The Statue of Liberty

Posted by on Jul 1, 2010 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

As the Fourth of July approaches, it seems fitting to reflect upon one of the major patriotic architectural structures in the United States, the Statue of Liberty. This representation of Freedom was designed and constructed by a Frenchman by the name of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. A number of the French sponsors, as well as Bartholdi himself, were freemasons. As Bartholdi built the statue, he actually assembled it in Paris where he worked. After doing so, he showed it to his Masonic friends of Lodge Alsace Lorraine in Paris and delivered a lecture and gave the Lodge a report on its creation. While Bartholdi was constructing the statue in Paris, the pedestal, upon which the statue rests today, was being constructed in this country where it now stands. On a very rainy day, August 5, 1884, a cornerstone dedication was conducted by the Grand Lodge of New York. At the dedication, the Most Worshipful Grand Master posed this question: “Why call upon the Masonic Fraternity to lay the cornerstone of such a structure as is here to be erected?” He responded to his own question with: “No institution has done more to promote liberty and to free men from the trammels and claims of ignorance and tyranny than has Freemasonry.” Finally, the statue joined the pedestal with a dedication ceremony held October 28, 1886. Yes, Freemasons everywhere can well be proud of the key role played by the Craft in the inception and erection of this great memorial, and each of us should renew his vows and obligations to spread further the light of freedom, truth, tolerance, and justice which the Statue of Liberty so grandly...

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A Masonic Brotherhood

Posted by on Jun 1, 2010 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

One of the most impressive and touching things in human history is that certain ideal interest have been set apart as especially venerated among all peoples. Guilds have arisen to cultivate the interests embodies in art, science, philosophy, fraternity, and religion, to train men in their service, to bring their power to bear upon the common life of mortals and send through that common life the glory of the ideal, as the sun shoots its transfiguring rays through the great dull cloud, evoking beauty from the brown earth. Such is Masonry, which unites all these high interests and brings to their service a vast, world-wide fraternity of free men, built upon a basis of spiritual faith, whose mission it is to make men friends, to refine and exalt their lives, to turn them from the semblance of life to homage for truth, righteousness, and character. Forming one great society over the whole globe, it upholds every noble and redeeming ideal of humanity, making all good things better by its presence, like a meadow that rests on a subterranean stream. He who would reckon the spiritual possessions of our race must take account of the genius of Masonry and its ministry to the highest life of man. Joseph Fort...

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Warmth of Masonry

Posted by on Apr 1, 2010 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

I found this tale, and thought I’d share. It was a tale of Masonic men surrounding a campfire in the Old West, at night, discussing the Fraternity and its teachings. One old man listened patiently, and finally spoke up: ‘I can tell you more about Masonry in a little example than some of the great Masonic philosophers can in books. Everybody stand up, and gather in a circle around the campfire.’ They did that. ‘Now, everybody hold hands with the man next to him.’ They did that, too. ‘Now what do you see looking ahead?’ ‘The face of a Brother Mason though the flames.’ ‘What do you feel in front of you?’ ‘The warmth of the fire, and the comfort it brings on a cool night.’ ‘What do you feel at your side?’ ‘The warm hand of a Brother.’ ‘OK. Now, drop the hands, and turn around.’ They did so. ‘Now what do you see, looking ahead?’ ‘Complete darkness.’ ‘What do you feel, looking ahead?’ ‘A sense of loneliness, of being alienated.’ ‘What do you feel at your side?’ ‘Nothing at all.’ ‘What do you feel on your backside?’ ‘The warmth of the fire.’ ‘So it is with Masonry,’ said the old man. ‘In Masonic gatherings, you can feel the warmth of Masonic interaction, you can see the face of a Brother through the light Masonry brings to you, and you can always feel the warm hand of a Brother. When you turn away from Masonry, and are out in the world, you see darkness, feel alienated and alone, and do not feel the warm hand of your Masonic Brother. But Masonry, and the warmth and light it brings, are just a turn away from you.’ —Unknown Submitted by Wor. Ted Korosy,...

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Building

Posted by on Oct 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Brick by brick the Masons builded Till the highest cross was gilded With the glory of the sun, Till the noble task was done. Step by step and one by one Wall and rafter, roof and spire Men were lifting ever higher, Not in some mysterious way— With the tasks of every day. Architects may do their dreaming, See their visioned turrets gleaming High above them in the skies; Yet the wisdom of the wise Cannot make one roof arise— Hearts must sing and hands must labour, Man must work beside his neighbour, Brick on brick and toil on toil Building upward from the soil. So we build a lodge or nation, On the firmly fixed foundation Of a flag or craft or creed; But on top of that we need Many a noble thought and deed, Day by day and all the seven, Building slowly up to heaven, Till our lives the lives shall seem Of the Master Builder’s dream. Douglas...

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Masonic Badge of Honor

Posted by on Sep 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

No golden medallion or sparkling gem rare Is this purest of “badges” for brother to wear, It never will tarnish but will stay clean and white If each Entered Apprentice just upholds what is right. With this symbol of honor and qualities good Comes the loyal protection of Lodge Brotherhood, And a white lambskin apron each surely may wear If his morals are pure and his actions are fair. Though our ancient ancestors belonged to a Guild And used square and compass cathedrals to build, Each man wore an apron of sturdiest leather, All men operative and working together. Their skill and sure mastery of “trying the square” Build Gothic cathedrals, towering high in the air, Yet the building of masons, those traveling free Had greater perfection and true majesty. Aprons meant service and noblest of goals, Builders working in stone, their ascendants in souls, And the white lambskin apron is symbolic in part Of the spiritual search in the depth of man’s heart. Mrs. Margaret Archibald (wife of the late Bro. John Archibald of Bordentown,...

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The White Leather Apron

Posted by on Aug 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Here’s a toast to the Lambskin, more ancient by far Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagles of war; ‘Tis an emblem of innocence, nobler to wear Than the Garter of England or order as rare. Let the king wear the purple and point to his crown Which may fall from his brow when his throne tumbles down; But the badge of a Mason has much more to give Than a kingdom so frail that it cannot long live. Let the field-marshal boast of the men he can guide, Of the infantry columns and the heroes that ride; But the White Leather Apron his standard outranks, Since it waves from the East to the Death River’s banks. ‘Tis the shield of the orphan, the hostage of love; ‘Tis the charter of Faith in the Grand Lodge above; While the high and the low, in its whiteness arrayed, Of one blood and one kin by its magic are made. Kingdoms fall to the earth; cities crumble to dust; Men are born but to die; swords are made but to rust; But the White Leather Apron, through ages passed on, Has survived with the lodge of the Holy St. John. So a toast to the Lambskin, which levels, uplifts- To the White Leather Apron, most priceless of gifts. ‘Tis the badge of a Mason, more ancient by far Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagles of war. Franklyn W....

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The Little Lodge of Long Ago

Posted by on Jun 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

The little Lodge of long ago— It wasn’t very much for show; Men met above the village store, And cotton more than satin wore, And sometimes stumbled on a word, But no one cared, or no one heard. Then tin reflectors threw the light Of Kerosene across the night And down the highway served to call The faithful to Masonic Hall. It wasn’t very much, I know, The little Lodge of long ago. But, men who meet in finer halls, Forgive me if the mind recalls With love, not laughter, doors of pine, And smoky lamps that dimly shine, Regalia tarnished, garments frayed, Or cheaply bought or simply made, And floors uncarpeted, and men Whose grammar falters now and then— For Craft, or Creed, or God Himself, Is not a book upon a shelf: They have a splendour that will touch A Lodge that isn’t very much. It wasn’t very much – and yet This made it great: there Masons met— And, if a handful or a host, That always matters, matters most. The beauty of the meeting hour Is not a thing of robe or flow’r, However beautiful they seem: The greatest beauty is the gleam Of sympathy in honest eyes. A Lodge is not a thing of size, It is a thing of Brotherhood, And that alone can make it good. Douglas...

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Friendship

Posted by on Apr 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Masonry is Friendship—friendship, first, with the Great Companion, of whom our own hearts tell us, who is always nearer to us than we are to ourselves, and whose inspiration and help is the greatest fact of human experience. To be in harmony with His purposes, to be open to His suggestions, to be conscious of fellowship with Him—that is Masonry on its Godward side. Then, turning manward, friendship sums it all up. To be friends with all men, however they may differ from us in creed, colour, or condition; to fill every human relation with the spirit of friendship; is there anything more or better than this that the wisest and best of men can hope to do? Such is the spirit of Masonry; such is its ideal, and if to realize it all at once is denied us, surely it means much to see it, love it, and labour to make it come true. Nor is this Spirit of Friendship a mere sentiment held by a sympathetic, and therefore unstable, fraternity, which would dissolve the concrete features of humanity into a vague blur of misty emotion. No; it has its roots in a profound philosophy which sees that the universe is friendly, and that men must learn to be friends if they would live as befits the world in which they live, as well as their own origin and destiny., For, since God is the life of all that was, is, and is to be; and since we are all born into the world by one high wisdom and one vast love, we are brothers to the last man of us, forever! For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, and even after death us do part, all men are held together by ties of spiritual kinship, sons of one eternal Friend. Upon this fact human fraternity rests, and it is the basis of the plea of Masonry, not only for freedom, but for friendship among men. Joseph Fort...

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The Man in the Hat

Posted by on Mar 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Did you know prior to 1896 all Masons wore a hat at Lodge meetings? It was a symbol of freedom and equality. The top hat was first seen in 1797. Though wearing a top hat by the Master has become part of our custom, there are examples of other styles of hats. Let’s focus on the man under the hat who one day knocked at our door. In an ideal world, he studied Freemasonry and is familiar with his Lodge and its members. He set to memory over six million words. He has a working knowledge of the California Masonic Code. Now, he is responsible for our future. Who knows were the man in the hat came from? Each Master brings different gifts, whatever his background. When he started, he was not fully prepared for this moment. But in his wondrous bag of Masonic lessons; he opens our lives to the potentials and reward of wisely and usefully employing the resources available to us. The first duty of any Mason is to serve. The person who needs our service most is the man in the hat. It is easy to say the Master is not doing a good job, but hard to remember who voted for him. It is often overlooked how much better a person can do if he has positive support. To a large extent, the success or shortcomings of the man in the hat is not the man but the Lodge. When he is successful the Lodge rejoices in its achievements. If he falls short, he carries the weight of what we might have enjoyed. Much wiser to serve and support the man in the hat. The Third degree says “…among whom no contention should ever exist…”. “…to aid, support and protect each other…” (First degree). The man under the hat enters a world similar to walking into a house for the first time. He only has his understanding of Freemasonry and hopefully a Masonic Family to support him. When the man in the hat is done, Freemasonry continues to teach valuable life lessons and hopefully our “day” was better because of the man in the hat. Martin Kloess,...

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Truth

Posted by on Jan 1, 2009 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

No truth, for such is the nature of truth itself, can be any man’s private property, or be owned or monopolized by anybody; it is in its own essence something free, something which any man can have who desires to have it….Truth is one of the three Principal Tenets of Freemasonry….There are many truthsinFreemasonry, some of them were first discovered and stated by Freemasons, but not one of them is the exclusive property of Freemasonry, becausenotruth can be anybody’s private property; and the mere fact that a truth is foundinFreemasonry cannot mean that it differs from the same truth when found outside it; and if a truth is found outside Freemasonry, in any religion, in any science, in any country, Freemasons know themselves to be as free to know and to use it as they may desire to. Then Truth as one of the Principal Tenets is not a philosophic idea, or a scientific idea, but is an ethical idea, and this idea means that any righteous man will never try to make any truth his own property or the property of his own fraternity, or church, or party, will never lay hands on any truth to distort it or to misrepresent it to gain something for himself or his party, and will never try to prevent any other man from having any truth. This is what a righteous man does about truth; he will keep it wholly free, he will never do violence to it, he will never misrepresent it, and he will never try to keep any other man from having it. H. L....

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