News From The Ninth Arch

The Circle of Perfection

The Circle of Perfection
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey

The Circle of Perfection
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\’When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love..\’ -Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

My Companion:

Our ancient Grand Masters knew that evil men would plot to destroy the Temple. They knew that evil men would burn Jerusalem. They knew that evil men would carry the people off as slaves. They knew all this and prepared for it.

They also knew that the goodness within men would rise to the top, and their people would be free once more. They made certain that the True Word would be recovered. It would not be easily found, nor easily deciphered. It would take swiftness, determination, strength, and intelligence to do this.

It would take the swiftness of an Eagle to return to Jerusalem before the Assyrians could stop their homeward march. It would take the patience of an Ox to remove all the rubbish before the rebuilding could actually begin. It would take the strength of the Lion to rebuild the Temple while fighting the Tyrians and Sidonians. And it would take the intelligence of an Upright Man to put together the puzzle pieces that King Solomon left on the top of the Ark.

Our Cryptic Degrees do not stand alone within the York Rite. They are intertwined with those of the Lodge and Chapter. Together, they are called the Circle of Perfection. Having received them, it is up to you to contemplate them, absorb them, and put them in order within your head and your heart. Each lesson requires you to remember what came before, and add to it what followed. Just as an operative mason will build the corners and the doorways before filling in the rest of a wall, so too you must learn the key pieces of the Master Mason and Royal Arch degrees before continuing your learning within the Crypt.

Masonry’s lessons are not taught in historical order, but they are taught well.

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