Rosicrucian Writings Online

I Longed for a Carven Chalice

By Soror Etta M. Rice
[From The Rosicrucian Digest August 1939]

WHEN a student has once tasted the wine of mystical understanding, it is his first impulse to find a way of sharing its goodness with his fellow men, and it is only natural that he should try to find a vessel worthy of his offering.
"I gathered purple grapes
In a vineyard
And longed for a carven chalice
To hold my wine.
I refused every cup
As too small
Or unworthy.
Now I gather purple grapes
For a new vintage
Nor yearn for a carven chalice
To hold my wine.
For each empty cup
Though poor and unburnished
Is a grail."
Milton, heavy with the burden of his message to mankind, chafed at his blindness until he learned the lesson expressed so beautifully in the poem On His Blindness:
                        God doth not need
Either man's work or His own gifts, who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best.
How we long to discard the yoke of daily tasks and go forth as the disciples of old, taking no thought for the morrow. Fortunately the yoke is heavy and not easily cast aside. The ability to adjust ourselves to the bearing of it in the service of those near to us is the greatest test of our sincerity of purpose. To go on with our mundane tasks, serene in the knowledge that we are, each of us, in the place that our own efforts and desires have placed us, and looking forward to greater opportunities for service in the future, is to best bear His mild yoke.
A fellow student once said: "It is what we are rather than what we do or say, that is of greatest service to those around us." And it is here that we are so often weighed and found wanting. Our immediate problem is not one of far places or spectacular missions. It is, rather, continuing on the way seeking the light until we become so infused with its radiance that, self forgotten, we reflect its power and beauty upon those about us. We will have no need to go forth on a search for the Grail; when worthy to bear it, we shall find it ready for the wine we have pressed from the grapes of the Master's vineyard.

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