To Learn. To Subdue My Passions.
To learn to subdue my passions. As Freemasons we have heard this phrase many times. Chances are you have even recited it. Have you truly thought about it what it means?
To be completely honest, when I asked a friend of mine for a petition to join the Craft, I really had no idea what Masonry was about or what it offered. I had never heard the slogan “We make good men better.”, I just remember some friends of my parents who would come to the house when I was a small child, and several of them wore a Masonic ring.
Many times since becoming a Master Mason, I've asked myself "How does attending lodge make me a better man?” It can't be the meal we serve or the opening of the lodge. It sure isn't the Secretary reading last months minutes or Brother Treasurer telling the members how much money we have in the bank account. I was beginning to think I was missing the point.
It finally occurred to me one night while sitting in the lodge room as the lodge officers were opening the lodge. While my premise may be simplistic I feel it is fairly accurate. I also believe all Masons feel these things are important I think the different generations place the importance in different areas for different reasons.
To learn: You have been learning since your mother gave birth to you. You learned to sit up, talk and eat without assistance before your first birthday. As you progressed in age you attended school. You never quit learning. The question remains, what can you learn from attending lodge?
As you progress through your degrees you hear certain words and phrases. At first these words sound unusual because they are phrased in a way in which our language is no longer spoken. Understanding what is being said to you is difficult at first to understand because you aren't used to being spoken to in such an old tongue. I believe this is why the Craft asks y