Message from the East

J.B. Covert Lodge #437

Making Good Men Better


On Fraternity

My Brothers,

We, as Free Masons, often hear and use the word fraternity.  But do we truly know what it means and how it applies to each of us?  Let us examine the word first, and then its meaning.  Fraternity comes from the Latin word frater, which translates to brother.  We hear the word brother often, we refer to one another as brother and it indicates we feel a certain kinship to one another as brothers, or to take it one step further, as family.  One could say, as brothers, we are all a member of one huge, worldwide family.  Fraternity is defined as a group of people sharing a common profession or interests.  As a fraternity, as a band of brothers, as a family we all share a common interest which we often sum up as Brotherly love, relief, and truth.

As in all such groups, certainly in most families there is always some degree of dysfunction.  This is part of the human condition.  We as Masons are not   immune from this condition.  We also tend to be competitive in what we do.  We try to give a better lecture or a better charge than someone else doing the same lecture or charge.  This is okay, if we remember our hard work does not negate someone else’s hard work.  We all strive to do better, as we should, but not to the point that we cancel the good work of another.  It might be a better idea to not try to compete and be better than your brother but a better idea to lend a hand and help that brother to improve and do so with brotherly love.

We all need to reach out and help one another.  If one is assigned a task or responsibility and another sees and opportunity to help, that is not a negative thing.  That is one brother helping to relieve the burden of another.  One should be grateful to know there is another brother in his corner, willing to “step up,step out and get involved”.  It would, however, be a good idea to reach out and make the offer of a helping hand thus giving the other an opportunity to accept or decline.  Sometimes just an offer of help is all the help that is needed.

I have a reason for the message from the east.  Suffice it to say, and I am told each time we open lodge, it is my duty as Lodge Master to “give proper instruction”.  This is my intent here.  It is not to criticize or in any way to demean another’s feelings or interpretation of the facts.  So, the instruction here is this if someone reaches out to help, accept the help.  If someone reaches out to instruct, accept the instruction, and if someone reaches out and criticizes, accept the criticism for the reason it is offered, not to put you down, but to build you up and help to make you better.  Afterall, we all have room to improve.




Tom Lind