From the Station of the Leading Knight
CHARITY - THE GREATEST VIRTUE
I am honored to serve the Lodge as the Esteemed Leading Knight. Thank you all for your support. An Elk’s standard of care is cited in the Ritual. As Elks, not only have we sworn to support the Constitution, and comply with the laws of the Order, and the By-laws of our Lodge; but we also pledge to live by the Cardinal Principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.
As you are aware, the motto of my station is Charity. As the Ritual stipulates “Charity is the greatest of all virtues”. Virtue is defined as moral excellence. The greatest accomplishment a human can attain is to lead a virtuous life. And Charity “should ever rule us in our hearts and in our lives, leading us to speak no unkind word, to harbor no evil thought, to bear no malice, to support no wrong, but to nurture, love and protect; to condone, forgive and forget.”
Charity is an action of aid; and it is the cornerstone of a polite society. “Our whole influence in life is determined by the good deeds we do rather than the emotions we feel. The kindliest feeling may vanish, the best resolve may be forgotten; but the influence of a good deed, honestly and promptly performed, will continue forever”.
Some say they don’t have enough to give to Charity; but Charity comes in many forms. Of course we all understand financial Charity, but even the poorest man can provide Charity through compassion for another. A smile, an embrace, a kind ear or just plain and simple empathy are all acts of Charity. We can lead virtuous lives by performing Charity in our daily routine.
There is a saying that “Charity begins at home”. We as Elks; are a fraternal family. Let us all extend Charity to our fellows Elks and to our Lodge. If we practice Charity in our Elk home, then our Charitable conduct will fill our daily lives outside of our home. Remember, continual practice will create a routine.
Charitable acts can be done individually, but collectively as well. We are a volunteer organization and often times we need our brethren to “step up” and lend a hand. Whether it is painting a room, emptying a trash can or washing a glass, a collective charitable effort can accomplish great things. One man can lay a cornerstone, but a group of men can build a house. I ask you all to “step up” this year. Support your fellow Elks, support your Lodge, support your community, support your country and support mankind. Live a virtuous life and your reward will be inner peace.
John Aube’, Esteemed Leading Knight
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