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On the Road to Knighthood
by Sir Steven
Forgette

July 22, 2009

What Is A Grail Knight?

A Grail Knight is someone who takes Knighthood & Chivalry very seriously. To him it is not merely a lark, a part time hobbey or a passing fancy. For the Grail Knight his vocation is holy and sacred . It defines who he is, at the very core of his being. The Grail Knight reaizes that all of life is a Quest - a never ending, Eternal Quest. He knows that it is the Quest itself that is important. Achieving that Quest is not important. Living The Grail Quest on a day to day basis, right to the very end, is what truly defines this Chivalric way of life. What follows are those virtues which I consider essential for anyone who wishes to aspire to "Grail Knighthood."

Courtesy:

To the Grail Knight courtesy involves much more than merely following the rules of etiquette. For him it is also an attitude, a way of presenting himself to the world at large. The Grail Knight carries himself proudly, maintains self-control. and accepts other's ill-mannered behavior with gentlemanly grace. He endeavors to adhere to social customs to the best of his ability. He is polite not only to his friends but also to strangers and enemies alike.
The Grail Knight considers the feelings of others and takes care not to offend anyone. He always demonstrates proper manners and tries to keep himself well groomed. He speaks tactfully and with kindness at all times. He will never knowingly insult or slander another person, even one he considers to be an enemy. If others choose to engage in insults or slander, and he has no other choice, the Grail Knight will simply walk away. He will always behave with dignity, refraining from emotional outbursts, excessive eating, drinking, foul language and other un-knightly and boorish acts.

Honesty:

The Grail Knight always tells the truth as he knows it. He may decline to speak or choose to withhold information, but he will never intentionally lie to anyone, even his enemies. He doesn't make promises lightly, but once he has given his "Word of Honor", he always keeps it.

Valor:

The Grail Knight demonstrates inyielding courage in the face of daunting adversity. There is no danger too great that would prevent him fro, fulfilling a promise or completing a mission or Quest. His commitment to his Chivalric Vocation is stronger than his fear of pain, hardship, or even death. The Grail Knight's valor is particularly evident in his struggle against the Forces of Darkness in our world. For him, it is an Eternal Crusade against those vices which seek to destroy our very civilization.

Honor:

The Grail Knight conducts himself with integrity at all times, regardless of the circumstances. He will continue to act in a morally sound manner even when he is by himself or when no one else whill know of his actions. For example: "It is an admirable act to give a drink of water to a thirsty friend, but an act of honor to give that same drink of water to a thirsty enemy." The Grail Knight has respect, not just for his "Fellow Knights" but for everyone else. It is not up to him to judge who is worthy of respect and who is not. He will show mercy to the repentant, and will refuse to inflict unnecessary suffering on anyone. The Grail Knight treats everyone with courtesy and respect. He will die before compromising his principles, betraying his Faith or abandoning a worthy cause or a person who is under his protection. He will always remain humble in his spirit as well as in his actions. H e speaks modestly of his deeds, if at all, simply grateful for the opportunity to live out his Knightly Vocation.

Generosity:

The Grail Knight will gladly share whatever he has with someone who is in need. He will give his last piece of bread to a hungry child, even if he must go without food for the rest of the day. He has a generous spirit, always willing to lend an ear to a troubled companion or to recognize a friend's accomplishments with lavish and sincere praise. The Grail Knight will avoid even the appearance of impropriety, striving always to remain pure in word, deed and thought. He engages in productive and positive activity at all times. He works diligently until he completes the job at hand. When not working, he spends his time studing, exercising his body, soul and spirit and hones his Chivalric Skills.

Optimistic:

Finally, the Grail Knight should always be truly optimistic. He is relentlessly cheerful and confident. He could not imagine a better way of life for himself than "The Grail Quest". He looks forward to each new day as a opportunity to bring more "Chivalry" into the world. He delights in the Companionship of others and his Fellow Knights and Quest Companions find in him a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope in times of despair.

Sincerely,
Your Friend & Brother Knight,
Sir Knight Steven M. Forgette, KCN

July 19, 2009

The Important Role of "The Round Table"

Down through the centuries, the idea and ideals set forth in "The Round Table" of King Arthur fame, have inspired many Knights as well as those who sought to live by those Chivalric Principles. Here is just a little information on what an important impact those virtues continue to have in today's world. It can be said that the "Round Table," in some ways predated our ideas of Democracy.
     "I shall now explain the wonders of The Round Table," said Merlin. "At this Table, no man can complain that he is at the head or foot, lower or higher than another. Every man is equal. And when a Knight is slain in battle, a new Knight will take his place and have his name inscribed upon the chair. The names of all the Knights who sit at King Arthur's Table will live forever."
     Then King Arthur looked at his Knights sitting at The Round Table, and said, "You must swear that you will never act unfairly, never in any way be unjust, and always show mercy to those who ask you for it. If you break your vow, you must forfeit your place at The round Table. Further, Knights of my court, you must always be Chivalrous to women, rich or poor. Do not do battle without good cause and never for worldly goods."
     Another source, describes the founding of "The Round Table in this way: .....On the day after the wedding, King Arthur had the Round Table placed in the great hall at Camelot. With his young bride at his side, he watched the noblest Knights of all his land enter the hall.
     "These Knights shall sit in True Brotherhood," King Arthur said quietly to Queen Guinevere. "Here shall be the fairest Fellowship and the truest Knighthood ever seen together in any realm of the world."
     The Archbishop of Canterbury blessed The Round Table and all its Knights with great ceremony. Then the Knights came forward together to repeat in homage to their King the Oaths of Knighthood: To speak the truth; to maintain the right; to practice courtesy; to despise the allurements of ease and safety; to maintain honor in every perilous adventure; to uphold Christianity; to destroy tyranny wherever it might be; to defend and protect to the uttermost women, the poor and the oppressed.
     King Arthur spoke to his Knights as they knelt before him.
     "Around this Table," he said, "none shall sit higher, none lower. Here shall a man's worth depend upon his valor, and his devotion, and his skill. You shall defend and help one another as Brother unto Brother."
     "Never forget this — a brave Knight will alwys be merciful. But a coward will never show gentleness nor mercy nor any manner of goodness. Yet always a good man will do to another man as he would be done to himself."
     "And if you would show loyalty to me, your King, you will ride forth and see that justice and mercy prevail throughout the length and breadth of this realm. This above all shall be the duty of the Knights of The Round Table." This was the vow taken by all the Knights of The Round Table — and every year they gathered to renew their vows.

July 9, 2009

The Forging of The Sword of Chivalry

The idea of Chivalry is a combination of truth, honor, valor, courage, courtesy, loyalty, kindness, purity, humility and compassion. All of these components come together to form the idea of Chivalry, just as different metals are forged together to create a fine sword.
     Chretien de Troyes called the Order of Chivalry, "The Highest Order that God hath ordained." Every person who wishes to follow the "Chivalric Path" as a Quest Companion or Grail Knight should pledge to live their lives by these ideals. Believe it or not - these ideals of Knighthood and Chivalry can still apply to our lives today!
     Unfortunately, there are many people in our modern-day world who care very little about living lives of honor. They very selfishly choose to live their lives as they please - no matter who they may hurt in the process. However, there are still some who endeavor to lead lives of true nobility and knightly honor. For my Fellow Quest Companions and Grail Knights who wish to do so, here are those "Mystical Metals" which you can use to forge your own "Sword of Chivalry."

  • Always respect and obey the Law, unless the Law is evil or wrong.
  • Always be kind and never cruel.
  • Always give mercy to those that ask for it, and even to those who do not ask for it.
  • Always be loyal to your "Pledged Word," speak the truth and never lie.
  • Always defend what is Good & Right and seek to stop injustice.
  • Always have compassion for the weak, frail, and oppressed - and seek to help them in any way.
  • Always be charitable to others and give to those that are in need.
  • Always defend, protect and support those that are in distress.
  • Always love your Country, Family, Religion (or spiritual beliefs) and uphold them in every way.
  • Always treat others the way you yourself would want to be treated. Treat others the way that you would want those that you love to be treated.
  • In all ways, strive to live lives of purity and true nobility.

If you want to temper your "Sword of Chivalry" even further, throw these ingredients into the mix:
     Respect others and their rights. Maintain your principles. Do not let your actions dishonor someone else. For by dishonoring them, you dishonor yourself and the Code of Chivalry. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Never betray a trust, always stay to the Purity of Truth.
     Be considerate of others. Help those wh are in need. Be thankful to those who help you. Show respect where respect is due. Exhibit courage in word and deed. Defend the wak and innocent. Never abandon a friend, someone in need, or a noble cause. Resist cruelty and injustice in all of its many forms.

April 4, 2007

All True Knights are indeed Knights of The Quest, the Eternal Quest—for it is a Quest that never ends. The Grail is that illusive something that is always just out of reach. It is that which inspires us to become better than who we are. I remember the famous quote, that is very apropos to The Holy Grail: Our reach should always exceed our grasp—or what's a Heaven for? I have always found that once I have attained a certain goal, a kind of depression or discontentment sets in. I end up asking myself: Is that all there is? Or: What do I do now? What is my next goal? I was always restless and looking for the next Grand Adventure.
     Then I discovered what I refer to as The True Grail. I now realize that it is The Quest itself that is important—not the attainment of that Quest. Now, I look on each new day as an opportunity for High Adventure in the service of God, my neighbors, humanity, the greater Good. I try to live my life in service to The Light, as opposed to The Darkness that continually strives to engulf our very existence.
     I will always consider myself to be a Grail Knight—for in my own humble opinion, that is the highest form of Knighthood there is. The Grail Knight realizes that he is far from perfect and that he lives in an imperfect world. His goal, his vocation, is to endeavor to improve himself and to make this world of ours a better place in which to live. The Grail Knight struggles to do so not only for himself, but for all others—those who are here now and for all the unborn generations yet to come.
     One of my all-time favorite quotes is this: A Knight may Quest for The Holy Grail over land & sea, in many climes, without avail. Yet, he may find it, in the cup of cold water, extended to a thirsty person at his own front door.


March 22, 2007

Chivalry's importance to the evolution of Western Civilization has always been argued about by critics. Some have referred to it as The most glorious institution that man himself ever devised and The splendid institution which threw its luster over so many ages of gloom and anarchy. There were other critics who condemned Chivalry for its glorification of war, its contempt for social inferiors, and its picturesque mimicry of high sentiment, heroism, love and courtesy.
     Centuries ago, there were some desperate attempts to revive the Old Code of Chivalry, but as time went on, only a few traces of this lost institution remained. Religion no longer had much influence on the military spirit of men; Knights gave up their ancient splendor and became mere soldiers, while the fine art of Gallantry turned into nothing but licentiousness.
     In truth, Chivalry back then catered to both the virtues and vices of humanity. Even so, the qualities of valor, steadfastness and justice, of courtesy, loyalty and obedience—although no longer publicly embraced, were never entirely forgotten. The noble goals of Chivalry left an enduring mark on our culture. It would be difficult for anyone to deny that modern courtesy descended from the ideal of Medieval Chivalry.
     It can be said that Chivalry proved as susceptible as any other ideal to the perilous pitfalls of practice. As a Knight, who takes the Code of Chivalry very seriously, I will neither challenge nor defend these arguments at this time. My purpose here is simple. It is to provide information on the subject of Chivalry—an institution which flourished magnificently for a brief period only, yet whose influence lives on today.
     May it be the Quest of Chivalry-Now to awaken this cultural ideal from its slumber. It is so desperately needed in today's world. So, to answer the age-old question, Is Chivalry Dead? I have only this to say, taken from a book written by Charles Edward Pogue entitled Dragonheart:

The right can never die,
If one man still recalls.
The Words are not forgot,
If one voice speaks them clear.
The Code forever shines,
If one heart holds it bright.

May the members of Chivalry-Now rekindle that spark of Chivalry, until it blazes like the sun, illuminating the whole world.


March 21, 2007

Just a few Chivalric Thoughts, to start your day.
     This world is an uncertain realm, filled with danger. Where Honor is constantly undermined by the Powers of Evil. Where Freedom is sacrificed, when the weak are oppressed by the strong. But there are those who oppose these powerful forces. Who have dedicated their lives in service to the Greater Good, through the Code of Chivalry/Grail Code. They are members of Chivalry-Now!
     The Virtues which are considered essential to a good and true Knight are: Valor, Unswerving Loyalty, Determination to fight for the Good and the Right, Generosity, Love, Devotion, Sacrifice and Joyful Courage.
     One of the most popular and famous images of the Knight is precisely that of the Knight-Errant—the wandering adventurer who goes out into the wide world with no other possessions than his horse, armor and weapons, no other resources than his martial skill and courage. The Knight-Errant would wander the wide world in search of adventure and opportunities to Right Wrongs and fight Injustice.
     As Knights we must preserve the ideals of personal bravery, protection of the weak, and above all an indomitable and unequivocal daring in the face of adverse conditions.
     Knights should be inspired to a fearless dedication, regardless of self, in the cause of The Code of Chivalry. True Chivalry is that spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic and generous actions.

Your Quest Brother,
Sir Knight Steven M. Forgette


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