When is a man a Mason?
“When he can look out over 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 - which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows 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 loves the flowers, hunt 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 a much loved one and long dead.
When no voice of the distressed reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.
When he sees good in every faith and helps any man to lay hold of divine things and see majestic meaning in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.
When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond the mud, and into the most forlorn fellow 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 song - glad to live, not afraid to die: Such a man has found the only secret of Masonry, and one which it is trying to give to all the world.’
From the book “The Builders” by Joseph Fort Newton