The holiday season is now upon us. It is that time of year in which we traditionally reflect upon all of those things for which we are thankful.
As Freemasons, we are taught to make gratitude a regular part of our life. One of our very first lessons is to never begin any great or important undertaking without first invoking the benefit of Deity. This lesson is put into practice through the Chaplain of the lodge. Blessings are given before each meal which we, as Masons, share with each other. Every meeting opens and closes with a prayer. These practices force us to remember that everything that we have, from food to fellowship, is but a precious gift bestowed upon us by the Supreme Architect.
The genius of the Masonic system is that through subtle but regular and ritualistic practices, we are slowly and imperceptibly changed into better men. When we regularly attend lodge meetings, we may find ourselves bored by our opening and closing ritual. Yet, when we stop and think, our ritual is actually teaching us. What is it teaching us? For one thing, it teaches us to be thankful. This slowing down of our day, where we place our right hand over our heart and bow our heads, softens the edges we may have for that day. It reminds us where we are and who is watching over us. It subconsciously awakens our Masonic oaths and obligations. Our personal rough ashlar becomes a bit smoother. Our soul, our personality and our personal temple is further molded toward that ultimate goal of perfection.
So does Freemasonry teach us what we should be thankful for? In answering that question, we find ourselves once again faced with the "secret mysteries" of Freemasonry. No one but you, my Brothers, can answer that question. That is because each of us has our own personal list of blessings for which we are thankful for. Again, the genius of our system is that each of us is allowed to travel our own personal journey and build our own personal temple. What we are given, however, are the tools necessary to make this journey. Gratitude and the practice of thankfulness is just one of these tools.
Our meeting on December 12th will open at 6:00 p.m. This is so we can conduct and conclude our business and have time for a festive get together. This year we will try something different and travel down the road to Gregg's Restaurant on Pawtucket Avenue. I hope that as many of you as possible will join us that night. It will be a chance for me to express my gratitude to all of you for your help and support through my first six months as Master. Please do me a favor, however, and let me know if you will be attending dinner by making your reservations by email on our excellent website. This will be helpful in planning this get together and insuring that we make the necessary reservations at the restaurant.
I want to close my message for this month by thanking everyone who attended our Annual Table Lodge in November. As always, Dave Eccleston of Touch of Class Caterers did an outstanding job in preparing the food for the night. It was both delicious and plentiful. The heroes of the evening, however, were the Officers, Brothers and Entered Apprentices who served the food, charged the cannons and cleared the tables. You are the ones who made the evening a success. To all of you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I hope this Holiday season truly blesses each one of you. May the love of the Supreme Architect rain health and happiness upon you and your loved ones. May 2017 be a wonderful year for the entire Redwood family and our fellowship continue to strengthen and grow.
I look forward to seeing you all in December.
Robert T. Goff