Robert Burns #243 Trestleboard
From the East
What a great start to the second half of the Masonic year. Bro. Westen Moody was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. It was a honor and pleasure to confer the Degree on Bro. Moody. We will be initiating two more brothers in October as well. So we�ve gotten off to a fast start and will continue to work hard until my year comes to an end in December.
I have been a little preoccupied with my hunting plans this last month. You know that it takes a lot of planning, research, and talking to people to have a successful hunt. Well the same is true in Masonry! I planned, researched, and talked to a lot of people as I created my calendar for this year. I�ve incorporated some new events this year and scheduled some of the usual events that everyone enjoys as well. With just a few exceptions, this year has been what seems to have been very successful so far. I just hope that my hunting plans have the same success.
My brothers, I
will be away for the next three weeks and not available. Bro.
As always my Brothers, do good onto all and I will see you in a month or so.
From the South
A Brother recently brought up the subject of Masonry and religion and lent me a York Rite magazine containing an article on the subject. It was an excellent piece and stated what I already knew, Masonry is not a religion. I accept that fact but was drawn to explore the concept.
OK, Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated with symbols. It has no dogma or theology. Offers no sacraments and makes no claims to lead to salvation. The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition, not with the means of salvation. I cannot count the number of times I have read these words in print and on the Internet. That should have been enough to satisfy my curiosity but, for my simple mind, I needed a different explanation.
While browsing the bargain shelves at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago, I found a book on Freemasonry. At $9.95 I could not pass it up. I got home, flipped it open and the first sentence I read finally told me, in words I understood, the difference between religion and Freemasonry; �the Old Charges...set out a series of regulations, or Charges, for the social behavior of Masons, both within their Craft and in society at large� (Freemasonry, A Celebration of the Craft).
I re-read a number of the early documents such as the Regius Manuscript, Anderson�s Constitutions and Ahiman Rezon. All seem to be about behaviors rather than beliefs.
Freemasonry is about behavior, illustrated, in part, by the symbols of the Compasses, Plumb, Level and Square. This is reinforced at the end of every Lodge meeting when we are reminded how to meet, act and part.
Religion, on the other hand, concerns one�s relationship with God, which is our faith or belief. That relationship is private, just between God and each individual. It is internal. If we are true to that relationship, we should find salvation.
So for me, religion is my relationship with God (the internal). Freemasonry reinforces my beliefs by suggesting my actions or moral conduct (the external).
According to the web site of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of North Carolina, "...Freemasonry makes no attempt to save men's souls, or even to reform them; these functions it properly leaves to churches and religions. Masonry does not even want men whose souls need saving, or who are in need of reformation. It wants as members only those men who are already good, hoping and believing their Masonic association will further enrich their lives. It expects its members to conduct themselves in accordance with a strict moral code, and it feels the requirements of that moral code are not repugnant to the teachings of any religion or to the beliefs of any good man."
Maybe these words only make sense to me but thought I would share them anyway.
What: . . . . . . . . . . .Lunch
When . . . . . . . . . . .Last Friday of each Month
Where . . . . . . . . . . 'Oasis' at the Nile
Time . . . . . . . . . . . 11:30 'Til ?
Bring a guest and enjoy!
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"We must cultivate our own garden... When man was put in the Garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest."
Fran�ois Marie Arouet Voltaire, 1759
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