Have you ever heard the story of the Fisher King? It begins when the king is just a boy having to spend the night alone in the forest in order to prove his courage so that he may become king. While he is spending the night alone he is visited by a sacred vision. Out of a fire appears the Holy Grail – a symbol of God’s divine grace. A voice said to the boy “you shall be keeper of the Grail” so that it may heal the hearts of all men. But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power, fame, glory and beauty. In this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy but invincible; like God. So he reached into the fire to take the Grail to use for his own purposes, but the Grail vanished leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Shortly after becoming King he set about searching for the Grail. He exhausted all of his energies and the energies of his entire army and wise men. As the boy grew older, the wound grew deeper. Until one day life for him lost its reason. He was so filled with pain that he had no faith in any man, not even himself. He could not love – or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die.
One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the King alone for he had been abandoned by all. Being a fool, he was simple-minded. He didn’t see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. He asked the King “what ails you friend?” The King replied “I’m thirsty…I need some water to cool my burning throat.” So the fool took a cup from beside the bed and filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the King began to drink he realizes the wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the Holy Grail; that which he sought his whole life. He turns to the fool and asks with amazement “how did you find what my brightest and bravest could not?” The fool replied “I don’t know – I only knew that you were thirsty.”