Submitted by D. Roy Murray, PDDGM
Adapted for use in The Educator by V.W. Bro. Norman McEvoy
As the material for my message has been gathered from various sources, such as an old Ancient Ritual, from writings by eminent Masonic personalities, from other publications and a few thoughts of my own, I have called it “Random Thoughts of Freemasonry“.
In our old Ritual the following passage occurs in the F.C. Degree :-
“Ages ago, our Order was first instituted, founded upon principles more durable than the metal wrought into the statutes of ancient Kings. Age after age rolled by, wave after wave of bright insidious sand curled about its feet and heaped their sliding grains against its sides, storm and tempest and the storm, through the attrition of the waves and sand of Life, through evil report as well as good. Freemasonry has maintained its beneficent influence, spreading wider and wider over the world.”
“Brethren this is our Heritage. What are we doing to preserve it today.
The Brother, who unfortunately, thinks that the only requisites to be considered a good Freemason consists of repeating, with some fluency, portions of the Ritual, or in correctly opening and closing the Lodge, or in giving with sufficient accuracy, the modes of recognition will hardly credit that statement.
He whose knowledge extends no further than these preliminaries, has scarcely advanced beyond the rudiments of the science. It is our duty as members of this ancient and honorable institution, to exert ourselves to the utmost, every one of us, from the Grand Master to the latest member raised to the sublime degree, to project a better image of ourselves, with honest endeavours, in an attempt to make this old world a better place to live in.
How can this be done?
In some Lodge closings, the following presentation is made:-
“We are admonished to practice outside the Lodge, those great moral duties that are inculcated in it, to do good unto all men, especially those of the household of the faithful, by liberal and diffusive charity, discover the happy and beneficial effects of this ancient and honorable institution.”
How many of us gave given this a second thought. ????
When we remove our aprons after the Lodge is untyled, we are prone to leave our Freemasonry right there.
How many times during the day in the stress of our modern life, do we remember the beautiful lessons we have been taught within the tyled walls of our Lodge Rooms.
Brethren, this attitude is a form of hypocrisy, and that is putting it bluntly, but nevertheless it is true, we preach brotherly love, relief and truth in our Lodges and,
in some instances proceed the next day to gouge and scratch and destroy our fellow-men for our own selfish achievements.
If this statement causes any of us Brethren to look inwardly at our Masonic Life, or if it has jarred any of us off our complacent seat, then the object of this message has been achieved.
Masonic Education must be given its proper place!!
However the purpose of Masonry is not primarily the sharing of knowledge, rather it is the creation of a certain spirit, indefinable, and which has its source, not just in historical facts and impressive ceremonies, but by the application of that knowledge by the individual to his daily life.
Freemasonry’s task is to develop a way of thinking and acting which reinforces the basic qualities of a good man, and gives these qualities a new application.
Freemasonry must help him realize, that in his relationship with his fellow man, he will be more than merely correct; that his actions will be guided, not by some rules which have been taught him, but by an inner compulsion to reach out, with understanding and helpfulness to all whom his own life touches.
Imagine the impact that Freemasonry would exert on World Affairs today.
“IF” and I capitalize the “IF” each one of us would make an honest endeavour to practice our Masonic Teachings in our daily lives.
Granted Freemasonry is exerting an influence in some areas as an organization, but the individual Mason is making a very meager contribution, despite the fact that the opportunities are unlimited and the rewards are most gratifying, not rewards with a price tag attached, but by an inner feeling of satisfaction from having achieved something worthwhile.
Today we seem to be more concerned with selfish attainment of material wealth than we are with the welfare of our less fortunate fellow-men particularly our Brother Freemasons.
There are a great many ways we can assist, and they are not always financial, a kindly visit to the sick, a friendly smile and handshake when we meet, a little common courtesy during our visits, but above all, honest dealings with each other.
You may say these are small things, yes very small things, but Brethren the little things of Life are far more valuable than much fine gold.
In conclusion Brethren, I would like to say that Freemasonry and kindness are synonymous terms. Be proud to proclaim that Freemasonry is a band of men bound together in the bonds of Brotherly love and affection that extends throughout the world.
To sum it all up, Freemasonry is kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, pity and concern for the unfortunate, resistance toward the wicked, help for the weak, trust in the strong, forgiveness for the penitent, love for one another and above all, reverence and love of God.
It is to be noted that this paper was presented 16 years ago, yet it feels to me as if it was written just today.
Brother Murray’s point has been made abundantly clear & it matters not where in the world we reside, the fact is that a great number of our Brethren & families are in dire need of assistance, not always financially, and, (if we are aware of such a need), we should feel obligated to make a personal effort to assist in whatever way we possibly can.
Have a Wonderful Day & God Bless