Tidings from the West
Fraternal Greetings, my Brothers. As we enter the month of April, we find our Masonic calendar for the month full of opportunity for us to promote the good of Freemasonry. We anticipate several degrees and practices for degrees this month. We will have the opportunity to earn our wages as Masons. Additionally, we hope to see as many brothers in attendance at our April business meeting, as possible.
Now, I would like to speak briefly to the matter of symbolism. Masonry is not a secret society, but rather, a revealer of the secrets of man since time immemorial. It has been said that it is a society that has secrets, but I prefer to consider them as mysteries. Masonry contains symbolism in regard to these hidden mysteries. We have all memorized the ritual, the obligations, the catechism at one time or another. We insist that our candidates for the three degrees of Masonry do the same. It is right to do so. If all the books were burned tomorrow, we would still hide the mysteries of Masonry would remain hidden deep within our hearts and minds. Everything in Freemasonry is said to have symbolic meaning. Many Masons have their own interpretations, respectively, of the various symbols and of how the Masonic teachings relate to day-to-day living. By way of example, and worth repeating here, our Worshipful Brother Benjamin Johnson, while serving as Senior Warden of this Lodge, in his Tidings from the West of April 2012, spoke to us on the subject of the moral lesson taught to us in the Entered Apprentice Degree, that of Charity. He provided for us his interpretation which is that part of being a member of this brotherhood is being sensitive to the needs of others, more especially a brother Mason, and looking outside ourselves to give relief whenever and wherever we are able to do so. He admonished us to bring back the service to the individual brother, especially within our own circle, for which the GAOTU will reward us for our generosity. This is the essence of that charity which first took root in our heart. This is just one example of which I speak. As I journey towards the East, I find myself more and more intrigued with the symbolism of the Masonic order. This intrigue stimulates my thinking processes to consider what are the Masonic symbols, what do they symbolize, what do they mean and how might I better apply them in my life. My brothers, it is my hope for you, that you still hold on to this intrigue to wisely interpret the meaning of these symbols and are applying them daily in your lives, respectively.
SW F.L. “Jim” Lee, Jr. , Senior Warden