Like a Maiden
 
THE ROYAL ARCH MASON
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