It is the last thing (almost) we encounter in the first degree.
The bible speaks at long length about the subject.
In the first book of Corinthians, Chapter 13, verse one we are taught:
And, of course, there is the teaching of Christ – from the Book of Saint Mark, Chapter 12, v. 41-42
So quite obviously, there is something to this business of charity.
It seems a thread that runs throughout Freemsonry, and then, also, the Holy Bible.
So what does it mean for that change to flow freely from one’s purse? Is it really all about pity, or “there but for the grace of God” ?
It should be more than either.
It is our obligation, and not just to one another, but to the whole world.
The admonishment is any poor and distressed person.
But more, you know, it is “who” we are.
The Freemason is essentially a charitable being, emulating his own God.
Think of how many times God shows mercy and forbearance to those who have chosen to stray.
Yet another is the prodigal’s son.
Every lodge I know has a charity fund. We make it our business.
How about you make it yours too.
As a dear friend once said “don’t give until it hurts; give, until it feels good”.
Be well, my brethren, and always remember that poor and distressed person you encounter.
Industry. An interesting word. As a noun, it defines what really makes a Nation prosperous.
Without industry, where would we work?
There is health care “industry”; automotive; chemical; agricultural; technological. Industries are everywhere. And they are about production. Twenty-four seven.
The wealth of nations.
But when the term is applied to an individual, it takes on a slightly different meaning
To be industrious is a description. The noun becomes an adverb, and words come together in industrious style to form a sentence; an industrious writer throws out a lot of these — words.
While the writer is measured (too often) by his words, the mason may be measured by his stones. But more than quantity, he is measured by how well they fit together. So is the industrious writer.
But what of the industrious Freemason? Well, his work may not be measured so much by how well he chooses his words, nor how well the stones may fit together, but more by the work he pours into his Masonic career.
This often translates to the work carried out by the ritualist, or by the lodge officer, or by those performing charity work in the community.
All are hallmarks of industry, and of the industrious Mason.
This on the surface would seem so very obvious, would it not? We take vows of chastity, vows of purity, we promise to be industrious; to be just, prudent, temperate and to practice fortitude (or steadfastness and strength).
And yet again, here in the landmarks are reiterated the concept already covered. In temperance is sobriety. So what else could it possibly mean.
Well again, it seems so very obvious. It is keeping a cool and calm demeanor. Unlike the fellow who could not pronounce a certain word under pressure, the sober Mason would take his time to frame and enunciate his words.
The intemperate mason would roll off at the tongue half-cocked, like a drunken sailor, let’s say, or some flea bag bar fly.
But the temperate mason would take his time. Think things through, before he speaks, and frame his words carefully.
But, the obvious is also true as well. A mason should never find himself in the gutter, either in practice, or in his mannerism or his speech, and worse still, face down. It is a place for the profane, and the sober man would avoid it like the plague.