December 1, 2002
TO: MY MANY PRINCE HALL F&AM BROTHERS,
My Brothers praying that you and your families had a Blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. I greet you with continuos Friendship and Brotherly Love.
I have thought real hard on this month's topic, understanding that this is the last month of the year. It's the most important month of the year for Prince Hall Masonry. This is the time of the year that we pick the new leadership to direct us through the upcoming year. With that in mind it came to me the topic, "What Came You Here To Do?"
It's an honest and simple question, which each one of us must answer. We all have our own reasons why we petition to become Prince Hall Masons and as we grew in Masonry we expanded on our reasons and desires. We have all wanted to hold seats in the Lodge and be the Worshipful Master one day, but there is a lot of work to be done to reach that Goal.
I can remember as I was going through my training in my three Degrees, the work I had to do. I didn't only had to study and remember my Obligation, Working Tools, and the Ritual Ceremony. I had to do labor; we painted and up kept the Lodge's grounds, cleaned up a portion of highway 84, did fund raisers and cared for the Lodge's Widows. I was taught that in order to understand what I was joining I had to learn to give of myself in the relief of others.
I went to two different Lodges this month and it happen to be when the Grand Master of Nevada was doing one of his official visits throughout his Jurisdiction. At those meeting many things where discussed and a couple of things stuck in my mind.
The first thing that really hit home was that there are three things that we as Prince Hall Masons must always remember and do. We must conduct proper ritualistic degree work, care for our widows and properly bury our fallen Brothers. This really hit home because when we perform our three degrees it's the time that the candidate gets his impression of the Lodge and it's members. A well professional degree gives them a good look of a great organization and the Brothers that know what they are doing. The new Brothers begin to let that same Pride in them through out their own actions.
Our Widows are an important part of our Lodges, they where there in support of our fall Brothers during their time on earth. In Masonry we care for one another and our families, we take an obligation stating we will care for our widows and orphans so lets live up to it. Our Wives have always been there for us without asking for anything. Ask yourself how would you like your Lodge to treat your family after you pass. All it takes is a visit, call them, even getting together to help out in yard work or repairs and invite them out to Lodge functions. There is so much we can do for them, for their total support of Prince Hall Masonry.
When we put a Brother to rest it should be a flawless ceremony. Each Brother should be totally proficient in his part. We are showing the family and friends how much we Loved him and are giving him our BEST. It's the one time we are truly under the eyes of our community.
The second thing that caught my attention was that we as Lodge Members have a major responsibility for the upkeep of our Lodges. It was brought up that since the Lodge stands out it should always look Good. That means as good as it looks on the inside the outside should mirror it. Lodge Members should have Pride and ambition to make a habit to check the Lodge regularly. We need to see that the grass is cut, parking lots clean, doorways swept, doors working properly, paint when needed and a general cleaning. We should share our resources in upgrading our Lodges when we can, we all have talents that our Lord has given us and we should use them in support of Prince Hall Masonry. Our Lodges are that Light upon the Hill to our Communities and it should Shine with Greatness.
Those two things stood out the most to me during those meetings and it may seem little to some, it should be on top of our Trussel Board as an ongoing endeavor. We can never do enough in these areas.
With the upcoming of the New Year and New Leadership in place we must ask ourselves over and over again,"What Came You Here To Do?" Don't just carry a dues card, wear emblems and talk a good game. Take an active role in being a true and loyal Prince Hall Mason. Roll up your sleeves, bend your back and let's get to work in the Uplifting of Prince Hall Masonry.
Here is another piece that you will find rewarding.
Tell me now, my Brother,
What came you here to do?
When you joined our mystic circle,
Had you a purpose in your heart
To be of service to your fellow man
And perform your allotted part,
Or came you out of curiosity
Or motive personal in view?
Tell me. Brother of the Square
What came you here to do?
Have you studied well the meaning
Of the symbols on our chart?
And learned to subdue your passions
And make improvements in your art?
Do you uphold the trusts
On which we firmly stand,
Teaching fatherhood of God
And brotherhood of man?
Have you willingly aided the brother
When life surges were fierce and wild?
Have you offered cheer and comfort
To the Mason's wife, widow and child?
If you have done so, my brother,
You are a Mason good and true,
And can give a correct answer to
"What came you here to do?"
This speaks to most of us. It reminds us who and what we are. May you and your Families have a Blessed and Safe Holiday Season. I close this letter asking you, "What Came You Here To Do?" I know what I came to do: DO YOU!
RICHARD (RICAN) VEGA