In the degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry, we are continually reminded that God, by whatever name we choose to call Him, is the Source of life; He is the One constant in a continually changing world. He is the “great and beneficent Author of our existence” who provides us with the “manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy”, and that everything, and everyone around us, is a part of His wondrous creation. By the time you receive this message, two of the great religions of our world will have celebrated two of their most holy seasons. It will be a time when families will have gathered together, share d in the fellowship of meals, and most importantly, celebrate d the blessings and comforts we receive from our respective faiths. Once again, I turn to the words of M.W. Dewey H. Wollstein, PGM of Georgia, to spread Masonic light to each of us. M.W. Brother Wollstein, writing many years ago, reminds us again of one of the landmarks of our fraternity, that of the Universality of Freemasonry .
STRENGTH IN UNDERSTANDING We must ever keep in mind the fact that the strength of Masonry is in the ideal of Universality. It has never offered a prescribed religion, but has forever offered the inspiration for the individual Mason to grow in his religious beliefs. The instant there is a monopolistic trend to distribute religion to men, ignoring their private and personal beliefs, the system then becomes the master of the man and is a danger to society. The individual is submerged and no longer is a seeker of Light. On the other hand, when an institution gives proper emphasis to Spiritual Enlightenment in relation to Intellectual Development, the individual stands as “the image of his Creator,” not bound by dogma or edict, and free to develop spiritually and mentally, unhampered by a mighty pre-fabricated system. The strength of Masonry is in the tolerance and understanding of those of many beliefs who unite in Love, the pinnacle of all religions. The proper relation between Spiritual Growth and Mental Development is the balance wheel of Masonry. The highest good of all religions (and here is the common ground upon which Masons meet), is determined by the degree to which we recognise the same ingredients of love, of unselfishness, of service to humanity, in our brother’s religion, as we claim for our own. There is a fine distinction between a Landmark and a Wall. “Rays of Masonry” by Dewey Wollstein -1953
May all that we do, all that we say, and the way that we comport ourselves within, and without our Lodge, be examples of our mandate to be respectful and tolerant of the faith communities that make up our human, and our Masonic families .
Sincerely and Fraternally,
John F. Daugherty Jr, W.M