February Temple Topics

Welcome to newly affiliated Bro. Pat Lynch, and to new EA Edward Powell.


Upcoming events can always been seen on the lodge website, http://www.berwynlodge.org as well as on the Berwyn Lodge Facebook page maintained by Bro. Alejandro Cabral. Some notable upcoming events in the next month include:

March 1 – Finance committee meeting (6:30) and then practice for DDGM reception

March 8 – Stated meeting and reception of DDGM

March 22 – Stated meeting

March 29 – Masonic education discussion at Berwyn Lodge

April 26 – Past Masters’ Night (RSVP by April 12 to W.Bro. Luisito Fanlo, Bro. Alejandro Cabral & Bro. Gadiel Levi, or by email at berwynlodge839sec@gmail.com)

May 31 – Masonic fellowship night at Olive or Twist restaurant in Berwyn


The Finger and the Moon

There is a quote, variously attributed to Zen philosophers and Chinese sages (with a variation also appearing in the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon) that goes something like this: “Don’t mistake the finger for the moon when you’re pointing at it.”

Another way to say the same thing is “Don’t confuse the symbol with what it stands for.” Our Illinois Table Lodge ritual is very clear on this point. Chalk is a symbol; freedom is what it stands for. In Masonry, we are justly proud of the beautiful system of symbols and allegories through which we instruct ourselves – from candidates to Past Masters – in the Masonic principles. But we should be equally careful that we learn the principles, and not just the symbols.

Are we living our Masonic freedom of thought and action? Our fervency for justice and relief? Our zeal for our brothers’ welfare and for the welfare of our Craft? Do we spend our time concentrating on the meaning of Masonry and its ability to improve the physical, mental, and moral lives of ourselves and those with whom we come into contact? Or do we leave our ideals behind when we leave lodge (or even check them at the door on the way in) and make choices that are convenient, rather than correct?

I won’t argue that there is a single fixed morality, or that every situation we encounter is easily divided into right and wrong, good and bad. Human relationships – with family, with friends, and, yes, with our brethren in Freemasonry – can be downright trying, and no one can engage with other people without sometimes hurting feelings or worse. As my poster once said to me when I was an apprentice, “we are all brothers, but not necessarily all friends.”  But I learned two decades ago that most problems can be solved when everyone involved is committed to working together openly and honestly to solve them; the problems that are left usually require greater patience, humility, and tolerance, and these are qualities that lodges and them members could (but don’t always) teach one another.

Pointing to the moon is important – without that finger to follow, the moon might rise and set unnoticed. Keep pointing. But don’t mistake the finger for the moon.

On the lighter side

For a great collection of Masonic jokes and riddles, check out http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/jokes_2008.html (from the Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry). Bring your favorite to lodge some time – silence may be gold, but wit is quicksilver.

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