Many writers and thinkers have tried to define Freemasonry but it really defeats definition. It is too complex, too profound in conception, to be easily expressed in words. Perhaps the simplest and best definition of all is the phrase ?the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.?
Our Masonic forefathers had an understanding of human needs and human aspirations. They may never have dreamed of the mindless computer that governs our lives, or the fission of matter which threatens our lives, but they understood human nature and what motivates the spirit of man.
Thus, from a simple process of using stone and mortar for building, they progressed to the most important of lifes functions. The building of character.
- Bro. Louis L. Williams (1899-1990)
From The Masonic Shop
What to do? What to do?
Yes our craft is dwindling. Most members are "over the hill". The "secret society" that isn't secret is slowly disintegrating.
With all the good Freemasons do, it's hard to believe that very few have an interest in joining our ranks. But it's true.
Is it because of us? I'm afraid it is. The Brethren themselves have become secretive. The most they do is wear a ring that few notice. So the 2B1 Ask1 slogan, that for years has made us hold back, has held back many good men joining our ranks.
Personally I agree with it. It was fun. Perhaps a matter of pride, in a sense. But times are changing. Much too often I hear “I want to join but don’t know how”.
The Pennsylvania Grand Lodge recently dropped the requirement and PA members can now openly solicit new Brothers. (New PA Rules) Hopefully this won't end up with some harassing friends and neighbors but I'm back to the “what to do?" in the title of this little "blog", if you will.
Going back a few hundred years when Masons were literally Stone Masons it made sense. You had to be good at your craft to join and joining wasn't easy. But in today’s world, our idea is to take good men and make them better. However, we can't "take" them. They have to come to us. When you look at it that way, 2B1 Ask1 doesn't make much sense.
With all the anti-Masonry around us I don't think we have much choice. Search on line for "Masonic" (Or anything pertaining to Freemasons, for that matter) and you get maybe one or two accurate pages about Freemasons, but also hundreds of pages of anti-Masonic mis-information. So what are we to do? I feel we have no choice but to solicit members openly. They need to know who we really are and where we come from.
Will I openly solicit? Uh... no. I'm old school. Set in my ways. Well, I won't go as far as to say I'm a "we never did it that way" kind of Mason. But I do realize that old habits die hard. Of course, if I was that stolid about it I wouldn't be offering Masonic regalia for our craft.
My whole idea of creating Masonic designs was/is to offer the ability for Brethren to kind of "advertise" us. If you wear a shirt or cap, use a coffee mug, stick on a sticker, hang a little plaque or whatever, you have the ability to create conversation about our craft. If we all "advertised" a bit more, perhaps the 2B1 Ask1 would have more punch.
But a “wearing of the S&C” brings a duty. We must be more vigilant in our ways. It can also be a curse to the craft. For instance, if you have a Masonic bumper sticker and you cut off that guy trying to change lanes… he’s not going to like you. He’s not going to like Freemasons. If you get too much change from the cashier and don’t notice, she may remember you and your ring. She won’t like Masons.
But, we are all human. Things like this are inevitable. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go out in public! We just need to govern ourselves accordingly as best we can. We’ll make mistakes, but in the end, the good works that Brothers do will be brought more to the forefront and maybe, just maybe, folks will realize what a great organization Freemasonry actually is. Hopefully even entertain the thought of becoming one of us.
Display our symbol proudly, Brothers. The Craft needs you to.
Then Is a Man a Mason? by Joseph Fort Newton
When he can look out over the rivers, the hills and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope and courage, which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic and as lonely as himself; and seeks to know, to forgive and to love his fellow man.
When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea even in their sins - knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.
When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them and above all, how to keep friends with himself.
When he loves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child.
When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
When starcrowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.
When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.
When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and see majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.
When he can look into a wayside puddle and sees something beyond mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see something beyond sin.
When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song; glad to live, but not afraid to die!
Such a man has found the only secret of Freemasonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world
Pity the Poor Secretary He needs it !
The Master of the Lodge gets the limelight, but the Master comes and goes annually, while the Secretary seems to go on forever!
The Secretary is the man whose duties range from
It is just as well to remember that the Secretary is often more important, in some respects at least, than any other official of the Lodge. He should not only be accorded the consideration involved in such case, but he should also be selected for his ability to fill all of the jobs of which the average member knows nothing.
- Priest and Pastor to that of lawyer
- General business manager
- Purchasing agent
- Computer wiz
- Office boy
- General advisor
- And continual factorum
Altogether, he has a real job and one which is very rarely appreciated.
- His bookkeeping involves a hundred and one accounts
- He minutes every action of the Lodge
- Notifies members of their degrees and even indulges in coaching new members and floor instruction at times
- He makes out vouchers and pays accounts
- iI a member is sick, he hears of it
- If he dies, he is called
- If a member is distressed, he is the first one sought out, and not infrequently he is called to settle family squabbles and to smooth out the rough spots in the daily life of Craftsmen.
~~~ THINGS WE CAN LEARN FROM A DOG ~~~
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
- Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
- Take naps and stretch before rising.
- Run, romp and play daily.
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you're not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout ...run right back and make friends.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
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