We have met numerous men who have truly touched our hearts in many ways. We have learned through their example to be more compassionate, more understanding, more forgiving, more sincere, and above all, more loving. Not one of these men has an uncharitable disposition; therefore, they are all true Masons.
Masonry strives to teach its members that it would be great if we could convey this message throughout the whole world in ways we would have never thought possible.
We look to build on the positive example of others and bring those virtues, which are beneficial to them and to ourselves. No man is perfect, and we are taught that the lodge is a moral workshop in which the rough ashlar is to be polished for use and beauty. If our lodges had been too exacting, none of us would have gained admission.
As Masons, we should treat those brothers who have unfavorable and irritable traits, not with bitterness, nor with good-natured easiness, not with worldly indifference, nor with philosophic coldness, but with pity, patience, and loving kindness. At our Altar of Obligation, we learn to look for the best in men, find their strong points, and cast aside the negative and unfavorable traits. We are taught that we should attempt to see the best in our Brethren, to cast the best light on their actions, to see them and to hear their words in the most positive light, in the most CHARITABLE light. We are also taught to have a benevolent goodwill toward, or love, for humanity and be lenient in our judgment of others. This most benevolent Brotherhood has men of good character.
We meet brothers who may be ignorant, weak, or even ugly of spirit, driven by some blind force as all of us are apt to be and if so, our tact, and brotherly love and charity may be tested and tried, but more often than not, we can bring them back to intelligence, strength, and beauty. As the Bible states, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Truly, this is a wise saying, no less true today than when first said. As the old Greek said, “Know thyself,” because if we do not know ourselves, we cannot know others. It behooves us to put ourselves under the spell of all the influences God is using for the making of man, among which the spirit of Masonry is one of the gentlest, wisest and most benign.
If our erring brothers must be censored or expelled, they must also be treated with compassion. The Supreme Architect of the Universe waits to welcome them back with joy. They have done themselves a far deeper injury than they have anyone else. With empathy, prayer, and pain, let our hearts beat in harmony with all the powers the Supreme Architect of the Universe is using for their recovery.
“There remain Faith, Hope, and Charity; but the greatest of these, is Charity.”
As Master Masons, we have learned the Five Points of Fellowship, and these lessons should be foremost in our minds. This is how we, as Masons, “Make Good Men Better!”