The Guiding Light Dec. 2015 - Page 9

The Guiding Light / Dec. 2015 9

The West Gate

Well my brothers, we are in the holiday season. A time when we reflect, give thanks, and lend brotherly love to those in need. As we progress through this month, let us not forget those less fortunate. We must be cognizant of those in need this season. It might be a small gift, a meal, or just giving time to someone, but we can all do something this holiday season. I would remind the brethren, that we will be hosting a Christmas party at the lodge this month on December 17th from 5:30 to 6:30. Please stop by the lodge and visit the children and Santa. If you can lend a hand with refreshments, pictures, or just join in the singing of Christmas Carols, that would be great. Bring the wives, friends, neighbors, kids, and grandkids. It is very informal. We will make it a come and go affair for the elementary kids that we will be hosting. Your presence would be greatly appreciated.

Last month, I wrote about Masonic maturity. How and when do we reach it? I ran across this bit of information in the booklet you are given upon being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. It is written by The Reverend Joseph Fort Newton. I spent a little time researching this man to find out his Masonic history. He was born in Decatur, Texas, and raised to a Master Mason in Illinois in 1902. He was strongly influenced by his father and others to become a Mason. The following is text from “When is a man a Mason”

When is a man a Mason? 

By Rev. Joseph Fort Newton 

When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope, and courage-which is the root of every virtue. 

When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellowman. 

When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins-knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds. 

When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself. 

When he loves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child. 

When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. 

When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead. 

When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response. 

When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be. 

When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see something beyond sin. 

When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. 

When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellowman, and with his God; in his hands a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song-glad to live, but not afraid to die! 

Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world. 

Wise word from a wise man. I have read these over numerous times, and I continually find new meaning each time. Some of this rings very true for the holiday season, while all of it applies year round.

Happy Holidays!

Randall S. King, Senior Warden