The Protestant Cinderella Story
Once upon a time, young Cinderella worked among the ashes in the house and among the animals out of doors. Her hair was dusty, her clothes were dirty and odorous. Some would call her life totally depraved.
The king of a great country loved the ash-covered Cinderella. Kissing her hand, he promised one day to marry her and make her a queen. No one else heard the king make the promise to Cinderella, but she knew he did, she could feel it.
To think that one day when the king returned, she would wear luxurious clothes and exotic perfumes and speak and walk and think and dance like royalty! She would dine on fine foods and sleep in a huge bed in the castle. These thoughts gave her eternal security as she daily scrubbed the floors and emptied the ashes and took care of the animals in her dirty and musty clothing.
A milkmaid asked Cinderella how she was so secure about her future in the kingdom for the king left her without anything but a promise.
“I know it in my heart.” Cinderella grabbed her chest and smiled dreamily.
“Just where is his kingdom, have you seen it?” the milkmaid was skeptical.
“No, it’s far, far away. We can’t see it.” Cinderella mused with a twinkle in her eye.
“Oh, it’s an invisible kingdom....” The maid scoffed. “What if you find out you hate the king once you get to know him or what if you hate the people in his kingdom? Can you leave?”
“Why no. I can’t,” Cinderella responded irresistibly, “the king chose me unconditionally and only me and there is nothing I can do about it. He is sovereign.”
Cinderella happily persevered tending the animals in her tattered clothes and dirty hair. She awaited the return of her king singing, “Someday my prince will come” and had faith they would live happily ever after.
The Catholic Cinderella Story
Once upon a time, young Cinderella worked among the ashes in the house and among the animals out of doors. Her hair was dusty, her clothes were dirty and odorous.
The king of a great country loved the ash-covered Cinderella.
Kissing her hand, he asked her to marry him and he would make her a queen. When Cinderella accepted, the king brought her to the castle and gave her a warm bath and clothed her in a beautiful white robe and the marriage contract was signed and indelibly sealed and she was anointed queen.
Though legally betrothed, the king went away to prepare their home and ready the wedding guests for the marriage supper.
Queen Cinderella lived in the castle as she prepared for the wedding ceremony, learning how to be a perfect queen. Her trousseau was ordered of the finest silk in purples and gold. Cinderella must be taught to walk and talk and dance and speak and even think and feel like a queen.
It certainly wasn’t magic, it took a great deal of discipline and sacrifice day in and day out. She listened to her teachers and practiced until she was exhausted.
One of her maids in waiting who watched Cinderella working so hard to be perfect wondered if the queen was worried about failing?
The queen thought that an odd question. “I trust my king, I will follow his lead. I cannot fail, for if I stumble, he is there to pick me up.”
The maid quizzed, “Do you then feel trapped? I mean, what if you find you hate being queen, can you leave the kingdom?”
“What an odd question, an unthinkable question?”
Cinderella answered, “The king has given me the freedom to leave if I wish to, for he loves me.”
The maid assured the queen that there would be plenty of time after the marriage supper to become perfect. She should relax, after all, the king couldn’t have that high of expectations from Cinderella who had lived in ashes all her life.
As often as she could the queen would put on a veil and go into the castle’s chapel and the king would secretly meet her there in street clothes and they would rehearse the wedding feast. Although she never actually got to see him, for that was being saved for the wedding ceremony, she could hear his voice as he promised would not be long till he would come again and receive her unto himself that where he was, there she may be also...and they would live happily ever after.