Page 4 - MFM Session Issue April 21
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Greetings from the Grand East

     Brian J. Murphy, Grand Master

*You Called me Brother!                                                  Masons go, our unspoken motto echoes
                                                                         the words of Joseph from the Old
Our Craft is a society with secrets, but                                 Testament: Et achai anochi mevakesh –
until recently, the public at large thought                              “I go seeking my brethren”.
it was a ‘Secret Society’. Our secrets                                   We are not angels – far from it – and at
must and will continue to be guarded,                                    times our brotherliness is found wanting,
but an elemental understanding of what                                   but never should we let themselves
Masonry stands for and does is now                                       forget ‘how good and how pleasant it is
becoming accessible to the general                                       for brethren to dwell together in unity’.
public. As a result, some of the old                                     But more than this, even greater and far
myths will be exploited, however,                         more essential is that we know that each fellow man
respect for our purposes and ambitions                    is also a brother, and to each fellow man one must
will increase, and our numbers may grow – not             be able to say:
because numbers, as such, matter, but because every       Brother, I acknowledge you.
citizen who joins and commits himself to a notable,       Brother, I trust you.
ethical movement brings added strength to society.        Brother, you can rely on me.
This point is emphasized by the Scriptural passage        Brother, I honor your dignity.
that deals with God’s command to take a census of         Brother, I respect your opinion.
the Israelites. But not by means of counting heads.
No! Everyone who wished to be counted had to
contribute half a shekel, and it was the half-shekels
that were counted. The lesson? That one should be
impressed, not so much by mere numbers as by
whether an individual was willing to make such a
crucial and worthwhile contribution.

What then is the crucial and worthwhile contribution      Brother, I rejoice in your success.
that one makes as a Mason?                                Brother, I am happy at your happiness.
To me it is suggested by a story told by the              Brother, I feel your pain.
preeminent Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy           Brother, I understand your needs.
was approached by a beggar who, stretching out            Brother, I support you.
his hands, was looking for alms. Tolstoy searched
his pockets and said “Sorry Brother, I don’t have
anything to offer you.”

“Thank you, sir.” replied the beggar.                     Brother, the world needs you.

“Why are you thanking me? I have not given you            Brother, I need you.
anything.” Tolstoy asked.                                 Brother, even if I have nothing to give you, I call
                                                          you ‘brother’.”
“You called me Brother, and that is enough for me!”       Someone once described our era as the age of the
said the beggar with great joy.                           ‘UN-brotherhood’of man, and it is with little wonder.
                                                          There appears to be an epidemic of immorality
“I have learnt it from Swami Vivekananda.” said the       wherever you turn. Injustice, exploitation, self-
great writer.                                             seeking, self-serving, arrogance, callousness,
                                                          corruption, victimization, viciousness, and violence.
This is one of the first things that Masons learn to do,  - Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “When I see society
to call each other “Brother”. We meet in fellowship.      vicious and the poor starving in great cities, I feel
We commence work in harmony and conclude and              that it is a mighty wave of evil is passing over the
part in peace. We have our honest differences but         world.”
respect each other the more highly for them. We
acknowledge each other’s virtues and, with good
humor, tolerate each other’s faults. Wherever

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