Page 36 - Education Programs
P. 36

had dressed in similar manner. His clothing was of camel hair, because that was what poor people
wore. It was plentiful when the camels shed their coats. It was cheap, warm, and although scratchy,
quite waterproof. John taught "change of character." He pointed fearlessly to the truth, even at the
cost of his life. It was better to die for truth than to live a lie, because he knew that the Great Light
upon the Altar, the Holy Scriptures, pointed to a better way, a life with God.

St. John the Evangelist teaches us to subdue our passions, one of the first things every Mason is
taught in lodge. When we follow the Gospels and the Book of Acts in the New Testament, we see
a major transformation of young John. He goes from being the hot-tempered young man to one
who exhibits peace in his old age. He goes from being intolerant of others, to working with others
in sharing his theology of a better way of life. John is loyal. He was the only disciple to attend the
trial of Jesus as well as to be at the foot of the cross for the crucifixion. And when he heard about
the empty tomb on Sunday morning, he was the first of the disciples to arrive. He also took care
of the widows taking Mary, the mother of Jesus, into his home until she died. A study of John's
writings shows that he teaches truth with love. He didn't waiver from his convictions, but he knew
the power of truth and love in a person's life.

Applying the Sts. John to Our Lives

If they form the two parallels, then a Mason traveling the circle must touch both of the Sts. John
and learn from each of them. He must learn to subdue his passions. A story is told in my lodge
about a man who took his entered apprentice degree and then 20 years later came back to take his
proficiency. When asked why he waited so long, he replied, "It took me this long to learn to subdue
my passions!" Learning to subdue our passions is a lifelong process. Zeal not tempered by love
becomes extremism and leads to misuse of power. The problems throughout our world can be
directly related to failure to subdue one's passions.

While subduing one's passions is good, a Mason must always stand for truth. Truth, even when it
is unpopular, is still better than the alternative. Truth will always reign. Even when some dictator
tries to re-write it, the real truth will always emerge.

Like St. John the Evangelist, a Mason must help the widow and orphan. It's up to every Mason to
look after the widows and orphans. Every Mason must practice brotherly love, which is the unique
characteristic of our fraternity. St. John writes about the true meaning of brotherly love when he
says: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to
lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in
need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" I John 3:16-17. A Mason is
called to practice charity. We must hear the cries of a needy brother, but we must also be aware of
each other to see when we are in need. Masons must care, which we learn from traveling the circle.

Where Parallel Lines Meet

If one travels the circle, he quickly finds that the two parallel lines meet at the point where the
circle touches upon the Volume of Sacred Law. In Masonry, the Bible is called the Great Light
and is placed in an open position in the center of the lodge. A brother is admonished to open it and
learn from its wisdom in all the three degrees of Masonry. Indeed, the Sts. John were well versed

   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41