So,What Happens When We Fall From Grace?

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Robert Walk Jr.

So, what happens when we fall from Grace? So, what happens when we fail? What happens when we get back out into the real world, after we are Raised, and begin to do The Great Work and we fumble? Not too sure about you Brethren, but my quick-to-judge attitude has been very resilient in my efforts to tear that tendency to shreds.

Nearly immediately after I was Raised back in February this year, 2014, my old tendencies came back — complaining about politics, road-raging due to tailgaters and bad traffic, and just plain complaining in general. I go from cold to hot in under three seconds, which has been brought to my attention very many times, during which I had to take a moment to breathe. What happened to the very lesson which was literally just given to me in my Raising? It seemed as though it had taken a back seat for a few months, as I awaited the time of the fateful moment during the latter portion of that night. It was a rather stark reminder that that which we contend with in human nature and ego is not easily given up or even destroyed for that matter.

The question here then, is what are we to do if we have a transgression of our obligations, or we fail to present the Fraternity in the Great Light that it truly provides? I knew that I couldn’t be the only one whose tendencies didn’t get the best of them, even after the Third Degree Ritual. I began to ask around about what I could do if I became that person I was struggling to constantly downplay? That oftentimes angry, irritable, non-sensical man surely did not listen to his own conscience when it came to certain matters of that nature. The answers I got were not nearly as satisfying or fulfilling as I thought they should’ve been:

“Don’t worry, Brother. We all do it sometimes.”

“What did you do? Flick ‘em off? They deserved it!”

or the worst answer,

“You’re just too hard on yourself, man.”

Something was amiss here. I really didn’t know where to go with that. There was a feeling of redemption that I was after that wasn’t attainable by these throwaway one-liners. Should I go to the Worshipful Master and confess? Well, for God’s sake, he’s surely not my pastor! Well, then obviously I should sit in contemplation and prayer! Right, but in that case if my Masonhood were in question, I would not be judged by my Brethren.

After a few months I came to see what I was missing all along. Forgiveness of yourself, if the issue could not be resolved with the other person, is the most important thing of all here. If you were not ever to forgive yourself of these offenses, how could we possibly make it over the first hurdle? You can’t get past the thought of the transgression enough to realize why you acted the way you did, and to never end up doing that again. However, that brings up a higher thought, within the realm of self-forgiveness. If your conscience cannot possibly keep you from acting the way you did in that moment of selfishness, doesn’t that speak to the nature of the human condition itself? And I believe, by that very question, we delve into the true nature of Masonic thought and introspection. With that, good luck to you, my Brothers.

God Bless, and get to Lodge!


Bro. Robert Walk Jr. is the creator and sole writer for On Freemasonry and Humble Pie: a Wordpress blog dedicated to his experiences and journey from being a petitioner, to Initiation, Passing, and to being Raised. A dialysis technician being his main work, he enjoys writing, rock climbing, drumming and craft beer in his free time. He is a Master Mason at Jephthah Lodge No. 222, A.F.&A.M. in Essex, MD.

Pancakes or Waffles?

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Tech

It is no secret that we Freemasons love our pancake breakfasts.  There are a score of pancake   (That and fish fries, but I have yet to visit a lodge having a fish fry dinner.) breakfast related memes on the internet and it is a very common joke amongst masons.

I often get a kick out of pancake breakfasts being put on by lodges (My Lodge does two a year, like clockwork, and other nearby lodges do them once a month to once a week!) because I have always been amused by stereotypes, specifically when people fulfill them.  The stereotype of the Freemason – putting aside the “We secretly rule the world to place the population in service to our Reptoid overlords” conspiracy junk – is a bunch of old men washing dishes after a pancake breakfast. 

At my Lodge, we have a fairly old gas stove/oven.  I'd call it ancient but I wouldn't want to offend any members of the lodge who remember when it was brand new.  My job since becoming a Freemason has been to heat up the sausage that we serve with our pancakes.  Of all the jobs, I prefer this one, as it lets me work without moving about all morning, and I can have a quick moment to say hello to guests without having an option to engage in idle chitchat. (I am an introvert who likes the concept of people far more than the finished product.)  So I feed into the stereotype, and enjoy it quite a bit.

I should remark, I don't enjoy it at all while I am doing it.  I get there insanely early, having to get up even earlier to make the half hour drive to lodge, then sit in front of a hot oven, making myself smell of sausage and sweat, for a few hours, then I help clean up.  But what I enjoy, and what makes it worth it, is talking to the folks of my lodge without being in the formal meeting setting.  Even more, listening to the members talk to one another freely, not bound by the restrictions of the official meetings. (For those non-masons, there are certain topics that we are forbidden to discuss during open lodge meetings).

The real "point within a circle".
A second thing that is no secret is that pancakes are generally round whereas waffles can be square.  (I'll give you a moment to recover from that revelation).   In Masonry, the circle is a representation of the person's mind or soul, whereas the square is a representation of the body or the physical world.  I have sometimes wondered why we don't offer waffles, not just for the symbolism, but also because I prefer them to pancakes.  Waffles hold syrup better, plus they are much easier surfaces for the spreading of peanut butter. (Don't knock it until you've tried it.)  Now, I would wager that 100% of the reason for waffles not making an appearance is that we don't have a waffle-maker, but the symbol-loving part of me finds it interesting that I eat round pancakes at an even that my body dislikes but my mind and soul enjoy.


Brother Tech is the author of A Christian's Perspective on Masonic Symbols: The Square and Compasses. He is an active member in the craft, loves motorcycles and prefers to remain anonymous.

Alas, My Brother

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
WB Ken Baril

Last evening, about six-thirty,
I went to a visitation
For a departed Brother of a Masonic Lodge
Without any hesitation.

I slowly entered the funeral home,
Rather solemnly, I confess.
I thought I would be greeted by many
Of his Masonic Brothers, no less.

Only three of his Lodge Brother’s were present,
While the family sat alone.
Where is all the Brotherly Love
His Brothers should have shown?

Not only was I embarrassed,
For I could feel the family’s pain,
Of not seeing their loved ones Brothers,
As the mourners went and came.

The Masonic oaths we took on bended knee,
Should mean much more than this.
Have we lost sight of what they mean?
My Brothers, something surely is amiss.

We certainly have an obligation,
To make time to say Good-bye:
 Eternity is a long, long, time
For tear filled eyes to dry.

Although many of your Brothers are not here,
To say their last farewell,
I am here to say my last Good-bye,
Alas, my Brother, sleep well!


WB Ken Baril was born in New Haven, CT. and moved to the Cincinnati area in 1999. He is a three time Master of his lodge, Temple Lodge No. 16. AF & AM, 1982-1983-1995, located in Cheshire, CT. While living in Connecticut and prior to his moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, Ken has been the featured speaker at many public schools and Veterans organizations. Ken is a published author who has written a book focusing on members of the Masonic Fraternity who have been recipients of our nation’s highest award for bravery, the prestigious Medal of Honor called " The Medal of Honor - The Letter G in Valor". Ken has dedicated his time and effort to researching and developing various programs including, “The Medal of Honor Program,” “The Immortal Four Chaplains,” as well as many others. His programs are dedicated to the preservation of an important portion of American history, contributions, and sacrifices, in the defense of the United States, and to the memory of all those who have given their lives in the pursuit of that objective. He also writes articles for various Masonic publications. He served his country during the Korean War in the United States Air Force. He currently resides in Hudson, FL. with his wife, Marion. 

Field of Dreams

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Brian Schimian

When you think of the Movie, “Field of Dreams”, or when I do at least, I think of the line, “…if you build it, they will come…”.  What exactly does this have to do with the Craft, you ask?  It seems like every day I see something new, something useless and most times something that makes me think, “…hmm, I should buy that…”.  Every single one of these things, in just about every category that you can imagine, has one detail in common.

The Masonic Guardian Bell
Maybe there is some subliminal message in the Degree work that programs us recognize the Square & Compasses.  When we see it on a piece of merchandise, we think, I could buy that.  Most recently, I came across this little gem:

Some of you mat have heard of the Guardian Bell, most probably have not unless they are familiar with the motorcycle world.  

Guardian Bell

“Legend has it that Evil Road Spirits have been latching themselves on to motorcycles for as long as there have been bikes on the road. These Evil Road Spirits are responsible for mechanical problems and bad luck along a journey.

Legend goes on to say that by attaching a small bell onto your bike, the Evil Road Spirits will become trapped inside the bell where the constant ringing drives them insane, making them lose their grip until they fall to the ground. (Ever wonder where potholes come from?)

Legend also has it that the mystery of the Guardian Bell carries twice as much power when it is purchased by a friend or loved one and given as a gift.

Show someone how much you care. Offer them defense against the Evil Road Spirits! Give a Guardian™ Bell and share the Legend of Good Luck it offers to a motorcycle and its rider!”

So, take that line from the movie and change it slightly to “If you put a Square & Compasses on it, they will buy it.”  Be honest, even if you have a perfectly good set of screwdrivers at home, if you were walking through the store and saw a set with the S&C on it, you would at least look at it and contemplate buying it.  Like I said, there must be some subliminal message in the ritual that makes us want to buy anything with the S&C on it.  And they are doing a good job of making sure to adorn just about everything with it for our us to buy.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen for sale or bought with the Square & Compasses on it that you may or may not have needed?
Bro. Brian Schimian is Life of Member A.O. Fay #676 in Highland Park Illinois and the Medinah Shriners - Lake County Shrine Club. He was also the Past Master Counselor of DeMolay - Lakes Chapter in 1995. Most recently, Brian became a Companion of the York Rite, joining Waukegan Chapter #41 R.A.M. Brian is a father of two children. "Start Square, Finish Level"

Masonic Networking

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Jerry Henderson

I have been a Freemason for quite some time now.  In that time, I have met brothers from all across my jurisdiction, from NYC to Buffalo. I have also traveled to jurisdictions all across the East Coast and the South.  Also, I have met brothers from the West Coast and Midwest and I will be traveling to see them soon.  I have even met brothers from all around the world, from Japan, to Russia and London.  The way I came into the craft was, in fact, networking.

I have been in NYC since 2007.  I’m originally from Memphis, Tennessee.  When I was 20, I was in church and a mentor of mine, Mr. Davis, was there.  I asked my mom about freemasonry and she told me to talk to him.  I was nervous to talk to him about it, but I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of, so I went ahead and asked him about freemasonry.  We must have talked for about 10-15 minutes about freemasonry and I was excited to hear about the craft!  He then told me if I had any other questions, just to ask him.  I was nervous, but I knew the motto, “2B1ASK1”, so I told him I was interested in becoming a Freemason.  He then requested a petition for me and brought it to me a couple months later.  I filled it out, gave it back to him and forgot about it.  I then got a call about a job in Connecticut and moved.  While in Connecticut, I was still very much interested in the craft, but I didn’t join because I was trying to leave my current employer.  

When I moved to NYC in 2007, I was ready to become a member.  But the main problem thing didn’t know any Freemasons up here in the area.  I left the thought alone for a year, but it kept on bugging me.  So, in 2009, I asked a brother, Bro. Holman, in Memphis about the craft.  He then passed me to a brother in Boston, Bro. Russo.  Bro. Russo came down to NYC and linked up with some brothers he knew.  He gave my info to a brother names Bro. McCoy.  The plan was for me to go into his lodge, but my schedule didn’t allow for me join there.  So, he introduced me to Bro. Revander, whose lodge met my schedule.  Just that networking to get me into the craft, left a lasting legacy on me.  Always remember to travel, as we are traveling men.  


Bro. Jerry Henderson is a member of St. James Lodge #114 a subordinate lodge of the MWPHGLNY. He is also a member of Abu Bekr Temple #91, A.E.A.O.N.M.S