Blaine F. Fabian, P.M., Editor

I wonder, when you read The Pennsylvania Freemason, if you have some of the same kinds of thoughts as I do; feel fraternal emotions when reading about our brothers' involvements in the Fraternity and the community, and experience a sense of gratitude for the values and benefits that are ours and our families because we are Masons?

I suspect most Masons do; but seldom do we extol it. What do we say if an inquiring friend asks, "Why should I be a Mason?" Or how, with brotherly love and affection, do we approach a dues-delinquent brother to remind him of the benefits that would be lost and offer the assistance of the lodge if there is a need for help. The gist of the answers to such questions is reflected in the lives and deeds of Masons ­ of you and me as Masons of today bolstered by what came before us in the historic lives and deeds of our predecessors.

The values, traditions, and principles that are so strong in Freemasonry and so vital in our lives today have existed "from time immemorial." We harken to Craft Masonry with its guilds of stonemasons in the Middle Ages as being a root from which the modern Masonic brotherhood evolved. The operative masons worked for perfection to become masters at their craft; to teach, guide, aid and assist their fellows; to show concern for families and widows ­ their own and those of their fellow workers -- and to make the communities better. Our ancestors in America among the colonists, the framers of our nation, and so many brethren through the generations carried forth the traditions and principles for us to cherish and uphold.

Our concerns -- values and benefits, if you will -- are the same today; but they're the "old and the new" crafted for the 21st century.

It's easy to tell someone about the good that we strive so diligently to do for others: Like all the wonderful services, facilities and care at the Masonic Homes; how "Masons Care" for youth through the Youth Foundation and seek to help those at-risk through the Children's Foundation; that Masons of North America contribute some two million dollars a day, every day, toward charitable causes; that there are scholarships galore, home assistance, emergency aid and loans, and community outreach. We can readily grasp and relate the importance of the human services aspects and how they benefit us personally. As one brother so aptly said: "We all have insurance policies covering any imaginable event that may occur in our lives.... my membership provides assurance, not insurance, that I, along with my family, could receive benefits not emphasized frequently enough to prospective members and members who may be about to have their membership lapse."

But, we have to pause every now and then to remind ourselves of so many other very valuable benefits that are important to each of us personally. They are more difficult to express in words and obviously less likely to impress another person until he experiences them. I call them intangible benefits, some of which are: the fellowship, bonding, and networking unique among brethren; character-building and personal development; education and leadership training, and civic concern and community involvement. The personal benefits, satisfaction, and gratification inherent in the unique brotherhood of Freemasonry are immeasurable ­ almost indescribable.

So, if you have some of the same kinds of thoughts as I do when you read the words and look at the pictures in each issue of The Pennsylvania Freemason, you can "see" brethren being Masons, enjoying Masonry as a "Way of Life," and benefitting from what they give and what they gain in Freemasonry. They are living, sharing, and extolling "The Values of Brotherhood." Can we communicate those values Friend to Friend/Brother to Brother?


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