Last night, I had the privilege of serving as Installing Master for the officers of Cataract Lodge No. 2 in Minneapolis. Shown in the photo, along with the installing officers, are Worshipful Master David Kampf and the other officers are ready to accept the challenges of a new year for Cataract Lodge.
It’s almost a cliché that you hear something new and learn something different every time you observe degree work. The same goes for many other Masonic ceremonies. The installation script has many thoughts worth reflection. Here are some excerpts on the position of Master of the Lodge:
My Brother, you are now to be installed Master of this Lodge, with powers and prerogatives which are well nigh absolute. The interests of your Lodge, for weal or woe, will be in your keeping, during your term of office. The good resolutions, which doubtless you have formed, not to abuse or pervert these powers, I would gladly strengthen by a word of admonition. The very consciousness of the possession of a great power will ever make a generous mind cautious and gentle in its exercise. To rule has been the lot of many, and requires neither strength of intellect nor soundness of judgment; to rule well has been the fortune of but few, and may well be the object of an honorable ambition. It is not by the strong arm, or the iron will that obedience and order, the chief requisites, are secured, but by holding the key to the hearts of men. To be Master of his Lodge is an honor to which any well-informed Master Mason may laudably aspire. The office is one of great antiquity, dignity and respect, but its incumbent, to rule well, should possess and practice several important requisites.
The Master should remember, first of all, that he is an individual Mason, sharing in that respect a common lot with his brethren, and therefore be interested in the welfare of each and all. He should be neither unduly ostentatious nor overbearing. He should be accessible to all, and should cultivate the friendship and confidence of his associate officers. He should be willing to take counsel with his brethren, and ready to give it. He should be patient in investigation, deliberate in judgment, prompt in execution, forbearing with evil doers, and ready to reward good. He should be opposed to the restless spirit of innovation, watchful over the treasury, and devoid of favoritism and partiality.
All men who aspire to lead, whether it be a lodge, a Grand Lodge, or a family, should recall these pertinent thoughts.