From the Venerable Master (September, 2014)

posted May 30, 2015, 7:57 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 30, 2015, 7:57 PM ]

My Brethren,

What makes a good friend?
Today modern technology allows us to make hundreds even thousands of social network "friends" by merely adding their names to our list of computer contacts. Then when we wish to end these "friendships", we simply delete that persons name from our list. The tragic incident involving Robin Williams underscores a startling reality and that is that true friendship still eludes many. Even though we are socializing more the number of our truly close friends has decreased. Like most people you probably agree that good friends are important. You may also recognize that there is more to being a friend than clicking links on a computer screen or a smart phone. 
What do you look for in a friend? How can you be a good friend? What does it take to forge a good friendship?
Consider the following guiding principles and note how the Bibles practical advice can help you to be the kind of person others would want as a friend. 
True friendship involves commitment. In other words a good friend feels a responsibility towards you and he cares about you. Of course such commitment is two way and it requires hard work and sacrifice on both sides but the rewards are worth the effort. Ask yourself 'Am I willing to give my time and my resources to my friend?' 
Remember to have a good friend you first need to be a good friend. A good friendship cannot flourish without regular communication. So talk together about the interest you share, listen to what your friend has to say and respect their opinions, then whenever possible commend and encourage them. At times a friend may need advice or even correction and that might not always be easy to give. However a good friend will have the courage to point out a serious fault and offer tactful guidance. " Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger." (James 1:19) People always appreciate a listening ear. Monopolizing the conversation however conveys the message that we feel our opinions are greater than theirs. So be a good friend, be attentive, when a friend wishes to shave their innocent thoughts and concerns to you and do not get offended if he is honest with you. "The wounds inflicted by a friend are faithful."   (Proverbs 27:6)
The closer we get to a friend the more likely we are to see their flaws. Our friends are not perfect but then neither are we. Therefore we should never expect or demand perfection from the people we befriend. Rather it is good to treasure their virtues and to make allowances for their mistakes.
True we need to be selective of who we befriend but that does not mean narrowing our choice of friends to those of a certain age or upbringing. Taking an interest in people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and nationalities can truly enrich our lives.  
In keeping with our promise, the officers of our valley have been trying to call you my brothers. Some without success, Please remember we are not bill collectors nor are we trying to sell you anything. Our purpose is to cultivate our friendship and brotherly love. Keep Masonry alive, love your brothers.

Joseph DaSilva, 32°  KCCH
Venerable Master