“Freemasonry is a life to be lived, not a formality to be perfunctorily observed. It is a life to be lived, not a set of empty creeds to which lip service is given. It is a life grounded in religion, organized in morality, mellowed by good friendship, humanized in charity and dedicated to service.” – M.W. Bro. Harold Richardson, New York
Order, in the sense that it is a force to be introduced into your life to improve your situation and better your establishment, is a conventional method of introduction to this concept. For this article, I’m going to reference our ancient and honorable fraternity in terms of being an order. The force of order to combat chaos is fundamental, as illustrated by Bro. Benjamin Franklin‘s placement of the virtue as third on his list. Instinctively, those of us within the order of Freemasonry, and those seeking to join are drawn to the fulfillment of this desire—this desire to be a part of order and away from chaos—and thus we joined Freemasonry. Ask any active brother what value they derive from their membership, and I’m sure you’ll receive a variety of answers, but those who understand Freemasonry will likely find some affinity with the quote by M.W. Bro. Harold Richardson of New York that we cited at the start of this article.
This (Freemasonry) is a life to be lived, and it is through the fraternal order that we have order introduced into our lives. It is a reciprocal process. I now strive to organize my life such that I schedule time for the Craft, and in doing so—in bringing more order to my life—I’ve discovered time previously lost to extra, less essential activities. Time that I’d thought I didn’t have has been reclaimed for the application of Freemasonry as well as other endeavors from which I gain and give more.
In another article, I wrote about the importance of scheduling, and I reiterate it here. Our time is filled with distractions that can keep us from fulfilling the very purpose of Life. We watch television, play video games, go to movies, or other things equally distracting and just as unfulfilling, even justified. It was a fantastic thing that happened when I actually began to use those hours I’d previously wasted for Craft Work. I started to see that Freemasonry was more than just showing up to a degree or business meeting, and having the prestige of being able to claim the title of Master Mason. Freemasonry is more than just a set of empty creeds—something we speak about in Lodge but forget once we exit the temple and return to our daily lives. Without consideration of these things that are being taught within our tenets and landmarks, we are as the common man.
The order of our fraternal order is to live Freemasonry. Give credence to the tenets by scheduling them into our lives and making them a part of us.
Freemasonry is grounded in religion: It is not a religion nor does it promote one particular sect. All the same, it is grounded on the sincere belief in that Great Architect of the Universe, even God. If we apply the principles of just that one thought to our lives, we can change dramatically.
Freemasonry is organized in morality: Through making men better, we strive to avoid those things that society views as deplorable. We should always be attempting to represent moral, truthful, honest men of integrity. Even as society has changed what is acceptable to them on the whole, we as Freemasons should stand out as representatives of right moral bearing.
I encourage all of us to consider for ourselves the order that Freemasonry has brought into our lives and share with the world your feelings and sentiments by leaving a comment below.