Cicero tells us “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” In reviewing the Cardinal and Theological virtues this evening I must agree with him.
Ask yourself the following: How can we; have Faith if we are not grateful for the Creator and his creation; express Hope in tomorrow if not grateful for today; practice Charity towards our fellow man if not grateful for that which we have; Prudently determine our next course of action without a gracious thought to the outcome; act with Fortitude if we are not grateful for the courage within us to do so; practice Temperance if we do not recognize the abundance we are surrounded by; and finally can we be Just if we do not practice the other virtues?
This coming week as a nation we celebrate a time of Thanksgiving. Children will write things they are thankful for on turkey’s made from tracing their hands, family and friends will gather around meals and words of thanks will be lifted prior to partaking by many. It marks the beginning of the Holidays were we will be reminded to practice Charity, where our Faith is bolstered by the stories of births, deaths, light, darkness and fruit. I challenge you to look for the opportunity to incorporate gratitude into all your celebrations.
Brothers, gratitude needs to be a daily action, a foundational behavior if we are to be “just and upright”. John Henry Jowett described it thus, “Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” We describe ourselves as “Traveling Men” I ask you to examine your travels, are you limping? If so, perhaps your need to examine your northeast corner, is it a solid foundation for the structure you have designed and wish to build?
All that said I will close with this: I want to thank each and everyone of you who has assisted me in making my year in the East a successful year for our Lodge, without your input, assistance, and encouragement I could not have done it.
Fraternally & Sincerely,
Joseph McKelvie WM