Charity

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Masonic charity is not limited to simple gifts and contributions of money or other tangible material of worrldly goods, although these, when necessary, are right and proper, and are included within the term of charity….True charity extends to all the wants of the great brotherhood of man. Have the cold and pitiless storms of a selfish, unfeeling world beat upon the heart, charity throws around it her broad mantle of brotherly love and affection, which warms and infuses into its whole being new life and animation, and as the genial showers and summer sun cause the face of nature to smile and look glad, so the drops of genial affection and the rays of brotherly love, beaming from its benign countenance of one whose heart is prompted by the honest impulses of genuine charity, cause the soul of the recipient thereof to overflow with gratitude and joy … The true Mason is continually seeking opportunities for the exercise of those virtues—the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth—of Faith, Hope and Charity….He knows his duties, and knowing seeks to reduce them to practice; for with him Masonry is a living reality and not theory alone. It is the practice of those virtues that he delights for he has learned that in doing good there is much joy. Is a brother afflicted and distressed, his hand is ever ready to aid and assist him, and to relieve his wants and necessities. The blessed influences of brother love and charity—twin daughters of Heaven—prompt him to those noble deeds of benevolence which give joy and gladness to many a weary, sad and sorrowing heart… This is the charity which envieth not another and which puffeth not itself, which is kind and forbearing, full of long-suffering, and goodness and truth. J. Q....

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Echoes

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Fine men have walked this way before, Whatever Lodge your Lodge may be; Whoever stands before the door, The sacred arch of Masonry, Stands where the wise, the great, the good In their own time and place have stood. You are not Brother just with these, Your friends and neighbours; you are kin With Masons down the centuries; This room that now you enter in Has felt the tread of many feet, For here all Masonry you meet. You walk the path the great have trod, The great in heart, the great in mind, Who looked through Masonry to God, And looked through God to all mankind Learned more than word or sign or grip, Learned Man’s and God’s relationship. To him who sees, who understands, How mighty Masonry appears! A Brotherhood of many lands, A fellowship of many years, A Brotherhood, so great, so vast, Of all the Craft of all the past. And so I say a sacred trust Is yours to share, is yours to keep; I hear the voice of men of dust, I hear the step of men asleep; And down the endless future, too, Your own shall echo after you. Douglas...

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The White Leather Apron

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

The white leather apron is more ancient by far Than the eagles of Rome, a symbol of war, Or the fleece of pure gold, by emperors given, A rich decoration for which many have striven. The Garter of England, an Order most rare, Although highly prized, can not with it compare; It is an emblem of innocence, symbolled in white, And purity ever brings the greatest delight; With pure thoughts and actions, how happy the life, How care-free the conscience, unclouded by strife! No Potentate ever can upon us bestow An honour so great as this apron doth show; No king on his throne in his highest estate Can give us an emblem so cherished or great; ‘Tis the Badge of a Mason, more noble to wear Than the gold of the mine, or the diamond most rare, So here’s to the lambskin, the apron of white, That lifts up all equals and all doth unite, In the Order so ancient that man can not say When its teachings began or name its birthday. Since its birth, nations young have gone to their tomb, And cities once great turned to ashes and gloom; Earth’s greatest achievements have long passed away, And people have risen and gone to decay. Outliving all these, never changing with time, Are the principles taught in our Order sublime. And now, my good brother, this apron’s for you, May you worthily wear it and ever be true To the vows you have made, to the lessons most grand; For these, home and country, we ever will stand. D. W....

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What would George Washington Do?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

President and Brother George Washing was born on February 22, 1732. His home in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, is a testament to his leadership in both our Country and in our personal lives. When George was 16 years of age, he was given a writing exercise, and he wrote his 101 Rules of Civility. Here are a few and are presented in the language and phraseology of the era: Every action done in Company ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy…,And in all Causes of Passion, admit Reason to Govern. Shew Nothing to your Friend that may affright him. Reprehend not the imperfections of others… Never express anything unbecoming… Associate yourself with Men of good Quality, … for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad Company. Today, many, if not all of these rules sound a little fussy, if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated, and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills. But they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. Fussy or not, they represent more than just good manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all, and for the sake of living together. Civility in our daily lives is not just something that is nice to do. Civility is politeness and courtesies in our behavior and our speech. By civil behavior, we learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Civility is the hard work of staying pleasant, even with those with whom we have profound and de-rooted disagreements. As Masons, we obligate ourselves in our three degrees to good manners and fair dealing with our Brother Masons in the Lodge. But these generous principles extend further, and are to be applied outside the Lodge as well. Excerpted from The Short Talk Bulletin Vol. 93 No....

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The White Leather Apron

Posted by on May 26, 2015 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. Franklin W....

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Friendship

Posted by on May 1, 2015 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 in 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 n 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 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 kindship, 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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Freenmasonry and Education

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

With appreciation from Freemason.org (originally published February 2005 on CalLodges.org) Traditionally, throughout its long history, Freemasonry has taken a leading role in the promotion of learning and education. From its early beginnings, in the 18th century in England and Scotland, Masons were among the founders of learned academies. Masons have been active in education at every level from grammar school through university. The Charge of the Fellowcraft Degree reminds the candidate that the impressive ceremonies of the degree are calculated to inculcate in his mind the importance of studying the liberal arts and sciences. He is particularly reminded to study the noble science of Geometry, which forms the basis of Freemasonry. Not only does Geometry explain the properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality. If Freemasonry is “about” anything, it is about the education of the individual to become a knowledgeable, informed, and moral human being within society. Education is valued above ignorance. Seeking further Light in Masonry means more than learning more about the Craft. It also means that Freemasons and non-Masons alike must discipline themselves to seek knowledge through whatever means available—by studying at colleges and universities or by self-directed reading and study. Because Freemasonry places such great importance on education, we have become steadfast supporters of the Public Schools. Horace Mann, the father of our present system of public schools, wrote that the object of a free public schools system is “to give every child a free, straight, solid pathway by which he can walk directly up from the ignorance of an infant to a knowledge of the primary duties of a man.” The same can, of course, be said about the progress of a candidate through the three Masonic Degrees, from Apprentice, to Fellowcraft, to Master Mason. Freemasonry and the public schools share several important values. Basic to each is the concept of the dignity of the individual. Every man, in every condition, is great. The grandeur of each man’s unique nature makes insignificant all external distinctions. It is the internal and not the external qualifications that make a man who he is, and entitles him to be treated with respect and dignity. Respect for the dignity of the individual is essential in a free society. Human rights rest on human dignity. Man’s minimum needs must be met if he is to live at all, but men and women cannot live a human life “unless they have the chance” to satisfy the needs of their rational and spiritual nature. Democracy is the only form of government founded on the dignity of man. Equality and justice, so important to Freemasons, are the two distinguishing characteristics of democracy. Democracy enables us to enjoy the freedom to live human lives. We must be free in order to exercise those talents where with God has blessed us, as well to His glory as to the welfare of our fellow creatures. Freedom,...

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What is Freemasonry?

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

In our youth groups, they talk about a “30 second elevator speech”. They have developed one and I think we, as Freemasons, need one too. This one comes from Brother Keith Herman, a New Jersey Mason: “Due to the proliferation of the use of social media such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinekdIn, etc., elevator speeches can no longer last 30 seconds and you need to define what you do in two words.  These two words lead to a further conversation as they say enough to define your objective and at the same time intrigue the listener to follow up through inquiry or conversation. Upon reflection on the ‘two word elevator speech’ the phrase which works for me is ‘Enlightened Fellowship”. Now when I am asked ‘What is Masonry?’, ‘What does Masonry mean to you?’ or ‘What can you tell me about Masonry?’ I can answer that Masonry is Enlightened Fellowship. The usual response is ‘can you tell me more?’ At this point, I can expand that masons consist of men who through common experience, inquiry, personal growth and acquired knowledge come to know one another, become friends and share personal bonds, which will last throughout their lifetime.” This sounds like a pretty good one. Anyone care to create one of their own? Let me know what it is, submit it to me in a word document and I will print it in this missive. Fraternally, The Mouse (c/o:...

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Warmth and Welcome

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Across the crowd-thronged city ways When night hangs black and friendless there, A tide of strangers ebbs and plays Along each cheerless thoroughfare, And never a face lights up to see One’s self to pass, and none to care How lone and wary one may be. ‘Tis then unto one’s Lodge one turns For there he finds within the door The fire of hearty welcome burns; If one’s not known its flames the more Send forth a warmth his breast to fill Until he finds his joy returns Within that haven of good will. The Mason’s secret lies in this,— “A stranger here, ye took me in”’ It’s Royal Art would stray amiss Amid the world’s harsh hue and din If warmth and welcome were to die; Its greatest strength in these consists; Of these is made its Mystic Tie. H.L....

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Love

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

The only end to the human problem is love. The only end to war is love. The only end to family discords and hates is love. The only solution to every uncertainty that plagues us today among nations and individuals, the only thing that can lead to honesty, integrity and honor in world affairs and in the development of our own characters, is that we shall learn how to love. In order that we may learn to love, we must learn to discover in everything around us that we are in the presence of an eternal love that is so great and so wise that there is no place in it for hate. We find understanding, courage, wisdom, insight by uniting our own small affection with that vast affection which is the infinite itself. We understand God only by love. In its highest expression, love means not that we will be happy, but that we shall give happiness; we must learn to love change, and then its pain is no more. We shall learn to love the comings and goings of things, because these are a part of life. In the springtime we must love the bursting forth of the twigs and branches and buds upon the trees; in summer we must learn to love the great fields of yellow grain; in autumn we must learn to love the changing of colors and the falling of the leaves; and in winter we must learn to love the snow and the bare branches which symbolize death. We must learn to find beauty in all these changes. We must find the love of God in that which God gives, and we must find the love of God in that which God taketh away. Beyond our small decisions and our little judgments, there is this infinite love that takes all things to itself. All things, in their proper time, return to the heart of God. Manly Palmer Hall Submitted by: Brother John Logan Parsons...

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