Be a Part of Your Council
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey
MIC John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master of New Jersey
‘A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.’ -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A cathedral is just a pile of rocks. But those rocks have been accorded special attention by many Masons. They were raised in quarries. They were pounded into rough ashlars, and then adjusted into prefect ashlars. They were carved and marked. They were each put in their proper place by hard labor.
The building as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each stone by itself is of no use or particular beauty. It cannot provide shelter from the weather. It just lies there on the ground, a hindrance to those who have to walk around it. Together, they made a beautiful edifice.
But remove a single stone from a cathedral and it could come crashing down! An arch will fall if any stone is taken from it. A wall that’s missing a piece of its foundation cannot safely bear any load. An incomplete column is not strong. A mural with a hole in it is not beautiful.
Your Council is no different. You were accorded special attention by the Masons who raised you. They took the rough ashlar that you were and turned you into a perfect ashlar. As you progressed through the Chapter and Council you were carved and marked by the Masonic education you received.
But only you can put yourself in your proper place. Your place is in your Lodge, in your Chapter, and in your Council. You help to complete those bodies, and make them both beautiful and useful. There are times when attending meetings is inconvenient: the time away from home and family can be difficult to arrange. The seats are not as comfortable as your easy chair, and your remote cannot change the program of the evening. You can’t fast forward through the commercials.
But no one said the labors of a Mason would be easy. You wear an Apron to protect your clothes and you body from the rough, dirty, heavy stones, but the work will make your body ache. But you muscles will get used to the labor. Like an athlete, the more your repeat the exercises the easier they become. The more you walk, the further you can travel every day. The more you run, the faster you can go each time you’re running.
Exercising your mind very day helps it get strong too!
Be a part of the beauty of Masonry!