Monday, February 02, 2015

2015-02-01 - A Year With The Harvard Classics: King Arthur's Knights Find Holy Grail

February 1 - King Arthur's Knights Find Holy Grail - the intrepid Knights of the Round Table where startled by "crackling and crying of thunder" which rang through the great hall of the castle.  Then there entered "The Holy Grail covered with white samite." Read from Malory's The Holy Grail, Vol. 35, pp.112-123.

"Not long after that Joseph was laid in his deadly bed. And when King Evelake saw that he made much sorrow, and said: For thy love I have left my country, and sith ye shall depart out of this world, leave me some token of yours that I may think on you. Joseph said: That will I do full gladly; now bring me your shield that I took you when ye went into battle against King Tolleme. Then Joseph bled sore at the nose, so that he might not by no mean be staunched. And there upon that shield he made a cross of his own blood. Now may ye see a remembrance that I love you, for ye shall never see this shield but ye shall think on me, and it shall be always as fresh as it is now. And never shall man bear this shield about his neck but he shall repent it, unto the time that Galahad, the good knight, bear it; and the last of my lineage shall have it about his neck, that shall do many marvellous deeds."   (Le Morte D'Arthur, Vol. II, Book XIII, Chapter XI).

My father used to say, "We are all children of God and therefore have a responsibility to live up to that genetic heritage."  For him, the vision of being an offspring of the Divine was not so much mystical as ethical.  It was about the responsibility that such a familial heritage required in order to live up to one's potential and promise.  Like Malory's vision of the relationship between Joseph of Aramathie and Sir Galahad (above) my father's saying was a reminder.  Both bonded by the vision of a "blood-line" that instills in those who remember its origin and the vision of what it means to live a life of meaningful service and faith.  For Galahad it was about that quest which brought to fulfillment his faith. For my father it was a journey that embodied the essence of the greatest commandment, "Love the Lord your God, with all your heart  and with all your soul and with all your mind. . .and your neighbor as yourself."  As quests go, its one that continues to inspire me.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Something to remember about Galahad: the quest cost him his life. (I teach this stuff.) Of course, there is another metaphor worth pondering.