A tenebris ad lucem – from darkness to light. That is the astronomical time period we are now in. The winter solstice was two weeks ago and the days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter. It’s perhaps difficult to see this transition, as we are still very early in the winter months, but the planning for spring is upon us all.
For our homes and family, we may be laying out plans for how and when to plant our early spring flowers and vegetables. Asters and peas get planted early. Small little plants with upside down white flowers called snow-drops will be breaking through the ground in just about 4 weeks. All around us, maybe with a little imagination, there are signs of approaching new life for the spring, even thought it’s only January 3rd, as I write this.
Spiritual growth is all around us. As we reflect upon the recent religious and cultural holidays we reminisce about time with family and friends, and we pray for love, friendship, health and peace for the New Year. It’s a common thought; a common prayer. Even 105 years ago, the world experienced a miracle during The Great War, with the Truce of Christmas 1914, when, for at least that one day, shooting stopped and young men on both sides of the trenches got together to celebrate Christmas and brotherhood – singing carols, playing football, sharing food and drink, and praying for Peace for their approaching New Year.
At the same time, we look at outward spiritual growth, reflecting upon our family and friends, we, as Freemasons, look inward at our Masonic growth as we make resolutions for us to comply with the obligations we have made to God, our country, our neighbors and ourselves. As the Installing Master charges the Wardens in our Installation ceremony, “What you have seen praiseworthy in others, you should carefully imitate; and what in them may have appeared defective, you should in yourselves amend.” Masonry – making good men better.
Always look forward, not behind, to the Light. Always look inward to your internal Light. Always look outward to the Light of others.
Now, as I conclude this January message, I would be remiss if I did not wish you all a very Happy New Year. To the 2019 Worshipful Masters and Officers of the 10th District, my heartiest congratulations. You are a talented and dedicated group of Brothers, and I am eager to work with you this coming year. We have a great team in the 10th District, from the newest Entered Apprentice Mason to our Grand Staff officers, and I know that we will continue to help and support one another throughout the year.
Most sincerely and fraternally yours,
R.W. Ronald A. Murad
District Deputy Grand Master
10th Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of NJ