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Subdue our passions
Subdue our passions my Brethren, let’s talk a little about the first degree. When it was asked "what you come here to do ?"What was your answer ? "Subdue our passions and improve ourselves in Masonry". So when you direct your thoughts properly, you can control your passions or emotions.
When you do the wrong thing, knowing that it is wrong,you do so because you haven't developed the habit of effectively controlling or neutralizing the strong inner urges that tempt you, or because you have established the wrong habits and don't know how to eliminate them effectively.
Habit is stronger than reason. Lets not trap ourselves by getting into the habit of doing the wrong things. Instead lets get into the habit of doing what is right.
Don’t ask who is the man…Be the man… Be at your best….Be the Husband. Be the father… Be the Man ! Let's be the examples to our community of just how good, great men can be.
As a Master Mason it is our duty to lead by example and also become our brothers keeper. At the Alter did we not all promise to remind an erring Brother of his failings, aid in his reformation, vindicate his character when traduced and to suggest in his behalf the most charitable judgment. Yes we are our Brother’s Keeper.
Now I ask you ; Are you subduing your passions or are your passions subduing you ? If you are ruled by your mind you are a king, if by your body, a slave. If we are to let emotions rule and govern us, then let Love and Compassion prevail.
With Love you ; Love thy parents, Love thy neighbor, Love thy spouse and Love our Heavenly Father. If we can Love thy Father, Why Can’t we just love one another. How can we love our father whom we have not seen, when we can’t love our brother, whom we see everyday ?
That was Love, Now Compassion ; Compassion I have witnessed to be a mistreated, seldom used, and often abused emotion. Some people see compassion as a sign of weakness. In reality, forgiving is a sign of strength. When you help, guide, or strengthen an individual or people, that is a sign of a great leader.
What's interesting about this is no matter how high we climb, in any house of Masonry, under all of the dressing ; beneath the allegory ; It all ties back to what we learn in the First Three Degrees. In learning to subdue our passions we not only improve ourselves in Masonry, but we improve ourselves in all areas of life. An interesting and important topic !
One of my students asked me for a Masonic definition of "passions". Bro' Tresner had explained it to me as anything that we ALLOW to control us or permit to be done to us. Basically the same meaning as passive. Hence the passion in the "Passion Play" (Easter pageant), was because he ALLOWED it to be done.
Passions are not always bad and therefore should not be eradicated...merely subdued. In other words, determine what you want to control or motivate your life.
What "passions" should we, as Masons, allow to control our lives and thoughts ? It is not "subdue passion" but "learn to subdue." While in the learning process, one might "subdue" for practice. But once learned, you can then be as passionate as you choose depending on the circumstance. Passion under will.
I would no more want to eliminate my passions on a permanent basis than I would want to eliminate say, my testicles. Without passion, you become, pardon the expression, a "sideliner."
selected article from :
River Forest Austin Lodge #850