Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Passport Of A Freemason

(originally published 2/9/13)
"That I might travel in foreign countries, work and receive a Master's wages . . ."

There's a lot in that little phrase--and believe me, there's a lot of different versions of this phrase depending on where you're from.  But Masons the world over understand what it means.  It really gets at the core of what Freemasonry is to a lot of us--it's a passport.

Wherever a Master Mason may travel in life, he can expect to be accepted as a Master Mason, allowed to attend meetings, and take part in the work of that local lodge.  It's not uncommon in my own lodge to have guests join us from other lodges, other jurisdictions, even other states.  Sometimes nobody in our lodge knows them or can vouch for them.  It's not a membership card, or a tattoo, or a ring that gains them admission into our lodge--it's that passport they carry in their heads.  It's the things he learned when he was raised a Master Mason that demonstrates to the brethren that this man is indeed our Brother--then we check his membership card (just kidding).

And Masons do a lot of traveling.  Just about any night of the week, members of my lodge are somewhere doing work, attending a meeting, or an event in a circle that extends about fifty miles around our lodge--and sometimes even further.  I've done a little traveling myself, but even as far out of my area as I've been, I've never been in the situation where I don't know a single member.  Seems like I always know at least one person from another Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite, High Twelve, etc.

I'm sure I'll cross that invisible boundary into unknown territory one day, but I'm not too worried about it. I carry a passport within me that will identify me as a Master Mason to other Brothers.  And as we know, that passports allows me to travel in foreign countries (or in Midwest-speak "counties"), work, and receive a Master's wages . . .


P. S. I reworked this article from a previous piece I posted in July 2012 (so if this seemed familiar to you, you're not crazy).  I didn't do a very good job with getting the message across the first time, so I took another crack at it. 

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