By Paul Rodriguez-Obrien—Senior Warden
My Father, My Brother:
You never spoke of Masonry, other than it was something that you and my Grandfather belonged to. But obviously there was something amiss that no one was talking about. With you being an educated man with high moral standards, there had to be something here that was worthy to pursue. I finally asked you to explain Masonry several years back, but I had no idea where this would lead me in life.
It was the small lessons or a push in certain directions at specific times that allowed me to accept my own path in who I wanted to become. What you gave me was a good foundation, and unknowingly to myself, an understanding of the three most basic, yet very important tenets of Masonry.
I. BELIEF IN THE ALMIGHTY
I remember well you dutifully taking us children to church almost every Sunday from the time I could ever manage to walk. The lessons learned from all those early Sunday mornings were an appreciation in a loving God Almighty, and the ability to accept others as we would wish them to accept us.
God may be called Yahweh, Jehovah, Buddha, Brahma, and even Allah. But together we have a greater understanding as we all come together as a lodge and break bread and enjoy each other’s fellowship. Suffice it to say that these differing names all meant the same; The Almighty Supreme Being.
II. THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL
The greatest challenge I have faced as yet was in becoming a Father. Now that my Kids are out of the house, I have the time to step back and see my work. I’m pleased and thankful to God that they grew strong and seem to be able to make good decisions of their own. I realize now that my success was also due to having a great teacher in my Father.
We are the custodians of our children’s soul, and it’s our responsibility that they too will be all that our parents had hoped we would become. Because we believe that our soul is immortal and that it lives beyond death, and our earthly bonds as well. It is that part of us that thinks, feels, dreams, aspires; the ego, the personality, our essence. It is ‘that house not made with hands, eternal in Heaven’.
III. THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
In our Masonic Lodge, all Brothers meet on the same level regardless of different religious, ethnic, political views, nationality, or social background. We are simply "Brothers". We understand that Masonry survives and grows among men around the world because it seeks friendship, mutual assistance, and brotherly love and affection with those who can best work and best agree. Masonry binds men together in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind.
I am finding that I am becoming a better man because of that initial conversation we had together regarding what Masonry was to you, and how you lived those principles of ‘Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth’ within your life. In all, I want to thank you for allowing me to join you in your Masonic journey, and for being the father that you are to me.