George Washington

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration was maturely weighed . . .His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hated, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. His temper was naturally irritable and high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it. If, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath. In his expenses he was honourable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects and all unworthy calls on his charity. His heart was not warm in its affection; but he exactly calculated every man’s value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it . . . Although in the circle of friends, where he might be unreserved with safety, he took a free share in conversation, his colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas, nor fluency of words. In public, when called on for a sudden opinion, he was unready, short and embarrassed. Yet he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style . . . . On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect, in nothing bad, in a few points indifferent; and it may be truly said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great and to place him . . . .in an everlasting remembrance. Thomas...

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Charity and Benevolence

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Masonic charity is strong, kindly, beautiful and tender, and not charity at all in the narrow sense of the word. Nay, it does not wait until a brother is in distress, but tow about him in his strength and prosperity the affectionate arm of friendship, without which life is cold and harsh. Friendship, fraternity, fellowship—this is the soul of Freemasonry, of which charity is but one gesture with a thousand meanings. Freemasonry not only inculcates the principles of love and benevolence, it seeks to give them an actual and living presence in all the occupations and intercourse of life. It not only feels, it acts! It not only pities human suffering, ti relieves it! Nowhere in the world can a good Mason feel himself alone, friendless or forsaken. The invisible but helpful arms of our Order surround him, where he may be…. It is a common error to regard charity as that sentiment which prompts us to extend assistance to the unfortunate. Charity in a Masonic sense has a much broader meaning, and embraces affection and goodwill toward all mankind, but more especially our brethren in Freemasonry. It is this sentiment which prompts a Freemason to suffer long and be kind, to control his temper, forgive the erring, reach forth his hand to stay a falling brother, to warn him of his error and whisper in his ear that correction which his fault may demand, to close his ear to slander and his lips to reproach; in short, to do unto other as he would be done by. Charity as applied to Freemasonry is different from the usual and accepted meaning. All true Masons meet upon the same level, regardless of wealth or station. In giving assistance we strive the too common error of considering charity only as that sentiment of commiseration which leads us to assist the poor and unfortunate with pecuniary donations. Its Masonic application is more noble and more extensive. We are taught not only to relieve a brother’s material wants, the cry of hunger, etc., but to fellowship with him upon our own level stripped of worldly titles and honours. When we thus appeal to him, giving spiritual advice, lifting him up morally and spiritually with no sense of humiliation to him, we set him free from his passion and wants. To such charity there is a reciprocity rich in brotherly love and sincere appreciation....

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

That Masons are builders can be seen by the name…By teaching men the doctrines of temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, together with the man lessons drawn from, and daily application to the activities of life, deep foundations are laid upon which loftiest character must stand. When brotherly love, relief and truth really enter into the fibre of a man’s being, there is little room for the selfish and the debased. His instincts and his aspirations are toward the uplift that comes from a joyful service to mankind. That I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER is demonstrated in every avenue of life whether I am ready to concede it or not…Service and sacrifice are the crucible in which the base metals of greed, avarice, and selfishness are left as the dross of life. If thy brother would have thee go with him one mile, that is thy duty. When to this is added gladly, a second mile, that is a blessed privilege. Masonry puts into a man’s breast THE SWEET SERVICE OF THE SECOND MILE Masonry’s mission, therefore, to the individual is to up lift his character and establish a nobler manhood. OWEN...

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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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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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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 (originally published February 2005 on 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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