Monday, February 2, 2015
Masonic Education : INCREASING OUR RESOLVE TO IMPROVE OUR MASONIC SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
ALL OF US MASTER MASONS must develop a keen sense of responsibility because on the one hand, we are obligated to perform our respective duties to our Lodge in particular and to the Craft in general, and on the other, our Lodge, as well as the Craft, imposes those obligations upon us. Besides, we must be much aware of how we fit into our Lodge in order that we will be induced to act for its best interest, welfare, and survival; for unless we are, we cannot comprehend what the other members of the Lodge, particularly its officers and Past Masters, expect us to do.
Generally, however, a Lodge is composed of three groups or categories of members, namely, the self-actualizing brethren, the irresponsible ones, and those between the two extremes or in the middle ground. To which category do you, dear brethren, belong?
Do you belong to the group of self-actualizing brethren, who are endowed with such a strong sense of responsibility that they will do everything within their power to fulfill their obligations and to perform their duties, or do what they must in order to become what they believe God meant them to be? Even without any prodding from the Lodge's officers and Past Masters, such brethren will do what is expected of them. They are, decidedly, a blessing to the Craft; they make Philippine Masonry strong, vibrant and vigorous. Would that their number increase!
Or do you belong to the group of irresponsible Masons - those who have utterly no regard for their duties and obligations to respective Lodges in particular and to their Craft in general and who most probably will not be induced to action by the Lodge's officers and Past Masters? Those undesirable members of a Lodge do not deserve to be called brothers. May their number, therefore, decrease!
Or do you belong to the brethren who are neither self-actualizing nor irresponsible - or to those brethren who are in the middle ground between the two extremes? Such brethren need to be periodically reminded by the Lodge's officers and Past Masters that they should do what is expected to them, so that they will develop their individual sense of responsibility both for their personal advancement and for the enhancement of their Lodge's honor, reputation, and usefulness, and that, in the words of the late Past Grand Master Manuel M. Crudo, "The spirit of Masonry is disinterested and dedicated service - service without expecting any other reward than experiencing an inner flow of achievement for doing one's job well or performing one's duty creditably." - They need to be inspired or edified by role models, who may as well be the Lodge's incumbent officers and Past Masters, who should set the good examples of faithfully and conscientiously discharging their respective duties and obligations to the Lodge and to the Craft.
The incumbent officers and Past Masters of the Lodge, as well as other brethren thereof who have a sense of responsibility, must also exercise the authority given them "to correct the irregularities of your less informed brethren, to fortify their minds with resolution against the snares of the insidious, and to guard them against every allurement to vicious practices," as well as "to caution the inexperienced against any breach of fidelity" to our laws, rules and regulations, thereby helping preserve unsullied the Fraternity's reputation. The officers and Past Masters of a Lodge must, for instance, whisper good counsel in the ears of those brethren who have the inclination to find short cuts in doing their allotted tasks, so that they will have time to satisfy their sensual appetites. Such brethren include those who absent themselves from a stated or special meeting but are conspicuously present at the post-meeting social fellowship, as well as those who leave the lodge hall when the Lecture of the first or the third degree is being delivered in order to go ahead to the venue of the post-conferral fellowship.
Clearly, we cannot become worthy and exemplary Masons if we cannot curb the tendency to finding shortcuts in doing our allotted tasks or getting satisfaction from indulging our sensual appetites, or if we do not fulfill what we declared in open Lodge we had come here to do, namely, to learn to subdue our passions and improve ourselves in Masonry.
Ergo, we must exert more effort than before to perform our Masonic duties and obligations with a strong sense of responsibility. We need to periodically take stock of ourselves, as well as to proficiently use the hieroglyphical emblems presented in the lecture of the Master Mason degree for reminding ourselves that, among other things, "since life is so uncertain and all earthly pursuit are vain, we must no longer postpone the all-important concern of preparing for eternity," but instead, "embrace the present moment while time and opportunity are offered, to provide against that great charge when all the pomp and pleasures of this fleeting world will pall upon the sense, and the recollection of a virtuous and well-spent life will yield the onl y comfort and consolation. Thus, we shall not, unprepared, be hurried into the presence of that all-wise and powerful Judge to whom the secrets of all hears are known, and on the great day of reckoning, we shall be ready to give a good account of our stewardship here on earth."
Indeed, we will prove ourselves worthy of having been made Master Masons if and when we are faithful to every trust committed to our care; if and when we fulfill our obligations to our respective Lodges and to the Craft with utmost fidelity and conscientiousness; if and when we perform our duties to God, to our country, to our fellowmen, particularly our countrymen, and to ourselves with the highest sense of responsibility.
(Source : The Cabletow, Vol./Issue 90/6 March & April 2014)