Thursday, April 28, 2011

Of Light and Darkness

In 1939, when he was the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, MW & Ill. Joseph Earl Perry, 33 °, delivered an address before brethren in that State in which he compared Freemasonry to a candle burning in the darkness.   The following are excerpts from his address :

Freemasonry Is Like A Candle Burning In The Darkness

"There is something brave about a candle burning in the darkness.  Some people are brave only when they are a part of a crowd, but a candle - it may be a dim and feeble thing in the daylight, but alone in the dark it rises to the occasion and sends out its beams as fearlessly as the brightest sun.

"It is not given to a candle, burning in the darkness, to know who sees its far-flung ray or who may be cheered or guided or saved by it.   And so Freemasonry is content to shed its gentle light for the guidance and encouragement of mankind without the blare of trumpets.   Quietly, impartially, universally, it holds aloft its light for the benefit of friend or foe.

"Just as the rays of the candle shine across the artificial boundaries of geography and race and religion, so Freemasonry offers its warm and friendly light to all men of all countries and of all faiths."

Thirty-two (32) years later (i.e.,in 1971), excerpts from an article by Ill. Waldemar Hait, 33 ° Past Sovereign Grand Commander for Venezuela were printed in The Northern Light, as follows :

A Light Will Illuminate The Darkness

"When one does not have an ideal - philosophic, religious, or otherwise - his life seems to be void of meaning or content.   The big difference between the human being and the many kinds of animals is precisely that of reason - the mind or the analytical process of reasoning.  And, more than all this, the Eternal Kernel or the Soul given us by the Almighty.

"Therefore, when we choose Masonry as our ideal and, as we are progressing on the way of the eternal truth, it is impossible to deny the 'Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God'.   This is the real meaning of all the teachings of our Order, and especially of the Scottish Rite.

 "At times we feel as if the whole world is surrounded by dark clouds; men arouse against men;  human lives are perishing;  high fences are put up between men and peoples.   Nevertheless, we feel at the same time that a Lights sparkles, like lightning, giving us a new meaning to our life.   These are the high ideals of Masonry and the Scottish Rite, the highest degree of human feelings.

"The ideal which says to us :  'Don't despair! Not all is lost! Men are Brethren!'   And, when they will feel it, when they will understand it, then a bright Light will illuminate their minds and lives and the words of the Prophet shall come true :   'The swords will be transformed into plows and peace to all men of good will shall reign on earth.'

 "But, as said above, we must feel, we must understand the teachings of our Scottish Rite and, most of all, we must do all we can to bring the reflection of that eternal light into the darkness of a convulsed world.   Not only the mere understanding of our ideal but also the understanding of our fellow men.   And, this is the most difficult task of Masonry;   to make our fellow brethren bearers of that understanding to seek the means of knowing the ways of life of our fellow men, their customs, and their history also.

 "We must never be satisfied with what we have done.  Our work has not end because human nature has many facets and phases, each different from the other.

 "We cannot and shall not enclose our Rite into an ivory tower;  we mush meet our fellow men with an open heart and mind, thus finding our way to the eternal light in the darkness - and theirs, too."

Source  :   The Far Eastern Freemason    3rd Quarter 2009

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"Darkness cannot drive out darkness;   only light can do that.   
Hate cannot drive out hate;  only love can do that."     -  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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