In this Digital Age, people have access to significant volumes of information and hundreds of contacts via social media. Yet, why are so many people feeling isolated and alone? The answer is grounded in a need and search for a deeper connection with quality people. They seek mutually beneficial relationships. We’ve heard this resounding message (especially from men under 40 years old). These men are looking for opportunities to fellowship and create genuine connections with quality men. Illinois Freemasonry is a viable solution; as a fraternity, we are first and foremost a brotherhood of men.
Across the ages and around the world, good men have cherished the feeling of belonging and social attachment available through an active Masonic life. Think about the quiet comfort and “peace of mind” derived from knowing that wherever your travels take you around the world, you can find Brothers and friends. The Mystic Tie that connects the millions of Freemasons around the world is real! It is an unbreakable chain of Brotherly Love and affection which is stronger than anything that could be constructed with human hands. That chain is built from the many daily and weekly experiences that Brothers share talking to, listening to, and learning from one another. In these conversations, we share our personal thoughts, aspirations, joys and challenges in life; we also learn from more experienced Brothers who are eager to pay-it-forward to pass along their valuable life experience.
Through our connections as Brothers, we expand our circle of friends and personal networks within our communities. Fundamentally, “good men and true, knowing each other to be such, do always love the more, as they be the more good.” As Masons, we look pass what others typically target to divide men and focus on what is most important, the value of a man’s character. Upon this foundation, we gather together men whom would otherwise not cross paths on life’s journey. We are a blending of men from various backgrounds (i.e. social, financial, ethnic, religious, geographic, etc.) who call each other Brother. An example of that sentiment is exemplified in the joint celebration of the 20th anniversary of mutual fraternal recognition with the Brethren of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Illinois.
In Illinois Freemasonry, Brotherly Love is demonstrated by many acts of caring. We want every Brother to know that we care about him, meaning that we value and embrace his unique abilities, strengths and talents. Also, it means that we care about his welfare including the progress being made with his work / career, finances and personal health. Not done yet, we extend that same sentiment to the welfare of his family (i.e. wife, partner, significant other, widow and children). For example, the Illinois Masonic Outreach Services (IMOS) charitable program is living proof of how we care for our members and their families in our grand jurisdiction.
Looking forward, as we continue on that journey to “become the best version of ourselves”, it is Brotherly Love that connects us, unites us, and let’s us know that we do not travel alone.
R. W. Bro. Wayne Spooner
Grand Lodge Membership Committee Chairman | Grand Chaplain