Thursday, September 16, 2021
Dinner at 6:30 pm; Gavel Raps at 7:15 pm Sharp
Presentation by Masonic Education Committee - Bro. Fred Ocansey, SW
Ballot on Petition for Dual Membership - Bro. William D. Acree, Bro. Richard E. Brown, Bro. Charles P. Ciraolo, Bro. Ronald W. Collins, Bro. Peter B. Feid, Bro. Ted N. Gerhardt, Bro. Earle H Harder Jr., Bro. Frederick E. Hitchcock Jr., Bro. Richard D. Hoffman, Bro. Theodore Katz, Bro. Ralph A. Kennedy Jr., Bro. Michael P. Lamaina, Bro. Ronald J. Lindemuth, Bro. Kevin S, Ludlam, Bro. Peter A. Martucci, WB. Gary W. Milewski, Bro. Stuart K. Mitchell, Bro. John P. Monahan, Bro. Martin G. Murphy, Bro. Miguel D. Negron, Bro. C. Stephen Reichenbach III, Bro. Lester E. Richter, Bro. Ronald S. Sheetz, Bro. Joseph Sibila and Bro. John S. Sitzler.
FROM THE EAST (September 2021)
As we are instructed in the Entered Apprentice lecture, a Mason has four perfect points of entrance, which are illustrated by four principal moral virtues - fortitude, prudence, temperance, and justice. Consequently, these virtues are called “cardinal” because all other virtues are categorized under them and hinge upon them. The English word “cardinal” comes from the Latin cardo meaning "hinge." The Book of Wisdom of the Old Testament states, “For [Wisdom] teaches temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude, and nothing in life is more useful for men than these”.
Plato first discussed the cardinal virtues in the Republic, and although they have entered into theological teaching by way of Plato's disciple, Aristotle, the four cardinal virtues can be practiced by anyone as they represent the foundation of natural morality. The ranking of virtues has been the topic of discussion by theologians and scholars.
Prudence, which is considered the “mother” of all of the virtues, is the virtue that allows us to judge correctly what is right and what is wrong in any given situation. Actually, prudence is part of the definition of goodness. A person can be prudent and good only simultaneously. No other virtue can contradict what is prudent. Therefore, what is prudent is good, and prudence is the measure of justice, temperance, and fortitude. Prudence requires us to seek the counsel of others, particularly those we know to be sound judges of morality. Disregarding the advice or warnings of others whose judgment does not coincide with ours is a sign of imprudence.
Justice is referred by some as the second cardinal virtue, because it is concerned with the will as noted by Fr. John Hardon as it is "the constant and permanent determination to give everyone his or her rightful due." We say that "justice is blind," because it should not matter what we think of a particular person. If we owe him a debt, we must repay exactly what we owe. Furthermore, Justice is connected to the idea of rights. Injustice occurs when we as individuals or by law deprive someone of that which he is owed. Legal rights can never outweigh natural ones.
The third cardinal virtue, fortitude, is commonly called courage, it is different from what much of what we think of as courage today. Fortitude allows us to overcome fear and to remain steady in our will in the face of obstacles. Fortitude strengthens the individual’s resolve to resist temptation, overcome personal weaknesses, and make sacrifices for what is good. Prudence and justice are the virtues through which we decide what needs to be done; fortitude gives us the strength to do it.
Temperance is the fourth and final cardinal virtue. Temperance is the restraint of our desires or passions. Temperance is the virtue that attempts to keep us from excess, and, as such, requires the balancing of legitimate goods against our inordinate desire for them. Our legitimate use of such goods may be different at different times; temperance is the "golden mean" that helps us determine how far we can act on our desires.
The practice and development of the four cardinal virtues are essential to anyone’s spiritual life and form the basis of being a good person. The development of one or all of them should bring greater happiness and satisfaction in our lives. Through the practice of virtue, assisted by God’s grace we can meet the challenge.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
Michael Carnivale, III ⁖
LINKS OF INTEREST
WB Matt Korang receives his 25-year pin.
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