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,...

Read More

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....

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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....

Read More

What are You Worth?

Posted by on Dec 1, 2008 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

If you borrow from a banker, All your goods you must declare, He will ask you questions, Are you honest, truthful and square? If you buy goods from a merchant, And defer some payments there, He will want your strongest promise, That you’re honest, truthful and square. If you bargain with a farmer, For his crops, grown on the share He will give you a commission, If you are honest, truthful and square. All men trust you, use you, aid you, If your dealings are all fair, They will help you through trouble, When you’re honest, truthful and square. When that old Reaper harvests, While the scythe swings here and There, he will never stop to ask you, Are you level, plumb and square? But the Judge up there will ask you, When you have climbed the Golden Stair, As you face him in the Court Room, “Where you level, plumb and square?” Only those can be of service, In that bright light’s glare, Only those can help the Master, Who are Level Plumb and...

Read More

Masonry Belongs To All Time

Posted by on Nov 1, 2008 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Of no one age, Masonry belongs to all time; of no one religion, it finds great truths in all. Indeed, it holds that truth which is common to all elevating and benign religions, and is the basis of each; that faith which underlies all sects and over-arches all creeds, the sky above and the river bed below the flow of mortal years. It is not a religion, still less a cult, but it is a worship in which all good men may unite, that each may share the faith of all. It does not undertake to explain or dogmatically to settle those great mysteries which out-top human knowledge. Beyond the facts of faith it does not go. With the subtleties of speculation concerning these truths, and the unworldly envies growing out of them, it has not to do. There divisions begin, and Masonry was not make to divide men, but to unite them. It asks not for tolerance, but for fraternity, leaving each man free to think his own thought and fashion his own system of ultimate truth. Therefore, all through the ages it has been, and is today, a meeting place of differing minds and a prophecy of the final union of all reverent and devout souls. Joseph Fort...

Read More

The White Lamb Skin Apron

Posted by on Jul 1, 2008 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

By Franklin W. Lee 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 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 earth; cities crumble to dust; Men are born to die; swards are made but rust; But the White Leather Apron, through ages ;assed on. Has survived with the Lodge of 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. [First appeared in the Trestleboard of Friendship Masonic Center and re-printed in the Oregon Masonic Magazine] Re-printed from the Southern California Research Lodge F. &...

Read More

The Road of Masonry

Posted by on May 1, 2008 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Men build a road of Masonry Across the hills and dales, Unite the prairie and the sea, The mountains and the vales, They cross the chasm, bridge the stream, They point to where the turrets gleam, And many men for many a day Who seek the heights shall find the way. Men build a road of Masonry, But not for self they build: With footsteps of humanity The hearts of men are thrilled. This music makes their labor sweet: The endless tramp of other feet, The thought that men shall travel thus An easier road because of us. We build the road of Masonry With other men in mind; We do not build for you and me, We build for all mankind. We build a road! – remember, men, Build not for Now, but build for Then, And other men who walk the way Shall find the road we built today. Who builds the road of Masonry, Though small or great his part, However hard the task may be, May toil with singing heart. For it is something, after all, When muscles tire and shadows fall, To know that other men shall bless The builder for his faithfulness. Douglas...

Read More