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Freemasonry
Masonic Prose and Inspiration 2
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Prose and Inspiration Continued (2)

Ten Reasons to Become a Mason
 
1. Masonry is a place to spend time with good men who will make you want to improve.
 
2. Masonry is a place where moral virtue is taught and respected as the cornerstone of life.
 
3. Masonry is a place where the spiritual growth of every member can rise to its fullest potential.
 
4. Masonry is a place to become better prepared for service to your family, your church, and your community.
 
5. Masonry is a place where you can be a part of a great fraternity that believes in Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
 
6. Masonry is a place where you can support others and give them encouragement as well as receive it yourself.
 
7. Masonry is a place where outstanding individuals from every walk of life will greet you and call you "Brother".
 
8. Masonry is a place to meet community leaders and take an active part in community activities.
 
9. Masonry is a place where you will find unlimited opportunity to acquire leadership experience, self-development, and personal growth.
 
10. Masonry is a place where you can be sure every man is a true and trustworthy friend.
 

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The Faithful Mason
 
Be FAITHFUL, therefore to the promises you make, to the pledges you give, and to the vows you assume, since to break either is base and dishonorable.
 
Be FAITHFUL to your family, and perform all the duties of a good father, a good son, and a good husband, and a good brother.
 
Be FAITHFUL to your friends; for true friendship is of a nature not only to survive through all the vicissitudes of life, but to continue through endless duration;  not only to stand the shock of conflicting opinions, and the roar of a revolution that shakes the world, but to last when the heavens are no more, and to spring fresh from the ruins of the universe.
 
Be FAITHFUL to your country, and prefer its dignity 
and honor to any degree of popularity and honor yourself, consulting its interest rather than your own, and rather than the pleasure and gratification of the people, which are often at variance with their welfare.
 
Be FAITHFUL to Masonry, which is to be faithful to the best interests of mankind.  Labor, by precept and example, to elevate the standard of Masonic character, to enlarge its sphere of influence, to popularize its teachings, and to make all men know it for the Great Apostle of Peace, Harmony, and Good Will on earth among men; of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
 
 
Albert Pike, 1871.

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Masonry's Ten Commandments
 
Albert Pike, 1871
 
1. God is the Eternal, Omnipotent, Immutable Wisdom and Supreme Intelligence and Exhaustive Love.  Thou shalt adore, revere, and love Him! Thou shalt honor Him by practicing the virtues.
 

2. Thy religion shall be, to do good because it is a pleasure to thee, and not merely because it is duty.  That thou mayest become friend of the wise man, thou shall obey his precepts.
 

3. Thou shalt unceasingly war against vice!  Thou shalt not do harm unto others that which thou whouldst not wish them to do unto thee!  Thou shalt be submissive to thy fortunes, and keep burning the light of wisdom!
 

4. Thou shalt honor thy parents!  Thou shalt pay repect and homage to the aged!  Thou shalt instruct the young!  Thou shalt protect and defend infancy and innocence!
 

5. Thou shalt cherish thy wife and thy children! Thou shalt love thy country, and obey its laws!
 

6. Thy friend shall be to thee a second self!  Misfortune shall not estrange thee from him!  Thou shalt do for his memory whatever thou wouldst do for him, if he were living!
 

7. Thou shalt avoid and flee from insincere friendships!  Thou shalt in everything refrain from excess!  Thou shalt fear to be the cause of a stain on thy memory!
 

8. Thou shalt allow no passions to become thy master!  Thou shalt make the passions of others profitable lessons to thyself!  Thou shalt be indulgent to error!
 

9. Thou shalt hear much: Thou shalt speak little: Thou shalt act well!  Thou shalt forget injuries! Thou shalt render good for evil!  Thou shalt not misuse either thy strength or thy superiority!
 

10. Thou shalt study to know men; that therby thou mayest learn to know thyself!  Thou shalt ever to seek after virtue!  Thou shalt be just!  Thou shalt avoid idleness!
 

But the greatest commandment of Masonry is this: "A new commandment give I unto you: that ye love one another!  He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, remaineth still in darkness."
 

SUCH ARE THE MORAL DUTIES OF A MASON...

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"A Square & Compass Set in Gold"
 
Those men who helped my dad each day,
They wear those Mason pins and rings.
A square and compass set in gold,
The praise of which I sing.
 
My dad, he hurt his back you know,
One cold winter day.
He slipped and fell upon the ice,
The insurance would not pay.
 

And since that time those pins and rings I see,
On lapels and on hands that help us much.
With mowing lawns and hauling trash,
Each day my heart they touch.
 
They even built a house for me,
Amid our backyard tree.
Where all the neighborhood kids,
Would play with laughter full of glee.
 

My mom she cried from happiness,
The time the Masons came.
To aid our family in distress,
Without a thought of gain.
 

And when I'm big, just like my dad,
Of this it must be told.
I want to wear a pin and ring like his,
A square and compass gold.
 

Long years have passed since when
My dad was in a plaster cast.
And since I swore that solemn oath,
Which unites us to the last.
 

But more than that I'm proud to say,
I wear his Mason pin and Mason ring.
The one's dad wore for many years each day,
Until his death this spring.
 

And one last time his comrades came,
To aid my weeping mother.
They praised and bid a fond farewell,
To our fallen Brother.
 

And after which my son did ask,
About their aprons white.
And of the pins upon their lapel,
And of the rings upon their hands,
Of gold so shiny bright.
 

With tearful eyes I said with pride,
They're men of spirit pure.
Those men who wear those Mason pins and rings,
Of that you can be sure.
 

And before he went to bed that night,
The family he foretold.
Someday I'll wear a pin and ring like Dad's,
A square and compass gold.
 

---Author Unknown--

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The Sea Captain
 
I sailed my ship for many a day across the stormy sea,
Many a ruffian I have carried and never refused but three.
 

They met me on a summer day and saw my gallant ship,
And sought a passage to the other side upon a hurried trip.
 

The offered all the dough they had mixed with a little sass,
That made me kinda hesitate and ask them for a pass,
 

They deemed a pass unnecessary for men of their degree,
And insisted that I take my ship and sail it out to sea.
 

An old man who was standing by and noted what they said,
Saw them kick me in the ribs and strike me on the head.
 

He heard them say they'd steal a boat and put it out to sea,
And sail away to the other side to some strange countr'ee.
 

But no!  The coward of the bunch the one you'd think was brave,
Suggested that they turn again and hid in a mountain cave.
 

And as the day went slowly by I heard the truth in time,
I found that they were murderers and guilty of a crime.
 

So as I sail my sturdy ship until my life has ceased,
I know not whom my friends may be unless they've travelled East.
 

Anonymous
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Turn Down An Empty Glass
(A Tribute to our fallen comrades)
 
We have an old tradition
I believe it to be Service wide
It's one that salutes our Brothers
Who have passed to the other side.
 

A single Rose by a "Turned Down Glass"
Resides at the table's end
A tiny bit of nostalgia
and a tribute to absent Friends.
 

Each in his turn will look that way
Each with his cup a brim
Each will remember a fellow "Veteran"
with "There's Tommy or Frank or Jim"
 

There are those whose names escape us
and those we can't recall
Long history dims identity
But we drink to them one and all.
 

When my earthly life is over
and to the Table's end I pass
future Veterans will remember
and "Turn down and Empty Glass"
 

--Unknown--
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A Part of America Died
 

Somebody killed a policeman today,
and a part of America died.
A piece of our country he swore to protect
will be buried with him at his side.
 

The suspect that shot him will
stand up in court,
with counsel demanding his rights.
While a yound widowed mother must work
for her kids,
and spend many long, lonely nights.
 

The beat that he walked was a battlefied too,
just as if he'd gone off to war.
Though the flag of our nation won't fly
at half-mast,
to his name they will add a gold star.
 

Yes, somebody killed a policeman today,
in your town or mine.
While we slept in comfort behind our
locked doors,
a cop put his life on the line.
 

Now his ghost walks a beat on a
dark city street,
and he stands at each new rookie's side.
He answered the call, of himself gave his all,
and a part of America died.
 

-Courtesy of C1984 America Police Hall of Fame - North Port, Florida
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A Composite View of Freemasonry
 
"True Masonic ritual, as it always was intended to do, teaches the great lessons of life: the importance of honor and integrity, of being a person on whom others can rely, of being both trusting and trustworthy, of realizing that you have a spiritual nature as well as a physical nature, of the importance of self control, of knowing how to love and be loved, of knowing how to keep confidential what others tell you so that they can 'open up' without fear.  In short, Masonic ritual teches us to reach for a higher standard in conducting our lives.
 
Freemasonry has sometimes been referred to as a 'secret society.' This is an inaccurate statement.  Freemasons certainly don't make a secret of the fact they are members of their Lodges.  We wear rings, lapel pins, and tie clasps with Masonic emblems like the Square and Compasses, the best known of Masonic signs that, logically recall our early symbolic roots in stonemasonry.  Masonic buildings are clearly marked and usually listed in the phone book.  The only thing that could be referred to as secret - although we prefer the word private - are the methods of recognition such as grips, words, signs, and our ritual by which we induct new members.
 
Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a worldwide social and community service organization, emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy.  During the late 1700's, it was one of the organizations most responsible for spreading the ideals of the Enlightenment: the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose, the formation of democratic governments, and the importance of public education.  Masons supported the first public schools in both Europe and America.
 
The 3.5 million Masons worldwide continue to help men and women face the problems of the 21st century by building bridges of brotherhood and instilling in our communities ideals for a better tomorrow."
 
*From several Masonice Information Center publications
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IT'S UP TO YOU
 
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream,
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can harold Spring.
 
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts the soul,
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
 
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room,
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
 
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer,
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
 
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true,
One life can make a difference,
You see, IT'S UP TO YOU
 
(Author Unknown)
 
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Ode to Our Flag and Our Commandery
 
Our Knights proudly carry the Stars and Stripes,
For the Masonic ideals, for truth and for right.
In honor of Knights with us and for heroes now dead,
May our flag ever wave white, blue and red.
 
Our flag waves aloft as the symbol and key
Of honor and faith and for sweet liberty.
With our freedom protected by our brave, loyal Knights
May our flag ever wave red, blue and white.
 
Commandery stands proud in service of love,
With a pledge to protect our banner above.
For liberty and justice and with our honor still true,
May our flag ever wave red, white and blue.
 
Dr. Edieann Biesbrock-Didham, Author
member of S.O.O.B. No. 252, Findlay, Ohio
(Mrs. James Didham)
 
Written on the occasion of the Inspection Banquet for Findlay Commandery No. 49, on April 8, 2006, that was themed "A Tribute to Our Flag and Our Freedom" (Jim Didham, Eminent Commander)
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What Have You Done?
 
What have you done as you've journeyed through life
To aid someone weary or worn with the strife,
Of the battles he's fought or the races he's won.
I ask you again, what have you done?
Have you, as you travelled done all that you could
To practise the teachings of true brotherhood?
Did you lift up the fallen or comfort someone?
Again, may I ask, just what have you done?
Have you, when walking along life's weary road,
Having seen some poor fellow with too big a load
Offered to aid him and done all you could?
I don't know if you did, but that's what you should.
Well, your conscience will answer the question, my friend,
And you will be happy or sad in the end.
It's not yet too late, ere life's race be run,
To earn for yourself, "Thou hast well done."
 
Published in Masonic Bulletin - September 1951
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