Thomas M. Boles, 33, G.C.
The shelves of our "store" are always full, full of ways and means to be charitable. And what is the mortar called that holds this great Fraternity together? The word is Charity. We once heard words similar to these: "And though I have the gift of prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." I Corinthians 13:1-2
But we, as Masons, do have charity, and we do remove mountains, in particular mountains of pain and agony among the sick and needy. Our charity is enduring and kind; it envies no other charity and does not flaunt itself, but reaches out to all from our "store and the shelves of life."
Look upon our shelves, and you will see the reflections and memories of many, many families who had a need, came to our "store," and found the answer to their prayers. We, acting as Masons, have taken broken bodies, and made them whole; we've erased disease and restored health. We've changed frowns and tears to smiles and joy. Entire families have been transfigured from sorrow and despair to happiness and visions of bright futures. We have taken children who could not speak, or were having speech problems, and made them the orators of tomorrow. You have done that, you Scottish Rite Masons with hearts as big as all outdoors. And there is no better time than this special issue of the Scottish Rite Journal dedicated to Masonic philanthropies to say "Thank You!" from all those families.
I'm reminded of the story about a missionary in the South Pacific Islands. She was explaining to a group of children the custom and significance of giving gifts at Christmas. "Giving gifts," she said, "expresses love and reminds us of the perfect gift of love we received from God." Later that week, a young native boy came to the missionary's side and said, "I love you and want you to have this." From a straw basket, he pulled out the most beautiful shell the missionary had ever seen. As she admired its beauty, she recognized it as a special shell only found on the far side of the island, a half-day's walk from the village. When confronted by this, the boy smiled and said, "Long walk part of gift!"
We have walked a long way already, but we have a yet longer way to walk in our future. There are millions of children in that future, and we, the members of the Scottish Rite today, have to join the march so that those who follow understand what we mean when we say "And now abideth Faith; Hope and Charity -- these three, but the greatest of these is Charity."
Come into your store, anytime, and browse around. Look into the faces of our children in need and see what you can give, either a direct gift or a deferred gift, that they might receive the greatest love on earth. Which leaves my "ad" for this month to read: Give to the gift of life, it stretches the soul.
What is one of the better ways you can benefit yourself and your family and, at the same time, support the Scottish Rite and its Childhood Language Disorders Program? The answer is simple: The Scottish Rite Pooled Income Fund!
The Scottish Rite Pooled Income Fund allows you and, if you wish, your wife and/or other beneficiary(ies) to receive a worry-free lifetime income as well as attractive tax benefits by joining the Fund via a financial gift to The Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA. For more information call, 1-800-486-3331 or fax 202-387-1843.
Grand Commander Kleinknecht will personally respond to your inquiry. If he is not available, please leave your name and number, and the Grand Commander will return your call at his earliest opportunity. Through the Scottish Rite Pooled Income Fund, you can do well for yourself and your family while also doing good for others!
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