May Temple Topics


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

May 17 – 1st degree

May 24 – Stated meeting and 2nd degrees

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

June 14 – Annual meeting and election of officers

June 28 – Stated meeting

July 10 – Installation of officers

As I will be out of town from June 4-14, there may not be a June article in Temple Topics, unless I scare up a replacement.


Visiting the Sick

To be ill, and especially to be ill in the hospital, among strangers (however well-trained) and subject to uncomfortable restrictions even beyond those of the illness, is one of the more difficult experiences of life. It is not surprising, therefore, that nearly every religion or moral system recognizes visiting the sick as a special responsibility and a worthy deed. Jews, for example, base the commandment to visit the sick on a story in the book of Genesis, when God visits Abraham after his circumcision. Christians may refer to Matthew 25:36 (“I was sick, and ye visited me.”) as their model. John Wesley, the founder of Methodist Christianity, wrote in an 1872 sermon on the practice: “It is equally incumbent on young and old, rich and poor, men and women, according to their ability. None are so young, if they desire to save their own souls, as to be excused from assisting their neighbours. None are so poor, (unless they want the necessaries of life) but they are called to do something, more or less, at whatever time they can spare, for the relief and comfort of their afflicted fellow-sufferers.”

Freemasons too are enjoined to visit the sick, an important expression of the Masonic tenet of Relief, and this tenet is not limited to the Master or Chaplain! To be ill is difficult, but worse is to be ill and alone. Any time a Brother can visit another in the hospital or sick bed, he not only relieves the distress of loneliness for the period of his visit, but reminds the ailing Brother that he is not alone, not forgotten, not ignored by his Lodge. The visit may be brief – the visitor has other responsibilities, and the ailing Brother may also need rest and quiet – but its impact continues long after it is over, and is multiplied by each other lodge Brother who makes a similar stop to offer a smile, a joke, an attentive ear, or a game of cards. If you have time for a longer visit, you can also provide a respite for family members who can take a break while you’re there.

Of course, it is difficult to visit a man when you don’t know he is in the hospital. Brethren, please remember to let your lodge know if you become ill – and tell your loved ones how they can do so if you can’t. A single call to any active Brother should be enough to stir the lodge into action; the Brother contacted should inform the Master and Secretary, and through the officers of the lodge, all the Brethren should be informed about when and where to visit the ailing Brother.

Most people don’t like hospitals, and do their best to stay away from them. Before I became a Mason, I didn’t have much experience with the sick (and I hadn’t attended that many funerals either). One of the great gifts of Masonry to me has been the opportunity to learn to get over the natural awkwardness of being a visitor in a hospital and recognize the chance to give and receive true Brotherhood. It is a practice I recommend highly to all in the Craft.


Masonic Verse

There have been some nice Masonic poems circulating among the Brethren. Here’s one from “The Masonic Ladder, or the Nine Steps to Ancient Freemasonry” by John Sherer (1876), which includes quite a few poems:


Who wears THE SQUARE upon his breast,

Does in the eye of God attest,

And in the face of man,

That all his actions do compare

With the Divine, th’ unerring Square-

That squares great virtue’s plan :

That he erects his Edifice

By this design, and this, and this


Who wears THE LEVEL, says that pride

Does not within his soul abide,

Nor foolish vanity;

That man has but a common doom,

And from the cradle to the tomb,

A common destiny :

That he erects his Edifice

By this design, and this, and this


Who wears THE G; ah, type divine!

Abhors the atmosphere of sin,

And trusts in God alone ;

His Father, Maker, Friend, he knows

He vows, and pays to God his vows,

As by th’ Eternal throne :

And he erects his Edifice

By this design, and this, and this


Who wears THE PLUMB, behold how true

His words, his walk! and could we view

The chambers of his soul,

Each thought enshrined, so pure, so good/

By the stern line of rectitude,

Points truly to the goal :

And he erects his Edifice

By this design, and this, and this


Thus life and beauty come to view,

In each design our fathers drew,

So glorious, so sublime ;

Each breathes an odor from the bloom

Of gardens bright beyond the tomb,

Beyond the flight of time:

And bids us build on this and this,

The walls of God’s own Edifice!

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