On may 22nd 2010 members from the Colorado springs and pueblo chapter took a trip to the sand dunes in southern Colorado. The trip was a blast we hiked up the sand dunes and the view from the top was astonishing. After the hike we played in the creek that runs in front of the sand dunes which was the right temperture for the hot day. In the end our trip to the sand dunes was really fun and I hope to go again next year.
DeMolay generously includes in their teachings the unique love one can give to their parents. As pointed out in the first cardinal virtues, filial love. It is given the top rank and urges DeMolay's to demonstrate this in our everyday lives. However, as an added teaching, Demolays from all over the world are also asked to be more aware of the sacrifices, hardships and things that our mother’s have done for us.
Growing in the order, this act of recognition is further demonstrated by a piece of ritual that we call the Flower Talk. The ceremony, which is publicly performed during the order’s installation of officers, welcoming of new members and the like, is a well written piece of oratory that discusses how members have come to be a man. Happy mother’s day to all and hope that you will always remember what your mother has done for you!
Please enjoy the flower talk ceremony below in honor of mother's day.
My brothers, you have just been permitted to take upon yourselves the name of one of the world's most heroic knightly figures. Now you can say, "I am a DeMolay." To be deemed worthy of the privilege of entering into the comradeship of that great army of youth both here and abroad who have dedicated themselves to the ideals of Jacques DeMolay, demonstrates our confidence that the fineness of your purposes will guide your development into the highest type of manhood. To be accepted as a DeMolay is, therefore, an honour of which any young man can be justly proud.
In being received into our ranks, you have been instructed in the seven cardinal virtues of this great Order. We hope you have been deeply impressed with the lessons they teach. There is no better foundation on which to build your character and future life than the practice of these virtues. The Order of DeMolay teaches many beautiful lessons, but none is more important than honour and true respect for womanhood, and more especially for motherhood. It is fitting, therefore, that you have been called upon to stand again before this altar in a few moments of special emphasis upon the virtue which has been given first place among the jewels adorning the Crown of Youth: Filial Love.
For my purpose now, this altar is dedicated to our mothers, whose love never fails. You may rise to positions of great influence in commercial, political, or professional life, but you can never reach the heights of your mother's secret hopes for you. You may sink into the lowest depths of infamy and degradation, but never below the reach of her love. The memory of it will always stir your heart. There is no man so entirely base, so completely vile, so utterly low, that he does not hold in his heart a shrine sacred and apart for the memory of his mother's love.
Were I to draw you a picture of love divine,
it would not be that of a stately Angel,
With a form that is full of grace.
But a tired and toilworn mother
With a grave and tender face.
It was your mother who loved you before you were born--who carried you for long months close to her heart and in the fullness of time took God's hand in hers and passed through the valley of shadows to give you life. It was she who cared for you during the helpless years of infancy and the scarcely less dependent years of childhood. As you have grown less dependent, she has done the countless, thoughtful, trouble-healing, helpful and encouraging things which somehow only mothers seem to know how to do. You may have accepted these attentions more or less as matters of course, and perhaps without conscious gratitude or any expression of your appreciation. You are rapidly approaching the time in life when you will be entirely independent of your mother. The ties with which dependency has bound you to her may be severed as you grow older, but the tie of mother-love can never be broken.
Thinking back upon the years of your life when you have reached the threshold of manhood, your mother might well say in the words of the poet:
My body fed your body, son,
But birth's a swift thing
Compared to one and twenty years
Of feeding you with spirit's tears.
I could not make your mind and soul,
But my glad hands have kept you whole.
Your groping hands
Bound me to life with ruthless bands.
And all my living became a prayer,
While all my days built up a stair
For your young feet that trod behind
That you an aspiring way should find.
Think you that life can give you pain
Which does not stab in me again?
Think you that life can give you shame
Which does not make my pride go lame?
And you can do no evil thing
Which sears not me with poisoned sting.
Because of all that I have done,
Remember me in life, O son.
Keep that proud body fine and fair.
My life is monumented there.
For my life make no woman weep,
For my life hold no woman cheap.
And see you give no woman scorn
For that dark night when you were born.
These flowers which you see on our altar are symbols of that mother love. The white, the love of the mother who is gone. And the red, the mother who still lives to bless your life.
Far in the dim recesses of her heart
Where all is hushed and still,
She keeps a shrine.
'Tis here she kneels in prayer
While from above long shafts of light upon her shine.
Her heart is flower fragrant as she prays.
Aquiver like a candle flame,
Each prayer takes wing
To bless the world she works among,
To leave the radiance of the candles there.
We want each of you to take a flower from the altar. If your mother has passed over to the other shore, you will choose a white flower and keep it always sacred to her memory. May the sight of it always quicken every tender memory of her and strengthen you anew in your efforts to be worthy of her hopes and aspirations for you. If your mother is living, you will choose a red flower. When you go home tonight, give it to your mother. Tell her it is our recognition of God's best gift to a man: his mother's love. Take her in your arms and say, "Mother, I've learned a great lesson tonight. The ceremonies have helped me realize more fully how much you really mean to me. I'm going to try to show you daily how much I appreciate the sacrifices you have made and the love and care you give me."
Someday you'll find that flower, I know not where, perhaps in her Bible or prayer book or some other sacred place, a silent witness to what this night has meant to the one whose love for you, her son, is beyond the comprehension of any son. My brothers each of you will please take a red or white flower from the altar.
DeMolay can ask no more of you than that you shall endeavor so to live as to be worthy of your mother's love.
Mother's day is around the corner this Sunday, May 9th. Therefore, we wanted to provide a couple posts in honor of our mothers. This first post provides an un-official DeMolay ceremony titled "The Mother's Watch." Please check back for a follow on post and enjoy the ceremony!
She never closed her eyes in sleep till we were all in bed, and on party nights, till we came home she often sat and read.
We little thought about it then, for we were young they say, just how much mother worried while we children were away.
We only knew she never slept when we were out at night and that she waited just to know we’d all come home alright.
Sometimes when we stayed out till one or two or three, it seemed to us that mother heard the turning of key, for always when we stepped inside she’d call and we’d reply.
But we were all too young back then to understand the reason why, until the last one had returned she’d always keep a light, for mother couldn’t sleep until she’d kissed us all good night.
She had to know that we were safe before she went to rest, for she seemed to fear the world might harm the ones she loved the best.
And once she said, “When you are grown to women and men perhaps I’ll sleep a whole night through, I may be different then.”
And so it came that night and day we knew a mother’s care, that always when we got back home we’d find her waiting there.
Then came that night when we called together ‘round her bed, “The children are all with you now”, the kindly doctor said.
And in her eyes there gleamed again that old time tender light that told that she’d been waiting just to know that we were all all right.
She smiled that old familiar smile and prayed to god to keep her children safe from harm throughout the years and then she went to sleep.
The last virtue is emblematic of patriotism. Perhaps we shall never be called upon to defend our country on the field of battle, but each day affords new opportunities to stand as good and upright citizens in behalf of that beloved banner and our hallowed land.
The Order of DeMolay honors and respects those who have served our country in the military, particularly those individuals who have paid the ultimate sacrifice of offering their lives in the defense of freedom. But, we are quick to acknowledge that there is a patriotism of peace as well as a heroism of war.
Many of our young men will not serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, nevertheless they are expected to be good citizens who actively participate in public discourse and who serve their communities well. The discussion of religion and politics is forbidden inside the chapter (as it is in all Masonic organizations), however patriotism and civic duty are openly encouraged. No DeMolay chapter can open without the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to remind us of our duties to our nation.
Patriotism is so important to DeMolay that two of our seven mandatory Obligatory Days (days that we are called to especially remember a certain topic or person) deal with patriotic issues. They are Patriot’s Day (in February) and My Government Day (in July).
Hopefully you found this reflections on the seven cardinal virtues to be informative and if you are unfamiliar with the Order of DeMolay that you learned something about our organization and what it stands for. Please subscribe to the feed and visit the blog site regularly. Most importantly, THANK YOU for taking the time to visit.
The sixth virtue is symbolic of cleanness, not only the bodily cleanness which we all practice, but the cleanness of every thought, word and deed. To quote Aristotle once more, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”
The habits practiced when young men enter their teenage years follow us into manhood. We are engaged in self-delusion if we believe that an immoral young man can grow into a pinnacle of virtue. While there are always opportunities to reform and change, we should not let the exception replace the rule. It matters greatly that young men engage in habits that lead to cleanness in thought, word, and deed.
In the DeMolay, candidates promise to lead a clean and moral life. The Sixth Preceptor further instructs them that this consists of avoiding habits that leave us “weakened in body, enfeebled in mind, and debased in heart and soul.”
The importance of this virtue cannot be stressed enough for our youth to understand and take to heart. Addictions in our society abound, whether to drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and smoking (to name a few). These addictions often present themselves in the teenage years when young men are vulnerable to peer pressure and susceptible to an image of manhood that is distorted by the dominant media culture. If one becomes addicted to these things, it will eventually lead to the consequences so eloquently stated in our ritual. Drug and alcohol addictions destroy the mind as well as the body. Addiction to food has led to an epidemic of obesity leading not only to health problems, but a negative self-image.
DeMolay provides the opportunity for habitual practices that counter the negative effects of unclean living. Chapters routinely have sporting events to develop the physical body. Our awards program gives young men a natural high for many activities that promote a disciplined life rather than a dissipative existence. Committing the ritual work to memory helps to recall the virtues and develops a sharp, focused mind. Structured engagement with adult men and involved parents provides role models that our youth so desperately need.
One cannot think of a better environment for the formation of good habits than DeMolay.
The fifth cardinal virtue of DeMolay stands simply for Fidelity (faithfulness). Fidelity is the main virtue inculcated in the DeMolay Degree through the heroic example set before us in the life and trial of Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar.
Jacques DeMolay gave up his life rather than betray the trust that was reposed in him. While we may never be faced with the same circumstances as Jacques DeMolay, we are called to emulate his example by doing the same should we be called upon to defend our country on the field of battle or to save another human life.
However, fidelity is not only limited to extreme acts of heroism and bravery. A young man need not face martyrdom to show his faithfulness. In our daily lives, we are called upon to be reliable, trustworthy, and men of our word. All too often, promises are made with no intention of keeping them. For a DeMolay, a promise made is a promise fulfilled unless circumstances beyond his control are involved.
A DeMolay is taught that it is faithfulness in these small things that leads to faithfulness in the larger, more weighty matters of life (Luke 16:10). He is called upon daily to defend the bulwarks and precepts of the Order that he might never fails as a leader or as a man.
The fourth jewel in the Crown of Youth represented by the candle in the center of our seven, stands symbolically for comradeship (friendship). Millions of young men such as ourselves have dedicated themselves to the same high principles of good sonship and good citizenship.
The essence of this virtue is faithful friendships and brotherhood. Life is a lonely journey without true friendship. DeMolays are taught to value friendship and to be loyal companions to friends and to fellow brothers in DeMolay.
This virtue, as well as the next (fidelity), are portrayed in the DeMolay Degree. Jacques DeMolay refused to betray his friends and brethren in the last days of the Knights Templar. For his defiance of the Inquision, DeMolay was burned at the stake on March 18, 1314. Jacques DeMolay’s loyalty to his comrades was unto death. May we emulate his example in how we deal with our friends and brothers.
DeMolay's third cardinal virtue is courtesy (courtesy toward everyone). DeMolay teaches that courtesy is not to be reserved for expedient purposes, but serves as a foundational social grace. This begins in the home where children are expected to show courtesy to their parents and siblings. It extends from there to the stranger, the aged, women, friends, and all with whom we come into contact. It is this courtesy that brings a warm feeling and a smile and makes this life more pleasant for others as it lights the pathway before us. The cultivation of courtesy is to produce a refinement in the young man so that his courtesy is natural rather than artificial.
Growth in courteous behavior (and the other cardinal virtues) requires practice. In DeMolay, our young men learn proper decorum during chapter meetings. They learn Roberts Rules of Order, respectful speech when dissenting in a debate, and protocol on how to introduce oneself, guests, and visiting dignitaries. DeMolays also learn respect for each other and how to communicate effectively without resorting to name-calling or foul language, neither of which is tolerated in our meetings or activities.
The second jewel in the Crown of Youth represents the virtue of reverence for sacred things (Respect for others, their beliefs, their opinions, the things they hold sacred) and is emblematic of all that is sacred. DeMolay teaches no particular religious creed, but supports the religious growth and development for all of its members. Young men are encouraged to develop strong religious convictions and to attend worship services regularly. Moreover, a DeMolay is expected to carry their own religious teachings into their daily lives.
To encourage religious development, DeMolay has a merit bar (similar to merit badges earned in Boy Scouts) that is awarded for not missing regular weekly religious services for one full year. What begins as a quest for a merit bar, often translates into regular attendance at a place of worship.
Through its emphasis on personal religious development, DeMolay reinforces high moral standards. Young men eventually grow up to become adults, who then become husbands and fathers. The second jewel in the Crown of Youth reminds us of the necessary religious foundation for these future responsibilities.
The first virtue that adorns the Crown of Youth is filial love (love of parents). This virtue symbolizes the love between parent and child. Our Order instructs youth in the necessity of obeying the Fifth Commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother." Indeed, these very words are used during the Initiatory Degree.
Youth should remember the sacrifices their parents have made, not only during childhood and adolescent years, but also into adulthood. DeMolay teaches that we can never repay the debt owed to our parents. We should, however, strive to pay it in "thoughtful consideration, courtesy, affectionate and dutiful obedience."