear, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, and ego. The other wolf brings life and renewal. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, generosity, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and every other person too.” The grandson gazed in fear at his grandfather before asking, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief sat in silence for a moment before answering: “The one you feed.”
If you are curious how to nurture the life-giving wolf within; if you are eager to explore life truths and question previous assumptions; if you are longing to glimpse paths toward transformation, The Gospel According to Beauty and the Beast: A Story of Transformation will guide you on your journey. In the pages of this book, I walk with you through the stories of Belle, Beast, and their fairytale friends alongside stories of Jesus, offering concrete tools to aid you on your way.
Like all good stories, the stories of the gospels and the stories of Beauty and the Beast are never really finished. They continue to roll around in our imaginations; their ideas continue to flow through our thoughts, inviting new wisdom, encouraging new hope, and inspiring new journeys toward transformation. Enjoy your own explorations of meaning and purpose, as you reflect on these stories and re-watch the films. As you read these pages, you will discover your own insights and find your own truths within the story. Add your own stories of personal and communal transformation to the never-ending story of transformation and discover your own happily-ever-after!