May 10th! This year we celebrate Mother’s Day. Cards, calls, best wishes, and happiness. Even when apart, we can still care. Back in 1805 there wasn’t the celebration of Mother’s Day. For James Agar and Sarah Fletcher it was the celebration of their wedding. James was a successful lawyer. Sarah was the widow of a lawyer. Their marriage was noted in the newspapers of the day. More of the biography of the esteemed Brother who gave us the Master’s Emblem is shared in the blog — see the Menu!
In this sense ‘sere’ means the autumn of life. For the Mason who studies the liberal arts, hearing the word ‘sere’ in our Ritual comes as a pleasant reminder of the value of education to polish and adorn the mind.
All Masons should make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
And here is a short video courtesy of Bro. Danny McLaughlin and ‘Squaring the Circle’.
What are you doing to give to the benevolence fund? Your Masonic lodge, or your district, may have monies set aside to help someone in need. Since we can’t hold Masonic meetings, we can’t raise money the usual way. I’ve self-published a small book, and proceeds will go to benevolence funds. The official motto of our Grand Lodge is ‘Audi, Vide, Tace’. I’ve traced its history. Did you know it was accepted for the Seal of United Grand Lodge of England when some fellows met at a tavern on a Tuesday night in 1814?
There are some words in Masonic ritual that are simply not common outside our tyled lodges. Or Masons learn the meaning of the word as it was used in an older time. Such it is with the word ‘ejaculation’.
A phrase in an early lecture is ‘the many pious prayers and ejaculations offered up by King David’. Some of the uninitiated who hear the word ejaculation’ will recall their sex education classes — and be confused. The educated man knows this use of the word ‘ejaculation’ properly means to speak a quick and short prayer or religious exclamation such as “The Holy Sts. John, pray for us”. An initiated and educated Mason will acknowledge an example of an ejaculation is “so mote it be”.
I offer this short message so you might make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. I serve my Brethren as the Sarnia District Librarian and Historian, so I work to make many resources available for Masonic Education. For information about Sarnia District, visit our website (and look for the page about our District Library).
Old books were carefully printed and bound with care so their value may be appreciated. The first book of the work of Euclid in the English language is now 550 years old. Details of its value to Masonry are in an article I wrote that will be published in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (AQC) 133, due out in November. Subscribe at www.quatuorcoronati.com
Marshall Kern with a copy of the first English-language Euclid — in the rare book room of McGill University, Montreal Quebec.
We’ve heard the exhortation to call a Brother. Pick up the phone and call!
BUT some of us need a bit more information. What phone number? What do I say? How many should I call?
Phone numbers: check your Lodge Summons (or notice from another body). There is usually a list of Officers with phone numbers. Get started!
Ask some questions to get the conversation going. A script or a few prepared questions can help. “Did you get the last issue of Ontario Mason Magazine? Have you visited the Grand Lodge website? Is there something that the Lodge should plan to do for the next meeting? Perhaps there is some topic that you’d like to learn more about and we can do some Education on that. What about the food for a time of fellowship or festive board – what meals have you enjoyed that were really memorable?” Many Lodge Summonses have a list of milestones such as the years since Initiation; wouldn’t you feel good if you got several phone calls in one month from Brethren congratulating you for your years of fervency and zeal? You can do the same for them!
Keep in mind that is isn’t the number of calls, nor the total time spent on the phone. This is contact — not a contest.
Take some notes either during or after the call. If follow-up is needed then be ready to share some details.
This is something to start now and then keep going. And going.
I was hoping to make an announcement of a new publication at a significant event. Instead I’ll make this announcement here. ‘Audi, Vide, Tace – an Explanation’ is now available!
This small book is the result of my questions about the motto of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. I followed the “five W’s” of an investigation. Who, what, when, where, and why? I’ve also explored both an understanding for historians and the public, as well as the esoteric understanding achieved by a Mason who has enjoyed our ritual.
In 1570 Sir Henry Billingsly (not a Freemason) gave our English language a new word that is now used by Freemasons to describe the form of the lodge. An article with all the details is forthcoming in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 133. Subscribe at www.quatuorcoronati.com
It was a Wednesday according to the Julian calendar in use at the time. Middle of the week. 1274, March 7. Thomas was travelling with friends to Rome. He was badly injured when a tree branch struck his head. And he died.
We remember him now as St. Thomas Aquinas.
Why mention this in a blog regarding Freemasonry? There are two reasons. First, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote of ‘cardinal virtues’ and ‘theological virtues’. Every Mason will have an understanding of these virtues from his own experience and from our Ritual. I encourage you to make an advancement in your knowledge today by searching for a bit more understanding of these virtues. Even checking Wikipedia for an explanation will either reinforce your own power of intellect, or give you something for earnest consideration.
The second reason is, in fact, reason. St. Thomas Aquinas believed and taught that reason is found in God. I’ve read a biography of his life and I understand that St. Thomas Aquinas studied the ancient philosophers including Aristotle, Plato, and Euclid(!), to appreciate the beauty of reason. He wrote extensively to draw together Christian spirituality and natural reason. I’ve read several parts of his Summa Theologica, particularly his proofs of the existence of God, and his use of simple principles of logic make for very strong proofs.
So as today marks 1876 years since his death, let’s remember his soul, and thank him the next time we hear mention of virtues in our Ritual.
Here is a definition of a word found within Masonic ritual that is not common outside of our Lodge rooms.
Ashlar. To the uninitiated it is a stone selected by a mason and worked with tools to be made square for building purposes, or for pavement. Speculative Masons see the immovable jewels of rough ashlar and perfect ashlar, and apply the lessons of our progressive science. Students of Masonry may find more information in the collection of ‘The Newsletter of the Committee on Masonic Education’ (GL of Canada ‘Reflections’ newsletter): Vol 2, No. 2; Vol. 4, No. 1; Vol. 6, No. 2; Vol. 6, No. 4, Vol. 9, No. 3. Provided for your daily advancement in Masonic knowledge from the Sarnia District Masonic Library. Wor. Bro. Marshall Kern, author of The Master’s Emblem Explained for Masons available at