As a member of the order who has been responsible for shedding light upon the dark world I take my obligations seriously. While our exoteric rites performed in lodge may not awaken anything in some, I am one who sees the sprout in the seeds we sow together. If you look at our working tools without seeing the truth hidden within you will never be a true Freemason. All the titles and baubles and rings and lapel pins make not a man a Mason. He must put the working tools of his trade into action everyday from the time he first is made a Mason to the time they fall from his cold grasp.
"Where were you first prepared to be made a Mason?"
If it was in your head and not in your heart, even if you go through every degree in all of the rites of Masonry, you will never be a Mason.
We are not mind readers, we can not know for sure your intentions when you petition the Craft for membership. Many slip through who join for selfish reasons but they will never be Masons. They can rise to the title of Grand Master and never be a Mason.
"In whom do you put your trust?"
Many answer correctly to go forth in our initiation but truly believe not in the words they speak.
We must uphold the institution of Freemasonry. If we do not live up to the rituals we bestow upon worthy candidates we are nothing. If we do not use the working tools of our profession at all times, we fail the men who were worthy of being called Freemasons that propelled the Craft to the vaunted status we once held. All men fail at times, but we must labor continuously at our rough ashlars for the spiritual temple we set out to build.
We are builders.
Before we can help others build we must refine the temple of our own being. Without a solid foundation it will never soar to the lofty heights of the divine. Using the common gavel we must continuously chip off the the rough corners of our spiritual ashlar. It is a constant duty of the Entered Apprentice to remove all vices and superfluities of his mind and conscience until he is ready to build. When he does so he is ready to become a Fellowcraft. Not everyone does this.
Moral law is the the truth we must uphold. If we are not just and upright Masons we are stooped over animals. I do not want to be an animal. An animal lives in a world where the simple impulses rule; food, shelter, and reproduction. An animal succumbs to those urges at all times, he will violate other animals to satisfy those simple needs. The world is filled with temptation and only the just and upright temper those animal urges.
"Learn to subdue my passions."
It is not an easy thing to be a Mason. Labor is hard. We labor in the quarries of a dark world. Only by seeking out quality material to build with, will we restore the foundation of our worthy order.
There is much work to be done.