Why “The Grail”?

The Legend of the Grail

Since time immemorial, long before the time of Christ, the sacred cup and the cauldron of plenty, providing food and drink for the hungry and thirsty, these have been symbols of the mysterious link between heaven and earth, of the presence of the divine within the ordinary things of everyday life.

The universal human search for the transcendent, for the deep awareness of the living God, and the transforming love of God in our own lives and in our world, have been symbolized as a heroic quest for an object of infinite beauty and grace.

In early Christian times, the cup became identified with the cup which Jesus used at the Last Supper and which Joseph of Aramathea used to catch the blood of Christ as he hung on the cross. His clan was the keeper of this cup, and it brought forward a spirit of deep love, generosity, service and sacrifice for all peoples, especially the stranger. With this Spirit, his clan flourished.

After Joseph of Aramathea died, one of the heirs of the clan committed a great sin against compassion. He refused to help a beggar who appeared at his door asking for food. From that moment a drought came to the land, disease spread and wars broke out. The country became a wasteland. The heir himself became deathly ill and the Grail cup disappeared.

A number of people came to the heir’s house in search for the Holy Grail cup. One of them didn’t even look at the dying heir, but kept searching for the Cup. He then went out of the heir’s house, and went from village to village in search for the cup. He came upon a widow who needed help fixing the roof of her house, then in the next village a poor old man asked him to help him plant his crops. He continued and his heart was slowly touched by the misery and suffering. No one had seen the cup while he helped all he met.

His journey brought him back to the heir’s house in rags and pennyless and without the cup. As soon as he saw the old heir he asked “What ails you? What is the Grail? Whom does it serve? And the Cup appeared.

These are the crucial questions. What is the cause of all the suffering in our world? What and who are we as the Grail? And whom does the Grail serve?

By Sally Timmel, Grail member from United States of America.

The Symbol of the Grail

The Grail chalice,
emblem of our movement,
speaks of that basic attitude
of the human before the Divine,
the attitude of receptivity.
Wide open, the chalice stands empty,
Ready to receive, eager to be filled…
May we all stand before God…
before the Mystery… like that,
in a deep awareness of the fact
that our whole life and every minute of it,
is a gift from God´s love…
aware that we are empty vessels by ourselves
but confident in the constant outpouring of God´s love
May we all be able to say again and again,
in recognition of God´s giving Love:
My cup is overflowing.

By Rachel Donders, former Grail Internacional President