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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes May 2005

Operation Phone Home

Operation Phone Home is a campaign designed with the goal of providing prepaid international phone calling cards to as many military men and women serving overseas as can be reached. It will be an ongoing effort as long as American Military Personnel serve overseas, particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.

The Masonic Service Association, on behalf of the Masonic fraternity, has entered into an agreement with the USO to participate in this program. MSA has met all of the requirements necessary to have a web site presence and a link to the USO web page and to have a Masonic Logo on the phone card. The card will include the logo of the USO, the participating phone company (AT&T), and the American Flag. On the left side of the card will appear the Square and Compasses and the words Compliments of America's Freemasons.

Anyone wishing to participate in this program may send a donation marked  Operation Phone Home to the address below.

Thank you very much for your help!

(This program has been underway for about one year and is still ongoing. Please help support our troops serving overseas by giving them a chance to call home!)

Flying Fez

For Tangier Noble Jerome Given, the sky's the limit when it comes to caring for children at Shriners Hospitals-literally. With his own private Beechcraft twin-engine airplane, Given has flown hundreds of children and their parents to Shriners Hospitals as part of the Flying Fez program.

Given, who learned to fly in 1943, founded the Flying Fez in 1986. He saw the need to help transport Shriners Hospitals patients using his own resources. The program blossomed into a Shrine Club made up of private-plane owners who volunteered their time and airplanes to transport Shriners patients. Today, over 1200 Shriners belong to the Flying Fez.

(Source: Shrine News Release) 

The Unanswerable Question

Where and how may I discover the Lost Word?

Nowhere and in no way. In other rites you may receive other substitutes but the real Lost Word-never. This is the unanswerable question.

The Lost Word is the most abstruse and most important symbol of the Fraternity; few if any are less understood. The Lost Word is not a syllable, or several syllables; "word" is here used as St. John used it: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Lost Word is not discovered in Freemasonry; Masons are given a substitute. Of the Lost Word, it has been written (Introduction to Freemasonry): "Never may we find it here. You shall gaze through microscope and telescope and catch no sight of its shadow. You shall travel many lands and far and see it not. You shall listen to all the words of all the tongues which all men have ever spoken and will speak-the Lost Word is not heard. Were it but a word, how easy to invent another! But it is not a word, but The Word, the great secret, the unknowableness which the Great Architect sets before his children, a will-o'-the-wisp to follow, a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Never here is it to be found, but the search for it is the reason for life.

"The Sublime Degree teaches that in another life it may be found. That is why it is the Sublime Degree."

(Source: MSA Digest 101 Questions About Freemasonry)

Wisdom, Strength and Beauty

When is a man a Mason? When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope, and courage. When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellow man. When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins-knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds. When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself. When he loves flowers, can hunt the birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child. When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead. When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response. When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of higher things, and to see majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be. When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something besides mud, and into the face of the most forlorn mortal and see something beyond sin. When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song-glad to live, but not afraid to die! In such a man, whether he be rich or poor, scholarly or unlearned, famous or obscure, Masonry has wrought her sweet ministry! Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world. Joseph Fort Newton 

(Source: A Treasury of Masonic Thought - edited by Carl Glick)


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