“The Brotherhood of Freemasons – the Place Where Loyalty and Morality Acquire New Values. The Masonic Experience and the Guiding Role of the Lodge."
Address of M. W. Bro. Radu _Bălănescu
Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Romania
If we search the definitions of loyalty and morality we find the following:
“Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group or cause.”
“Morality is a personal or social set of standards for good or bad behavior and character, or the quality of being right, honest, or acceptable”.
If morality is a set of standards for discriminating between bad and good, based on truth and rightness and can be seen from different angles depending on what we judge, Loyalty is about duties and support that we are willing to undertake or not.
How we see these two virtues through the eyes of Freemasonry? They are the “cement” that gives our strength, continuity and – even more – the universality of Freemasonry.
It is also very difficult to discuss separately about morality and loyalty. Can a brother be loyal to the Craft without having the qualities of a moral person? The answer is “no” and further more we should consider these virtues as the base of the Freemasonry.
The Lodge is of outmost importance in preserving the core values, rituals and the principles of Freemasonry. For sure, the Lodge is the best home for morality and loyalty. In fact, the Lodge is our small universe, in which we were created, constituted and received as Freemasons. It is the place where Brethren share their experience, knowledge, feelings, the place in which our improvement. It is also the place where we practice virtue and subdue vice.
These two values, loyalty and morality, are among the core values of Freemasonry and were revealed to us from the day we have entered the Lodge and started our Masonic experience.
We all remember when the Worshipful Master told us the main goal of Freemasonry: “to make good men better, fighting against untruthfulness, ignorance, totalitarianism and extremism”.
It is important to remember that in the Ceremony of Initiation we have been told that our duties are to subdue the passions and vices and to observe, practice and profess assiduously the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, respectively: brotherly love, relief and truth. We were also told that “these virtues, which, in the profane world, are regarded as rare and beautiful qualities, are considered by Freemasons to be the simple accomplishment of their duties”.
These short reminders of our experience during the Ceremony of Initiation emphasize once again the great significance of Loyalty and Morality for the existence and development of Freemasonry.
Without Loyalty and Morality a man cannot practice virtue, he cannot dedicate himself to the service of his fellow Brethren and citizens, to the service of our Order, to the service of mankind and to the service of the Great Architect of the Universe. Therefore, without Loyalty and Morality a man cannot be a Freemason.