Feast of St. JohnWhat Kind of Mason are You

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About a week and a half ago I unfortunately had to attend the funeral of a man I new for a long time and had become very good friend with. Over the years I had talked to him many times about Masonry and how he would make a great Mason, how he was already living his life like a Mason should and he should be one... He always came back with several reasons why he could not join. Too busy, involved with other things, not sure he wants to commit. I could never figure out why he would not become a Mason until that night at the funeral home.


You see If you met Pete, that’s what his friend called him, on the street or at his job you would think he is a quiet, keep to himself kind of guy. If he happened to bump you or get in your way he would apologize. If he told you a joke he would come back to you a few minutes later and want to know if it might have offended you in any way. He would help you do anything with no strings attached. I remember once when his son and I were going to go hunting, me for the first time, we hopped into Pete’s Ford station wagon at 4am and headed off to Dunkin doughnuts before we headed to South County to hunt. As we backed out of the doughnut place Mike, Pete’s son, hit a phone pole and put a big dent into the side of the car. We of course thought we were dead, or at least Mike was dead. We went back to the house and woke his dad up showed him the damage, he shrugged his shoulders and said you guys better get going and be careful this time. That’s the kind of guy Pete was.


That night at the funeral home some 40 men lined up to pay their respects to a departed Brother of the Moose. Pete was a member of the R. O. Moose. I had known that for as long as he was a member. I knew that his life away from work revolved around the Moose. Pete thrived in that environment and was a different kind of person when he was involved with something that had to do with the Moose. He was still kind and gentle and willing to do anything asked of him. As the ceremony for Pete continued there was a portion that seemed to go on forever about all that Pete had done for the Moose, all of his achievements all of his honors.


Several things struck me as the ceremony ended.


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None of the work Pete did for the Moose was for himself it was all for others. It was all for the greater good. He did not go around telling everyone what he had done. There was never the BY LINE, done by Pete. He did not try to reinvent the wheel, just make it run better and quieter.


It was more than obvious that Pete would have been an excellent Mason.


The answer to my question why Pete would not become a Mason was obvious… He loved what he was doing and to try to do something else might compromise his ability to help at the level he was.


Pete was judged by his Brothers left here on earth to have gone above and beyond.


Pete was a good Moose member.


Then I thought, When Solemn strikes the Funeral Chime for me what will my record show?


What kind of a Mason am I?


The Feast of St. John the Evangelist, Patron Saint. A New Year beginning, an opportunity to reflect on this past year and plan for the future. An opportunity to change, reinforce, and build upon the kind of Mason I want to be and should be. An opportunity to change, reinforce, and build upon the kind of Mason YOU want to be and should be.


So my question to you is “What kind of a Mason are you?”


St. John the Evangelist, Patron Saint of Freemasonry. If we are supposed to emulate him, what does he represent? What kind of a Mason would we be if we were like him?


What is a Saint? According to the dictionary, the word comes from a 1th century Latin word, sanctus, meaning One officially recognized, especially through canonization, as preeminent for holiness; or one known for piety or virtue. A Patron Saint is taken to mean A saint to who’s protection and intercession, a person, a society, a church, or a place is dedicated; or it can also mean an original leader or prime exemplar. The word apostle comes form the Old Latin word, apostolus, which means To send. The dictionary meaning is thus One sent on a mission; or a person who initiates a great moral reform or who first advocates an important belief or system.


What Kind of a Mason are you?


It is because Masonry regards the character and internal qualifications of a man - not the exterior appearances � St John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist are called the patrons of this great fraternity. They possessed those internal qualifications that made the TRUE MAN. Masonry honors them above all others for they were the living examples of the Golden Rule, the practice of virtue, love for their fellow-men and love for their God.


What Kind of a Mason are you?


St. John the Evangelist is recognized the world over as the apostle of love and light, the bringer of comfort to the grief-stricken, courage to the weak, help to the helpless, and strength to the falling.


There is certainly no historical evidence that either of the two Saints were members of the Craft. But, as they were adopted as Patron Saints, there came the notion of a sacred Lodge in the Holy City, presided over by the Saints John. No such Lodge ever existed in reality, and yet it is not entirely fiction. It is simply an ideal, and without such ideals our lives would, indeed, be dim and drab. The basis of the question and answer, then, is that we come from an ideal or Dream Lodge into this actual work-a-day world, where our ideals are to be tested daily.


What Kind of a Mason are you?


Do you divide to concur or do you nurture to grow?


Are your motives for the good of the craft or the good of your ego?


DIFFERENT KINDS OF MASONS


I’m almost through! The New Brother displayed a sheaf of cards to the Old Tiler. Soon I will have joined them all and become every kind of Mason there is.


What do you know about the kinds of Masons there are? asked the Old Tiler, interested. You have not been a Master Mason long enough to gain all that knowledge!


Thats not hard to gain with all the brethren poking petitions at you.


There are Scottish Rite Masons and York Rite Masons and Templar Masons


And Chapter Masons and Council Masons and.....


Oh! The Old Tiler said, I didnt understand. I thought you couldnt


Have learned yet.


Learned what? Are there some more kinds of Masons?


Indeed, yes! Answered the Old Tiler. A great many kinds. But, seven you havent mentioned stand out more prominently than others.


Do tell me! I thought I had joined most of them...


You dont join these. You become one, or are made one, or grow into one of them. For instance, there is the


King Solomon Mason.


He thinks that everything that Solomon did as a Mason is right and everything he didnt do is


wrong. To him, Masonry was conceived, born and grew up in the shadow of King


Solomon and every word of the legend is literally true, much like the man who


refuses to believe the earth is round, because a verse in the Bible refers to the


four comers of the earth! The King Solomon Mason lives his Masonry


according to his light; perhaps its not his fault it is so dim.


To the Ritual Mason,


The importance of Masonry is the form of its words. A good Mason in his belief is one who can repeat a lecture from end to end without a slip. A man may do battle, murder, or cause sudden death, commit arson or run away with a neighbors wife; but if he knows his ritual letter perfect, it was all a mistake! The man who doesnt know his ritual letter perfect is not, in this mans eyes, a good Mason; not though he give to charity with both hands and carry love for his fellowman in both head and heart.


The Practical Mason


Looks at life from a utilitarian standpoint. He prefers electricity to candles for the Lesser Lights because they are simpler and prefers candles to electricity because they are cheaper. He thinks a choir is impractical because it produces nothing permanent and would rather spend the money for printed matter or a new carpet. He is at his best when raising money for a new temple and at his worst when asked to express himself upon the spirit of Masonry.


His hand is in his pocket for charity, but never for entertainment. He is usually on


the finance committee and recommends a budget in which rent and heat and light are bigger than relief.


The Heart Mason


Is the opposite. He is full of impractical schemes. He wants to start a new temple which will never be built. He talks much of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, but is absent when the hat is passed and the committee on funds needs a few workers to go out and gather in. The heart Mason is the lodge sob-sister; he usually seconds any motion to spend


any amount of money for flowers or to send a brother away for his health and always makes a little tear-filled speech about the fatherless loved ones, even if the dear departed died a bachelor.


The Business Mason


belongs because he thinks it helps his job. He usually sits next to the solid business man in lodge and likes to tell people what he does. If he is a Past Master, he never comes to lodge on time, so that he can get a special welcome at the Altar. His favorite speech is about the man who tried to advertise his business in lodge and how evil this was; in the speech he always


mentions his own business. He wears an extra large sized pin and prints squares and compasses on his letterheads.


We dominate another kind by the expressive term of Belly Mason.


He is most faithful in attendance at lodges where there may be a feed. He will


cheerfully spend twenty cents car fare and a long evening to get a fifteen cent


sandwich If there is to be a sit-down meal he will sit up all night to be


on time. If the affair is in another lodge and needs tickets, he will take time off


from his job to hunt a brother who has a ticket and doesnt want it. He usually manages to


cross the lodge room while the cigars are passed so he can dig into the box twice.


If the crowd is small, he is the last man to get a smoke, so he can take all


that are left. If the crowd is large, he is among the first, to make sure he


doesnt get left.


“And then there is the Regular Mason,


the fellow who does his best with the time and brains he has. He is the great bulk of the fraternity. He pays the dues and fills the chairs and does the work. He is seldom a fine ritualistic but he is usually an earnest one. He is not very practical and would spend more than we have if it wasnt that he is too sentimental to permit the charity fund to be


robbed. He passes the sandwiches and coffee, and if there is any left, he gets his;


but he doesnt care so long as the evening is a success. He isnt a student, but some-


thing in the heart of Masonry has reached deep into his heart, and so he comes


to lodge and does his best. He is not learned, but he is not stupid. He is


not hidebound and yet he is conservative. He loves his lodge, but not so much he


cannot see her faults. He is most of us.


And what class of Mason am I? asked the New Brother, uneasily looking at his sheaf of cards


You have cards enough to be considered a Mason for almost any reason,


Answered the Old Tiler. But Ill take your word for it. What kind of Mason are you?


I dont know for sure, but I know what kind I am never going to be! Answered the New Brother, putting his many cards away.


I am sure we could all think of more to add to what I have just shared. I am sure some of us can identify with these descriptions and I am sure some think they do not apply.


St. John the Evangelist brought to us a simple message of Brotherly Love. Sometimes that message is so hard to understand and practice? Is the importance of that message so strong that it can be said it is part of the foundation of Freemasonry?


If a Mason is judged by how he deals with other Masons, his family, friends and the community, how will you be judged.


Each of us must find our own answer to those important questions - but in your search for answers, Brethren, remember who best can work and best agree and at the closing of every Masonic Lodge


May Brotherly Love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us.


If St John the Evangelist was standing here now I doubt not that the message would be much different.


What kind of Mason are you?


What kind of Mason do you want to be?





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