Central to the work of the Brotherhood is the Quest of the Holy Grail — the deeper meaning of the parable and the sacrament. To all is granted the keeping of something most precious — the indwelling Christ in our hearts.
The quest of the Holy Grail is "to seek mystical union with God through Christ, to attain spiritual perfection through purification, and to practice an ecstatic religion which keeps one unspotted from the world."
It proclaims the "gospel of faith - faith in God and love and immortality," and bids us to find it.
"The glory of our Castle and house is the Holy Grail It has spread our fame into every clime. Many have desired its mystery."
A mystery from the first has enshrouded the Legend of the Holy Grail. That the Grail was symbolic and intended to typify the Sacrament of the Holy Communion is abundantly clear from a thousand passages in the various versions of the story. All beyond this primary indication is indefinite, shadowy, impalpable.
Yet we feel as we read that the words employed are intended to convey some deeper meaning than bears on the face of it. The romance is more than a romance. It is also a secret written in cipher. Its mysticism is as marked as its mystery.
Throughout, there is a continual suggestion of hidden meanings, a recurrent insistence on things seen as types and symbols of things unseen. When Mallory tells us that 'the history of the Sancgreal is chronicled for one of the truest and the holiest that is in this world,' or an earlier poet that it was written by the hand of Our Lord Himself, it is clear that they meant to draw a clear line of demarcation between this story and the older secular romances of Arthur and his knights.
But wherein lies the difference between them? What is the key of the cipher? What is the Presence that haunts and hints at every turn in the path that lies through the hallowed ground?
The Quest for the Grail
The central service and mystery of our Brotherhood is the Communion of the Holy Supper, and its center is the Holy Cup. Around this Cup, or Grail, is organized the Knights of the Holy Grail.
The old English word from which we get the word 'holy,' we also derive 'health' and 'whole,' implying wholeness or the 'completed circle' of perfection of body, mind and spirit.
This completion of the circle implied in the word holy may be seen as written in symbol in images of the Grail cup and even hinted at in the Round Table of the Knights of King Arthur.
"And these men call this vessel
which gives them this grace — the Grail."
Grace can only be fully understood in the sense of the old Persian word Xvarnah, the light of glory, which coming into a man, graces him with powers or skills to achieve the greatness that is within him and fulfill his destiny.
"The kingdom of God is within you."
It is the light seen in the halo or aureole of saints, or the light that lights up the faces of those in love, a divine aura that does not merely reflect but transfigures.
Sometimes bestowed upon saints or righteous kings, it is the light hidden in the Grail which is bestowed only upon those who take up the Quest and prove themselves in the tests and trials that permit only the worthy few to call themselves Knights of the Holy Grail.
Only these are allowed to peer into the Grail and see its secrets, and drink from the Cup of unlimited life.
The mystic and the heroic mold alike after an exalted pattern. The valiant mission of the Knights, realized in the Quest, is strengthened by the principles and teachings of the Order, which aim to instruct the full-orbed man — body, mind, and soul.
(1) The body, its cleanness, health, and purity, that it is the "temple of the Holy Spirit," within which may be found the fabled Fountain of Youth. (2) The mind, the wealth of right knowledge, and the strategy of being prepared for success in the world. (3) The soul, its companionship with Christ.
The true Knight will put the principles of the Holy Grail, like the motto Excelsior, above his head, and be drawn upward by their irresistible pull for attainment and achievement.
"He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given" (Matthew 13:11)
The Holy Grail is a very personal quest to find the kingdom of heaven within oneself and obtain the treasured desires of one's heart. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Kingdom of Heaven
In the fellowship of the Knights of the Holy Grail, we share a deep spiritual and mystical sense of community. We gather often to study ancient Christian teachings, practice meditation and prayer, and share communal meals.
We feed our souls on the body and blood of Christ and strive to enter more deeply into the mysteries of the Grail and Christ's holy Church.
While not taking the religious vows of fighting monks like the Knights Templar, the life of a Knight of the Holy Grail is no less demanding.
Our aim is to cultivate the interior life, the "kingdom of heaven within," while we work for our daily bread. Members of the Order remain in the outside world and continue the activities of daily life while observing an inner life of prayer and communion.
Even while living and working in the world, it is possible for us to share in the mystical life, whereby we may become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
Herein are hidden many mysteries, which the Eastern Church calls deification or divinization, a spiritual process of restoration to the original man or woman of Paradise, created in the Image and Likeness of God.
Knights and Ladies often choose to live close to ancient churches, shrines, cemeteries or monasteries, separating themselves as much as possible from earthly distractions while concentrating their hearts and minds on the holy mysteries.
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