International Royal Arch Masons Newsletter #8 - Interesting Thoughts
The Seven Blunders of the Masonic World
1. Ritual without Meaning.
2. Fellowship without Frivolity.
3. Quantity without Quality.
4. Education without Philosophy.
5. Charity without Connection.
6. Frugality without Discretion.
7. Leadership without Competence.
Ritual Without Meaning:
Too many times, we are more concerned about performing the ritual perfectly without understanding what it means. I know many men that give great lectures, but will confide that they don't even know what something means. Ritual for the sake of tradition is worthless. Ritual for the sake of enlightenment is valuable. An understanding of the ritual's meaning is far more important than just memorizing it.
Fellowship Without Frivolity:
Whenever Masons decide to hold a function for fellowship, a discussion typically ensues about how to make the function have the smallest impact on the Lodge's coffers and the wallets of the members. This results in paper plates, meager meals, and boring events. To spend money wisely in order to make fellowship a grand time is wise to the Lodge that wants to be successful.
Quantity Without Quality:
A Lodge with seven great men who believe in the Masonic ideals and actively labor to improve themselves - and therefore the Lodge - is far better off than a Lodge with one hundred men that show up for Lodge just to show up to Lodge.
Education Without Philosophy:
Many times, we think of Masonic education as being a lesson on the local Lodge's history, a famous Mason, the history of the worldwide Fraternity, or how to do ritual properly. But if no philosophy is covered in Masonic education then little or no self improvement is accomplished. Discussing Masonic lessons in terms of philosophy, ideas, and a man's conduct is what truly transforms men into Masons. It is important to discuss topics that are foreign to a Lodge's membership and it is sometimes even necessary to challenge our preconceived ideologies through Masonic education.
Charity Without Connection:
Big institutional charities often require that fund raisers be conducted and large checks be written to the people that actually perform the charity. This type of charity is devoid of self improvement because it has no real connection. If we extend our hands to our needed Brethren and devote our own skills and time to their problems, then we are engaged in true, meaningful charity.
Frugality Without Discretion:
Frugality is not a tenet of Freemasonry, a cardinal virtue, or a Landmark. It is ok for the Lodge to spend its funds on worthwhile activities that will enhance the Masonic experience of its Brethren. Not everything should be done in the cheapest way, a habit to which we have become accustomed.
Leadership Without Competence:
A man does not deserve to be Master of the Lodge solely because he has spent a certain amount of years in the Lodge. We elect leaders without any regard for the skills that they possess to function in that capacity. Only competent, qualified, well trained men should be elected to preside over the Craft