Hello Brethren, I hope this column finds you all in good health.
Almost all of us have heard the expression that Freemasonry makes 'a good man better.' What does this mean and how does it do this? Freemasonry works under the belief that if you have a good man and give him the proper tools to help guide his life, you will have a better man. By making a man better, you can make the community in which he lives better, which in turn will make all of society better.
What are these tools? They are too numerous to list all of them here, but I will give you some of them.
The first and foremost is the Trestle Board given to us by the Great Architect of the Universe. It is the rule of our faith and the guide to our actions. It is something you can always turn to even in your darkest hour.
The next would be the obligations taken at the altar. If we live by our obligations, we will become better men without even trying. The obligations, along with the lessons taught in the degree work, are the backbone of the fraternity. Live by them and you will show how great the fraternity is by your words and actions.
The third is the interaction between the brethren. I know this sounds like a surprise to many of you, but I would like to share some thoughts on the fraternity as they were told to me by a brother at the school of instruction.
The brother mentioned that the real part of the fraternity is not the meeting, but the fellowship after the meeting. He told me the story of a man who had been going to lodge, and was even filling a chair, when all of a sudden he stopped coming. When asked why he stopped coming the reply was that he didn't get anything out of it. The real truth was that member would get to the lodge in time for the meeting, sit through the meeting, and bolt for home as soon as the pursuivant got to the outer door. Sometimes he would get to the door before the Pursuivant. I have heard this story about other men also. I'm sure many of you have heard me say, you will get ten times more out of Freemasonry than you put into it. But you have to put something into it!
Involvement in your lodge and district will help you grow as a man and a mason. It is the experience and knowledge we gain as we interact with our brethren that sets us apart from other organizations. If we do not offer this in our lodges, then we are failing as brothers.
Brethren, it is our duty as Masons to help our brother. There are many men who can use that one night a month to get counsel, share friendship, talk over experiences, and get guidance during that social time. I urge each of you to attend your lodge and stay after the meeting for the fellowship. Also, encourage other men who are sneaking out of the lodge quickly to stay for a few minutes and unwind.
Remember, that the more you put into the fraternity, the more you will get out and the better man you will be. Also, the more you help your brother, the better man you will become. And, that's what it's all about.
Keep Sharing the Light and I'll talk to you next time.
Ed. Note: Bro. Marty Migliori is a Past District Deputy Grand Master of the 15th Masonic District, retiring on December 27, 2004. His column Fireside Fraternity will be appearing regularly in the Pennsylvania Freemason. He is also a Past Master of Factoryville Lodge No. 341. Bro. Migliori is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, class of 1985. You may contact him via the internet at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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