There are Four Cardinal Virtues ie; Prudence; Temperance; Fortitude& Justice, PLUS the Three Excellences of Character Secrecy; Fidelity & Obedience.
Obviously, I hope, it is realized that that this topic cannot be attained in one presentation, so my plan is to work my way through this overall subject one small step at a time.
To begin, let me first address what is meant by a “Cardinal” Virtue and where that word originated.
Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I have decided to simply provide you with what has already been written so well on this important subject.
The following in transcribed from the Freemasons Guide and Compendium, by Bernard E. Jones.
“We speak in Freemasonry of Cardinal Virtues, Cardinal Points & Cardinal Winds. Briefly this curious word means ‘Important’ ‘Significant’ and carries with it a mental image of matters of great moment all revolving round a centre-point acting as a hinge, or pivot, (Latin, cardo). Much ecclesiastical history is wrapped up in this word, which is associated with the red colour of the robe worn by a Roman Catholic Cardinal—that is, worn by a powerful priest occupying a fundamentally important place.
We now go to the doors made and hung by the ancient peoples for the original idea of the meaning of the word. There are two vertical pins, or dowels, projecting from the door, one from the top and the other from the bottom, each fitting into a socket, and on these pivots the door swung. The ancients took this hinged door as a figure, or symbol, and supposed that at the TOP of the Universe was a pivot upon which the heavens revolved, while at the BOTTOM was another pivot, corresponding to that at the bottom of the door.
In course of time, the old Roman writers applied the word “Cardinal” to the four points: East, West, North & South, and to the winds blowing from those quarters.
The East symbolizes WISDOM, the West STRENGTH, the North DARKNESS and the South BEAUTY
We are told that the Cardinal,that is the most important,virtues in Freemasonry are PRUDENCE, TEMPERENCE, FORTITUDE and JUSTICE, the first to direct, the second to chasten, the third to support a Brother, while the fourth should be a guide to all his actions.”
Enough of this for now, as it is my plan to expand on what, I believe, these WORDS mean to us, as Freemasons, in subsequent editions. By the way, as Freemasons, be sure to look for the Symbolism of these Virtues in your own Lodge Room. You should be able to see them as Tassels hanging in the four corners of the Lodge Room, OR possibly on the four corners of the Tesselated Floor. Check it out!!!!!!
No Charge for Love
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the four pups, and set about nailing it to the post at the end of his yard.
As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy. “Mister” he said. I want to buy one of your puppies.
“Well” said the farmer as rubbed the sweat off his neck, “These puppies are from fine parents and cost a lot of money”
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got thirty nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?
“Sure” said the farmer, and with that he let out a whistle. “Here Dolly!” he called. Out of the doghouse and down the ramp came Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face to the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring in the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared, but this one was noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid.
Then in an awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing his best to catch up.
“I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would”
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so, he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg and attached to a specially made shoe.
Looking back at the farmer, he said “You see Sir, I don’t run too well myself and he will need someone who understands” With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.
“How much?” asked the little boy.
“No Charge” said the farmer, “There is no charge for LOVE”