A View Point on Freemasonry,
from an Individual Masons Perspective
Adapted by V.W. Bro. Norman McEvoy from a paper by
Francis G. Paul 33* Northern Light, May 1990
Reproduced from Masonic Bulletin October 1990, Vol. LIII No. 2
The majority of our membership derives its satisfaction by simply belonging.
Most Masons do not feel a need to attend Lodge meetings or to be “active” in the life of our fraternity in order to reap the benefits of membership.
It is easy to conclude that this type of passive participation is a serious problem.
We lament the fact that so few seem interested enough to attend meetings, and even fewer are ready to take on leadership responsibilities.
At the same time we must never lose sight of the fact that the primary goal of Freemasonry in making Master Masons is to challenge men to achieve moral and ethical excellence in life and start him on his own Personal Spiritual Journey
This is why the Ceremonies of the degrees of Symbolic Masonry are the bedrock of Freemasonry.
By the time a man becomes a Master Mason, the vision and the expectations are (or should be) crystal clear!
At that point, he is ushered to where he belongs – on the streets of life.
It is there where his Masonry will make a difference.
“In the long run,” writes James Fallows, the author of More Like Us,
“a society’s strength depends on the way that ordinary people voluntarily behave.”
This has been the message of Freemasonry down through the centuries.
And it’s our message to men today. It is what’s inside a man that determines how he thinks and acts every day of his life, and that’s what our fraternity is all about.
We must never allow ourselves to forget that it is the Masonic message, planted deep within a man that makes him a Mason.
Not the attending of meetings; The holding of office ; Not having accolades piled upon him.
We are concerned about how he lives on Main Street, not how many times he attends lodge meetings.
The power of Freemasonry rests in the mysterious fact that once a man has received the Light, he can never forget what is expected of him by, most importantly, himself!!
Of course we need to make our meetings more interesting & educational.
Of course we need to offer opportunities for Masonic service that make sense to our members.
Of course we need to foster more of a family atmosphere.
Of course we need to challenge men to shoulder the responsibilities of keeping our fraternity alive and active.
Nevertheless, it is the Masonic spirit in a man’s heart and life that makes Masonry work.
What does all this mean? Where is it taking us?
We should be neither surprised not shocked that a majority of our members achieve satisfaction from “simply belonging” to our fraternity. Their quiet pride and immense loyalty send a powerful message –
Masonry is doing its work in their lives!
At the same time, our work is cut out and waiting for us:
To make it possible for more men to discover the immense and profound mystery that is Freemasonry.
I clearly recall being made a Mason in 1956, and, due to the fact that I sailed for Canada the following week, and then secured employment that had myself and my growing family transferred every three years, I had little or no opportunity to participate in organized Freemasonry until my final transfer in 1991 & ultimate retirement in 1998.
Did this constant transfer make me less of a Freemason??, absolutely NOT, the lessons I learned & the obligations I had taken were imbedded in me and have remained within me to this day.
Living the Life of a Master Mason does not in any way demand that the Brother to attend Lodge Meetings or make him a better or lesser of a man should he, for whatever reason not attend.
It seems very obvious to me, that the very taking of my obligation made me a Mason for my Life & Beyond.
How I have lived my life, raised my family, and make me the man that I am has undoubtedly been
influenced by my having been made a Brother at the age of 21.
Having said all of that, I can never forget that every well managed body has expenses, without which they cannot operate. We, including myself, must accept a personal responsibility to financially contribute to those bodies on which we depend.
Brethren ==There really is NO Free Lunch and we must all pull our own weight.
ONCE A MASON ALWAYS A MASON.
Have a Wonderful Day & God Bless