Now that we know what Brotherly Love is and even know four different definitions of love, we can proceed to an understanding of what Brotherly Love looks like. Pictures are always better than works because thoughts are much more difficult to put into words.
In the First Degree we explain to the candidate that the religion of Freemasonry is an "Unfeigned" belief in the one living and True God. Unfeigned is a clue work telling us that we are talking about love in its all encompassing agape form. The emotions of agape love do not always seem to be as loud or overbearing as eros love (passionate love), or even sorge love, (love for children). It is a much deeper form of love that usually simmers quiet yet very deep but is all encompassing from a fulfillment sense. If you happen to see a little child playing with a puppy you will understand this. The emotion generated here hits us in many different ways and fills us with many differing thought. Some may not be as joyful as others but they all sent a feeling of deep love throughout our mind, soul, and body.
This also has consequences for us a Mason and a Brother. Let's look at that wonderful time when we have a candidate to initiate in to the Mysteries of Freemasonry. We are all around the Altar and the candidate is professing his desires and intentions through his obligation. We should also be doing just that very same thing for this new initiate. We should be considering how we as a Lodge are going to fulfill our obligation to this new Entered Apprentice.
Will we accept him with open arms, excited to hear everything there is to know about a new Brother? Will we make every effort to get to know his immediate family and make them feel welcome? How have we planned for his education and what shape will it take? Will we insure that he learns our history so he will have a sound foundation for future learning? Will we put him right to work so that he will feel involved? Will we give him a special teacher (think mentor) who will be with him and help him thought each step of his journey? Will we continue to nurture him through the first few years of his membership? Will we require proof of his learning so that he will both know that we do really care and that he is indeed learning? Will be there for him all the way to the Masonic Home or Masonic funeral?
As far as I can tell from my experience, we are not dong all of this. A point to examine is if we have taught all these principles to the new members, why do none of them attend Masonic funerals for Brothers they did not know? Have they been properly taught to respect Brothers who have given life and livelihood to the Brotherhood for many years? Are the newest members attending training and ritual practice? Have we not loved these Brothers enough to teach them what they need to know and do?
I charge you to know that if each Brother does not do all in his power to enhance both the Lodge and his Brothers of all ages, he is not in the grip of agape Brotherly Love. It then becomes the duty of every member who has the ability to know, to remind each member, in a most tender manner, of his failings and aid his reformation.
The new Brother, the old Brother, and the deceased Brother have need of your services. It is your duty to provide them assistance.