From The West:
In the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, two brothers, played by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, see the light and go on a “mission from God” to save the orphanage in which they were raised from foreclosure. Through a series of comic misadventures and musical expression that often leads the audience to sheer joy and bliss, they succeed in rescuing the home which raised them through no small effort on their part, a good deal of luck, and perhaps divine intervention.
Freemasons are not unfamiliar with the idea of a mission from God. In fact, many historians and authors believe that in addition to the freestone masons guilds, our organization had its roots in the ancient order of The Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon, a.k.a. the Knights Templar whose original mission was to protect those religious travelers on their way to Jerusalem seeking enlightenment, self-redemption, or simply to worship, etc. Many of those knights, who went back to the cradle of their religion about 1,000 years ago, were inspired at mass gatherings and departed with shouts of “God wills it.”
My intent is not to glorify crusaders, nor Jake and Elwood Blues for that matter, because heaven knows, they did some terrible things as well as good deeds. The reality is that sometimes not so great men who have their failings are called on to do great things and deliver on that calling.
With regard to Masonry and the members of our lodge, we take good men and make them better men. None of us are perfect and we all have things we can improve upon. However, men can be inspired to do great things for their fellow creatures and their associations which raised and inspired them.
Do modern Freemasons have a mission? I believe we do. This mission includes helping the Brothers facing tough situations, our aged Brothers and widows. It includes assisting with the education of the next generation who will help us when we are less able and to aid the victims of disaster. Theses are all part of the mission of Saddleback Laguna Lodge #672. Some might ask, are we doing enough, and indeed we can do more and still share the joy, bliss and satisfaction of helping our community.
Obviously, with the last year being effected by COVID-19, the lodge has less funds than it normally would. We have not been able to make the same contributions / donations to causes we have supported in the past. However, even with all of that, we have come together on several occasions this year where there were people in need. Besides Brothers that get assistance through our Charity Committee, many of us were involved with the GoFundMe projects and were able to do some amazing things and help one of our widows in desperate need, as well as help the family of one of our fallen Brothers. I am impressed and very grateful to be part of an organization that steps up to the plate even when facing challenges.
What is the mission of our Brotherhood? I think that can be found in the three principal tenets of Freemasonry -- brotherly love, relief, and truth. Our mission is important even though it might not be clear in any particular stated meeting. Just as participating in Freemasonry means different things to different men, so too do different Masons have different abilities and greatness within them. The practical interpretation of that mission each year, for each local lodge, falls on the Worshipful Master and it falls on the leadership of the lodge to communicate and execute that vision. With your assistance I think we will succeed. May you enjoy unity, peace and prosperity.
Chuck Chiodo – Senior Warden