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From the South

By J. Rafisura—Junior Warden

It’s great to see you all during our last virtual meeting. Thanks to the power of technology that currently allows us to connect with each other. I can’t hardly imagine how our ancient brothers connected with each other during the times of crisis, how often they communicate and meet and in what setting or circumstances. Masonry has gone through a lot of challenges and what makes it the greatest fraternity in the world is that it has stood the test of time.

Year 2020 is no fun for the Brotherhood. But, sure, it has brought the best (and maybe some worst) throughout the organization. If we are to write books about the Evolution of Masonry, this one will be worthy of a chapter or two. As this year’s Jr. Warden, I miss planning for refreshments and what meal to serve for our monthly social and stated meetings. I miss the thundering voice of Uncle Roy echoing throughout the kitchen as he conveys his marching orders to his crew. It’s been a while since I heard the echoing bang of the master’s gavel prompting the membership to stand in unison and do what we do best.

While Grand Lodge still prohibits us to meet and confer degrees, it’s a privilege that the officers and some key members of CCL 551 are taking initiatives for us to meet and greet virtually. To thrive in times of darkness is what we are known for as a fraternity. Therefore, innovation and adaptability are among our greatest strengths in keeping our organization alive.

On the other hand, this ‘chapter’ of our brotherhood also seems to be an opportunity for us to look beyond the organization and be reminded to focus on the things that matters most. And what matters most is not the outward aspects of the fraternity, its shiny ornaments, the elaborate rituals and lively socialization. They are merely multiple arenas and settings being set-up as means to an end. What matters most is for us to be able to look within our inner self, reflect on the desires of our hearts and contemplate on our transformation as we prepare ourselves to be admitted to the celestial lodge above. It is when we are alone, outside of a Masonic lodge and living out our day to day lives and doing what seems to be mundane tasks, that we truly are being tested as to how well we are living as a Mason. How much of a Mason are we? How are we living and honoring our sacred obligations? What choices do we make and what decisions do we take and where do we base our decisions upon?

Where were you first made a Mason? Maybe now is the time to revisit that place, in our solitude and in the comfort (or discomfort) of our "alone-ness". And maybe…just maybe, after all this craziness, we will come out significantly better and stronger than ever as an individual and as a fraternity. I’m still looking forward to those in-person socialization. I miss you all, brothers.

Hope to see you sooner.

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