Like a Maiden


Spring, 1966

Masonry is like a virtuous and beautiful maiden of many moods.

SHE IS QUIETLY RELIGIOUS - as when, mindful that she is a companion to religion and not a religion herself, she solemnly charges us never to engage in any great or important undertaking without first invoking the aid and blessing of Deity.

SHE IS PROUDLY PATRIOTIC - as when, under the folds of Old Glory, she exhorts us to be quiet and peaceful citizens who are true to our government and who do not countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority.

SHE IS COY - as when, if only for a fleeting moment, she would give the appearance of levity, but instead dramatically proclaims her profound Lesson of Charity.

SHE IS RESOLUTE - as when she demands of each of us a strict obedience to her laws and to her obligations, under penalties sanctioned by ancient usage or modern jurisprudence, or when she calls us to the discharge of the Three Great Duties of a Freemason: To God, to our neighbors, and to ourselves.

SHE IS SCHOLARLY - as when, with patient and consummate skill, she leads us up the Winding Stairs to the Light and Wages of the Middle Chamber and stimulates within us a new and greater appreciation for the Liberal Arts and Sciences and their application to our daily living.

SHE IS DRAMATIC - as when, on the stage of symbolism, she unfolds that great and consoling Lesson of Immortality veiled in the life-death allegory of the Sublime Degree.

SHE IS MERCIFUL - as when, in inspiring Prestonian literature, she reminds us that every human being has a claim upon our kind offices and exhorts us to ever be mindful of our obligations to all mankind.

SHE IS CONSTANT - as when she entreats us to be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet - at all times in all things, remembering to avoid all extremes in living-thinking which would impair our relationship with our God and with our fellowman.

SHE IS TENDER - as when, with misty eye, she watches while saddened Brethren gather about the bier of a departed Brother to redeem a solemn pledge and tenderly lay his Lambskin above his breast.

SHE IS COMPASSIONATE - as when she points to our constant duties to a distressed worthy Brother and to the widow and the orphan.

SHE IS PROUD - as when she proclaims the Goal for which she has steadfastly carried the banner for countless ages: The Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.

Yes, Masonry is like a comely and virtuous maiden of many moods. She displays many more than these. But she never appears with such sedate beauty as when you and I, in our daily living, permit her to be seen by the world arrayed in all the queenly dignity of the Jewels of the Graft.

George O. Thorne Grand Master of New Mexico