Names and places changed, but a true story...
My daughter Mary, 19, came to me and told me she met a boy from Italy and wanted to go with him for 6 months back home. After 3, she wanted to come home. He got angry and walked out. The family kicked her out on the street. A few hours later, the boys sister found out and came over and picked her up and took her to her home. She did not have any clothes, money, food, purse, passport or phone.
The next day the sister insisted on going back over and getting her belongings. As they did the boyfriend told Mary to get in the car and he would take her to Rome and put her up in a hotel. He did pay for her hotel and flight back, but left her without any money or food. The flight did not leave for 3 days and she did not have transport to the airport.
She called me crying. I started shaking, but kept my composure. I received all her contact information and hotel and sat down trying to decide what to do. While I was looking at my hands I noticed my mason ring. I quickly picked up the phone and called my Grand Lodge.
I was passed into an officer who told me it would be several hours before he could contact anyone in Italy (after hours). I had told Mary to lock her door and go to sleep.
I received a call from Rome and was assured the Grand Secretaries wife was on her way over. I told her to wake her up. She knocked on her door at 7:15am and asked if she was Mary. Mary answered in the affirmative. And the woman said, I'm here for you. Your dad sent me." She took her to breakfast, Shopping, Lunch, then called me and said, "Dad, I love you." They then took her in and kept her til her plane left.
If masonry does nothing else for me, I am more than satisfied to be a Mason.
He slowly opened the door to his locker. He hung his police uniform on the hooks and took out his suit. It was Lodge night.
He watched as the last employee left his business, locked the building and made the evening bank drop. He then headed off with a whistle on his lips and a spring in his step. It was Lodge night.
The young man helped his wife clear the table. He then said good night to his children and snuck into his room to change his clothes. Upon leaving he smiled at his wife and kissed her. It was Lodge night.
It had been a hard day. Navigating through the complexities of the legal system was rewarding work. It was also tiring. Normally he would have been headed home for a relaxing evening. But tonight was not normal and he felt none of the usual fatigue as tonight was Lodge night.
Life had not been pleasant since his wife died. His family lived far away and with each passing year it became harder and harder to do the simple things in life. And most of all he missed his life long partner. Tonight he felt a little less pain and life didn't seem nearly as bad. It was Lodge night.
The accident had been terrible. But there was some consolation that his skills as a doctor had saved a life. Still it would not be easy and there were possibilities of complications. But for a while he could place his worries in the hands of others as tonight was Lodge night.
It is hard looking for work when the job market is scarce. Each day he faced the nameless horde of people who continue to tell him that he was not needed. He faced rejection and the possibility of hardship at every turn. Tonight he knew he was wanted and needed, it was Lodge night.
He sat alone in the small room wearing clothes that were not his. He had received warm welcomes from a number of men he didn't know and a few he did. Now with an ancient relic of a bygone age they told him to wait patiently, yet he looked forward to it with anticipation. It was his first Lodge night.
From all walks of life we come. We donate our time to an age honored tradition. We donate our money to help those who cannot help themselves. We gather in fellowship and part in peace. For a while we can lay aside our differences and worries to bask in our shared experiences. We can talk with men who are our equals, men who work to better themselves. Tonight is Lodge night and I am glad I am a Mason.
Freemasonry is the oldest, largest Fraternity in the world. It's members have included Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Statesmen, Generals, Admirals, Supreme Court Chief Justices, corporate CEOs, opera stars, movie stars, and probably, your next door neighbor. And Masonry is always ready to welcome good men in the Fraternity. It's ready to welcome YOU, if in your heart you can answer yes to a few questions.
Do you believe that there is such a thing as honor, and that a man has a responsibility to act with honor in everything he does?
IF YOU ANSWERED YES, YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER BECOMING A MASON.
Freemasonry offers much to its members -- the opportunity to grow, the chance to make a difference, to build a better world for our children. It offers the chance to be with and work with men who have the same values and ideals -- men who have answered YES to these questions.
It's easy to find out more. Just find a Mason and ask him about Masonry. You probably know several Masons. Perhaps you've seen the Square and Compasses on a pin or tie tack or bumper sticker. If you know where the lodge is in your community stop by, or you can look up the number of your local Masonic lodge in the phone book or a local newspaper in the meetings section and find the secretary of the lodge. He'll be happy to help you.
The danger in an organization such as ours is that, while it begins with ideals and principles, the organization may become the greatest enemy to those ideals and principles. Some person has imagined a conversation between the devil and some angels. The angels proudly told the devil that a way had been found to defeat him. When he asked how it would be done, they told him that God was going to give men lofty ideals and challenging principles to be proclaimed to the world. The devil just laughed, and told them that he could not be defeated that way, for all he would have to do would be to institutionalize the ideals and the principles, and it would only be a matter of time until men would forget the ideals and principles as they tried to keep the institution alive.
As I once heard a friend of mine explain, "first the idea creates the organization, then the organization chokes the idea." We can become so concerned about keeping an organization alive that we forget the ideas and ideals that give it birth. We begin by having a great ideal force our thinking and acting into new channels, and we end by serving an organization. Freemasonry must be a force to be used, and not a form to be served.
- Bro. Thomas Sherrard Roy (1884-1980), Dare We Be Masons?-1966