Master's Messages for
RW Michael L Tucker PGSB
Jan'91 - Jun'91

January '91

I thought I'd share with you some of the thoughts that have been flooding my mind. We live in a confused, troubled time. Our country seems to be on the brink of war. The economics of today challenge each of us to stay afloat. Our children are forced to deal with things we had never heard of at their age. Last, but certainly not least, our beloved fraternity is suffering from a sever case of apathy. Work, family finances and technology have combined to shorten all our Cable Tows. I know, that in your heart, as in mine, beats the heart of that Entered Apprentice, crossing that unknown inner portal. There was the sound of a gavel and men rising to bid you welcome. When you took that first step, you entered into a new phase of your life. One that will never leave you. Anticipation, apprehension and yes, a little fear, followed you into that room. The first thing you were given was a friend and guide. In a very real sense you were given much more; a fraternal family. A family whose lineage stretches through antiquity. It linked you to untold millions of men who came to Masonry in the same way and manner as you. All of them, the forefathers of our country, the common man in the field and YOU!

Our time may be confused and troubled. Their's was too. They, like we, were faced with what seemed impossible tasks with little hope of success. Their solution was to band together, retrench and persevere. You and I must do the same. Masonry has given each of us much more than we can ever repay. It has asked for nothing in return. It asks for nothing now. As you read this, I ask that you remember your Masonic family and the tenets that enabled it to survive centuries of abuse: Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love. Make this new year one where you fill your heart, prayers and deeds with the Brotherhood of Man Under the Fatherhood of God. Stretch your Cable Tow that extra bit and extend the hand of friendship and acceptance to those who need it. Every man has a claim upon your kind offices. You will receive in return much more than you ever felt possible. May God Bless you and your family this day and always.

January February March April May June

February '91

I recently heard a phrase that has stuck in my mind. I'd like to share it with you. It comes from an interview with Al Pacino, star of the Godfather trilogy.


Or put another way, the goals we set for ourselves must always be just unattainable. Just out of our reach. This doesn't mean that we can't reach many or most of our goals, we should. Only that as each one is achieved, we must immediately set another and another and another and so on, until the reach for our last goal places us on our knees, west of the altar in the presence of the Grand Master of the Universe. "May the trestleboard of our whole lives bear such inspection that it may be given unto each of us, through His grace and mercy, to eat of the hidden manna...". I don't mean to be morbid. Only to let you know that we must never stop reaching for what may today seem unattainable. As Masons, we know that our souls are immortal and will survive this earthly dissolution. This alone proves that whatever goal we set, it is certainly attainable.

In each of us their is a need. A desire to give back some of what we have. Not money or material things necessarily, but part of us. I know that's what caused me to reach out and embrace Masonry. Long before I knew what Masonry meant, I had the need. I just didn't know of a way to meet it. Maybe that's what happened to you too. Masonry has filled that need in me. I hope it has filled it in you. If it hasn't maybe you should look a little deeper. Where else can you join in fellowship and no one asks or cares what you do for a living, only who you are! Where else can you elect to challenge yourself with learning and performing the ritual knowing that the trying makes you a winner, not the doing! Where everyone there is on your side. You know the hours you put in to become a Master Mason. Weren't they some of the best hours spent in your life! You were challenged and you were rewarded for your efforts. Every Brother in the Lodge was behind you 100%. They still are, whether you attend every meeting or only when your Cable Tow allows.

I leave you with this. Sometimes we don't know what we want or need. Sometimes we are lost. Happy or sad, rich or poor, sickly or healthy, your brothers are only as far away as any Lodge. Come join us in Brotherhood and Fraternal Love. We all need it. Lets find it together.
January February March April May June

March '91

A quote from Abraham Maslow, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail".

Our Masonic Forbrothers knew this well. They knew that to deal with the problems of the day they needed more than just a hammer. They established many symbolic tools for our beloved craft. Select any degree and review the working tools. In the Entered Apprentice Degree are the basic tools to construct any building. In the Fellowcraft Degree we find the tools necessary to ensure that a building is plumb and true and finally, in the Master Mason Degree is the trowel to spread the cement to make the building solid.

In the operative days of our craft, these tools were not only symbolic, they were real and had great meaning. A man would sell any and all of his possessions long before he would sell his tools. They were the means of his survival.

Today, not many of us earn our living using these tools. Instead we use them for more noble and glorious purposes. The symbolism behind each of them makes them as critical to our everyday life as the real ones did to our Forbrothers.

We are a diverse group of men encompassing every conceivable walk of life. The common link between us is that we each knelt before the Sacred Altar of Freemasonry and took three solemn oaths, we came in the same way and manner and each opened our hearts, minds and souls to the beauty and peace of the Grand Master of the Universe.

I want you to take a moment and reflect on your working tools. Use their symbolism to build your temple. Use the common gavel when you speak to take care not to speak more than you wish heard. For once a word is spoken, it is heard and can not be easily erased. Measure your time by the 24 inch gauge. Divide your day equally between God, your work and your loved ones. Remember to walk with your head up, be proud, humble, virtuous and never forget, you are today constructing the spiritual building your soul will live in through eternity. And finally, spread the cement of Brotherly Love, Faith, Hope and Charity. If you use these symbolic tools in your everyday life, you will be truly what we all proudly call ourselves. A MASON!
January February March April May June

April '91

"May our faith be evinced by a correct moral walk and deportment." If you have ever attended a Masonic funeral, you have heard these words. We, as Masons, are to show our faith by "walking upright... and before man."

It almost sounds as if faith is learned. In fact, we are brought into this world with nothing but faith in our hearts and souls. We have faith that our parents will care for, feed, guide and nurture us until we are ready to separate and become who we are to be. Sometimes during this process we lose our faith. From our children I hear, "I can take care of myself, I don't need you or anyone else." Maybe we echoed those same sentiments in our youth. They are wrong. We were wrong. We know this now. Without faith we could not survive. There are too many unknowns. So many unknowns that only by faith can we sleep at night knowing that there will be a dawn.

What we do each day. How we represent ourselves to others and more importantly, how we are inside, guide our daily actions. Each day we touch people in ways we may never understand. The merest action on our part has a rippling effect on everyone around us. We don't think of this much. I'm sure our ancestors didn't think much about it either. But through their daily actions, we are here. One way or another, we can trace our existence back thousands and thousands of years.

The symbolism used in Masonry is derived from the building of King Solomon's Temple. Do you believe he knew then what that act of faith was to become? Since then, uncountable millions of men have come to the Fraternity to learn, what as children, we already had and lost, faith.

We are the fortunate ones. We have again found it. We have come full circle. Unfortunately many people we know have not. I ask that at some point this month, sit with someone you know and tell them what you have found. "Every person has a claim upon your kind offices." Help guide them to the light that shines throughout our Beloved Fraternity. Wear you Masonry proudly for all to see. Only a man without faith keeps his candle under a basket.

May the Grand Master of the Universe protect and guide you this day and always.
January February March April May June

May '91

"May our hope be bright as the glorious mysteries that will be revealed hereafter." Again I draw upon our funeral service for a message of what I believe to be of great import to us all. This last ceremony performed over our mortal remains by Brothers of the Craft is not done for the benefit of our dearly departed Brother. He has already entered the Kingdom prepared for him. This ceremony is for us who survive him.

It is meant to ease our loss and give us hope. To accept those things we can not change. To look beyond the present moment. To look around us to realize that our time on this earth is fleeting. To instill in our hearts compassion for the bereaved. Knowing that when our time comes a brother will stand beside us and say farewell fellow traveler, farewell.

Hope is that which makes us unique in the universe. If there be no hope, why be at all? We were given dominion over all that is. All things that exist, exist for us. including death. Our time here is short. We can choose to make of it what we will. Two of the greatest gifts given us are hope and free will. What more could we ask of the Creator.

You exercised these two gifts when you became a Mason. There was a void in your soul that has been filled by the Fraternal Love of Masonry. You had hope in your heart that you would be accepted. You had hope in your heart that you would complete the three symbolic degrees and become a Master Mason. Your Lodge has hope that you will carry away the warm feelings you get when you attend. That you will become a beacon of our light and shine on your daily endeavors at home, work and play. That this same light shines inward to warm your heart and soul. Yes, we are creatures of hope. It gives our lives meaning and purpose.

How does hope help us as we assemble in funeral procession? For me it takes the sting out of death. With hope and the knowledge that our souls are immortal, we have dominion over death as well as life.

When next you are called upon to attend a Masonic funeral service, bring hope with you as well as a sprig of evergreen.

My hope for you this day is that the light that shines within you, shines without as well. May the blessing of God be with you, your family and all you hope to be in this life and eternally.
January February March April May June

June '91

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of conversing with our Supreme Grand Master. It was a short conversation but very memorable. He was instructing me in the proper use and true meaning of my personal Cable Tow. For those of you who may not know to what I am referring, I collapsed the day the Grand Communication ended in Wildwood. I was diagnosed as having Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. Normally I wouldn't write to you about something like this, but it has given me a rare opportunity to share with you, from a first had basis, what I believe to be the meaning of our Cable Tow.

Our lives are filled with layer upon layer of living. If we sit quietly, relax, breath deeply and slowly let each layer drift away we will find, I believe, down deep beneath all those layers, the primary colors of our existence. They consist, not only of our obvious need for food and shelter, but also our not so obvious need of sharing and giving, our spiritual needs. The layers of living mask our true needs. We concern ourselves more with the daily acts of living, food and shelter, rather than the long term needs of our immortal souls. "Let us each improve the present moment and while time and opportunity offer, prepare for that great change which we know must come to all".

It's time we started preparing for that great change. Our Cable Tows need more than stretching. They need guidance as to what direction it should be stretched. I know many of you have had quiet conversations with the Supreme Grand Master as I have. At that moment and for the days and weeks that followed you too were aware that most of what goes on within our daily lives doesn't matter a whole lot when your time comes.

When I first became a Mason, I believed in my heart that all of us should be at every meeting and participate in every activity. Our Lodge should be the most active, prosperous and socially responsible Lodge it can be. I still believe that and when your Cable Tow and mine stretch to their fullest, it may be so. Until then, we must all accept what is and work to make it the best it can be. I won't ask you to stretch your Cable Tow any further than you do now. I will ask you to stretch it in a better direction. Sit quietly, let the layers of daily living drift away and prepare for that great change. Come home, your Brothers await you. Don't wait until the Supreme Grand Master has to get your attention, talk to him first, He listens well. May He bless you, your family and your endeavors. Enjoy your summer. See you in September.
January February March April May June