Quest for the Holy Grail

In the old legend "The Quest of the Holy Grail", two characters attract our attention: Galahad and Perceval. The significant difference between the two is that Galahad wins with ease and Perceval with great difficulty.

In his quest for the grail, Galahad goes as one on a holiday journey. He encounters no enemies; meets no temptations; experiences no conflicts. 

Not so of Perceval. From the start he has a struggle. Enemies challenge every foot of his way. Tempations beset him on all sides. When he reaches the grail, he is weary, hurt and bleeding.

Is Galahad, then, the hero of the legend? Not at all. Perceval is the hero. Valor untested is no valor. Un-tempted virtue is, at best, what Milton calls "a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary."

The Rev. John R Gunn writes, "For the training of moral beings, temptation is necessary. It is through temptation that we gain moral strength. If we had no foes to vanquish, we would never be victors."