Even Better -- Not Just a Man. A Mason.
Heed the call
- Greetings from the East! May 2, 2023
Brethren, May has arrived! This month is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. Maia was considered a nurturer and an earth goddess, which may explain the connection with this springtime month. It is a time of rebirth, a time of plenty, and a time of activity.
As Masons, we are taught to grow our minds and consciousness, as it is our spiritual temple. There is no certain time to renew, to be reborn, or to reinvent oneself. Most of us were raised to the sublime degree at random times on the calendar, probably to fit the schedule of the Lodge and Brethren performing the degree. That date only became important because we were raised and reborn as Masons. The trivial, random date became historical.
Every day, every hour, and every minute is the best time to make a change. Do not put off taking care of yourself, telling a loved one you love them, apologizing to a friend, or forgiving yourself. Carpe diem, my Brothers! Seize the day! Make a small change…here’s what that means. Consider the “One-Degree Rule”. The One-Degree Rule states that for each degree a plane veers off course, it will miss its destination by one mile for every 60 miles it flies. A plane flying from Los Angeles to New York, off 2 degrees, would be off course by about 100 miles and would land in Atlantic City, NJ. Over time the smallest changes create the biggest impact; God (or the devil) dwells in the details.
You are responsible for your growth. As the Roman goddess Maia oversaw the growth of plants, let the beautiful sights during the month of May inspire you spiritually. And keep in mind…that while you hear the birds, smell the flowers, and feel the warmth of our sun, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing Fall, a time of dormancy and darkness. Thus we, as men, also reflect this cycle of Earth with our own Mortality. Enjoy every moment you have with friends and family, for our season is beautiful, and our time is short. I send Brotherly Love to each and every one of you!
In memory of Worshipful Brother Edward Adamek.
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- Greetings Brethren! April 25, 2023
Did you know that each month has a birth stone? April is no exception. The birthstone of the fourth month of the year is the most precious of all: the Diamond. It “amplifies” thoughts and forces you to be in control of your actions. What you Think about, you Bring about. As you are a Mason in your heart, ask yourself, are you a Mason in your thoughts? Everyone has a claim upon your Kind and Generous offices. Everyone means: all humans. What are we if we are just a Brotherhood? The idea of Freemasonry as a means to reveal truth is not just truth to just ourselves, but truth when we mix again with the World. To bring good into the world, to better ourselves by doing so, and to be honest.
God delights to dwell within our daily details. It’s the small words and small actions we do and say that have the greatest impact. Outside of Masonry, we call this body language and tone. It’s not what we do for others, it’s how we do it. Are your actions and words done and said, because you have to do them, or because you want to do them? I charge everyone Brother and person to be always aware of your intention when speaking with someone or performing your duties. We all have desires and passions. Express them as the God given gifts they are. Use these gifts to elevate others without wanting anything back in return. Your intentions live in your mind, your true temple: keep it sacred.
As a Traveling man, you became a Mason to seek that which was lost. You can search for that which was lost with your eyes, and I promise you my Brother, you will find “things”. The problem with “things” is he who dies with most things is still deceased. And even after we travel to the Lodge on High, you may still be in search for that which is lost.
But I have some light to impart on you Brother, close your eyes and find that which was lost inside yourself. Forgive yourself and forgive others. When you allow this to happen, you will find your true self again. And when you do, love yourself, and love others-with intentionality. Only then can you delight to dwell in peace. From Coal to Diamond, from Rough Ashlar to Perfect Ashlar – This is Way.
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WB Christopher Curcia
- Greeting Brethren! April 25, 2023
March is Spring. A time of Rebirth. The cycle of life thus begins again, and we are spectators of the great power of creation. As the air warms, and the Sun rules the day for more extended periods of time, I am reminded of what one of our most famous US Presidents once said, “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” What can you do for Masonry?
When pondering these famous words, I am reminded that the Freemason finds his Masonic Light, his Charity, and Moral Virtue from within. A Lodge may be beautiful, a fellow Bother may be wise, and the lectures and ritual may be full of allegory, but we are the Tyler of our own inner Lodges. Only we can allow Masonic Light to be received and become part of that house not built by hands. We are rough ashlars, and it is up to us, individually, to determine how upright and smooth we can become before God and Man.
But as the stone becomes rounded over the ages by the rain, the wind, and “Brotherhood” with other stones, so it is with OUR Brothers. As Masons, our Light becomes brighter by the Brotherhood. Our Charity is shown to the Brotherhood. And our Moral Virtue tested by the Brotherhood. Without knowing it, we are that rough stone being smoothed out by The Brotherhood. As you enjoy Brotherly love and interacting with other Good men looking to become better, ask yourself: “What can I do for Masonry? What can I do for my Lodge? What can I do for a distressed worthy Brother? Am I being truly honest and dignified with an erring Brother?”
As the butterfly’s wings fluttering in Japan causes the Hurricane in the Atlantic, so does the smallest gesture or act you do for our Fraternity, create the biggest impact…Good or Bad. In keeping with this year’s theme of not forgetting why we became Masons, I give it to you strictly in charge, ever to be a Mason in your mind, heart, and actions. Humbly and selflessly impart your own Light….and fear no Danger!
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- Greetings Brethren! January 30, 2023
Remembering why you became a Freemason will be the theme of 2023 for Olive Branch. Everyone reading this and everyone we meet at the Lodge during Regular Communications knocked on the door of the Lodge without any real-world knowledge of what was waiting on the other side. They knew not of a Worshipful Master, a Trustee, a Junior Deacon, etc.
In my observation, the 3 figurative Pillars of Freemasonry are as follows: Fellowship, Esoteric Learning, and Ritual. And are thus explained.
Fellowship is that which brings men from Brothers to friends. True Friendship is rare and can be considered just a close as family. Indeed, one can become a true Brother through friendship.
Esoteric Learning is that which outlines or frames real world ideas and thoughts into a framework to be used practically. At the end of the journey of in-depth learning of Freemasonry, one can display the beauty of holiness, and one can appreciate the beauty of holiness, like watching a sunrise or a sunset and living in the moment while it happens. What seems complicated is transformed into something very singular and simple.
And Most importantly, our Ritual. This is passed down from generation to generation of Masons. This is what distinguishes us as Masons. Like a poem or song, Masonic Ritual impacts us all differently. One can hear certain Rituals 32 times to then find something completely unseen on the 33rd time. The Ritual is something all Masons have in common and what cements the Brotherly bond.
Ask yourself, why did you become a Mason?
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- Fraternal Greetings Brethren and Happy New Year! December 30, 2022
2023 is setting up to be a great year for Olive Branch Lodge, the 17th Masonic District, and Masonry in
Our Lodge has some great plans and events in the works this year. From a Fellowcraft Degree at the
Historic Temple in Trenton to our Outside Master Mason Degree, our Summer BBQ, the Scotchtoberfest, the George Washington Breakfast, a Junior Wardens Trip, and more.
There is a lot of excitement this year in Olive Branch. The energy has been building over the years, and this is due to our Worshipful Brothers’ constant diligence and focus on building the Lodge. I look forward to working with all of you, and I am at your service!Continue reading →
Most Worshipful David L. Tucker
Grand Master of Masons of the State of New Jersey
RW Robert E DePetro
District Deputy Grand Master
Bro. Kevin Cotter, Society of King Solomon
District Education Officer