The Grail Code 
A self-help book?

Sometimes I wonder whether The Grail Code would have done better over there in the self-help section. Business sure looks lively over there. It looks as though people are willing to pay any price to have someone tell them why they feel so lousy.

Well, we could have told them that. In fact we did.

This self-help stuff is an industry worth millions upon millions of dollars. “Why am I miserable?” everyone seems to be asking. Thousands of books try to answer that question. You’re miserable because you let people walk all over you; you’re miserable because you’re not getting enough antioxidants; you’re miserable because you haven’t mastered the four easy steps to self-fulfillment; you’re miserable because your clothes are all wrong for your body type.

And here we sit, at the other end of the bookstore, with the real answer: you’re miserable because you’re a sinner.

Think of Lancelot in the Walter Map romances, or in Sir Thomas Malory’s versions of them. Why was he miserable? He had all the wealth he could possibly imagine; he won every battle he ever fought; he was more widely admired than any other man in the kingdom, not excluding Arthur himself; and he had the love of the most beautiful woman in Britain.

How could he possibly be miserable?

The answer is easy: he was miserable because he was a sinner. His sin kept him from the one thing that could really bring him contentment, which was an encounter with the Holy Grail. As long as he was a slave to sin, he was excluded from the kingdom of God.

Like any good self-help book, ours gives you the cure as well as the diagnosis. There is a way out. Confess and repent: acknowledge your sin and turn away from it.

Isn’t that easy?

Well, no—actually, it’s the hardest battle you’ll ever fight. Just ask Lancelot.

But the principle is easy to understand. You don’t need seven easy steps or five sure-fire techniques or the top ten secrets only the pros know. All you need is confession and real repentance, and the grace of God takes care of the rest.

That’s the answer all those people over there in the self-help section are looking for. Do you think they can hear us at this distance? Hey! Over here! This is what you’re looking for!

No, they’re not listening.

One Response to “A self-help book?”


    I’m always amazed at the quality of your posts. Keep up the good work.

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(C) 2006 Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey