Following last month's wonderful presentation by Illustrious Glenn Medeiros of the Rhode Island Shrine, I was reminded of this quote:
"When you give of yourself to help other people, you
cannot help but be abundantly rewarded."
Freemasonry truly provides us with so many different avenues to improve ourselves. Through our consciousness of others in need, and our resulting charitable endeavors, we not only gain satisfaction in helping others but we, in turn, take one more step toward our goal of making ourselves "better men." Many thanks again to Illustrious Glenn and his fellow Nobles, W. Domenic DiStefano, W. Robert St. Jean and W. Norman Messinger for showing us how the Shrine's "Love in Action" is put to work.
Upon being initiated as an Entered Apprentice, one of the first gifts that we receive is the honor of being henceforth referred to as "Brother". I wonder how often we truly reflect upon what our Masonic brotherhood really means. I am sure that it means something different for you than it means for me, but I hope that we can both agree that our Masonic brotherhood is truly the lifeblood by which we are all connected. Through our ritual and the mysterious teachings that are contained within, we become bound to each other in ways that take us beyond mere friendship. We not only become connected to a network of millions of Masons worldwide, but we enter into a time machine. Through our Masonic brotherhood, we become immediately tied to all of those Masons who have come before us. They, too, become our "brothers" and as such, we are entitled to consider them our peers. Imagine your Masonic "brother" was George Washington and if he was able to come back and sit in the lodge today, you would be able to meet him on the level, despite his being the "Father of our Country". This is just another example of what Freemasonry offers to all of us.
One of the ways that Redwood Lodge enhances its brotherhood is through its annual Table Lodge. On November 14th, we will continue this tradition and I hope that as many of you as possible will join in this special event. I consider the Table Lodge to be a celebration of Redwood's brotherhood. It is a way for Redwood members to come together in both a festive and yet Masonic occasion. It is also a chance to invite those Masons from other lodges to join the members of Redwood Lodge in food, drink and friendship. Let me close with a stanza from a Masonic poem. In my exploration into Masonry, I was moved to learn that there were brothers whose love of the craft moved them to write poetry. Here are a few words from Bro. Carl W. Mason:
"A Mason's hand is a hand that helps,
That lifts the fallen one,
That comes, in need, with a friendly deed,
To him whose strength is gone."
May we all develop the love for this craft as much as those who have put pen to paper to provide inspiration to us.
I look forward to seeing you in November
Robert T. Goff