"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. I do not agree with the big way of doing things."
Mother Teresa, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary
Although Masonic ritual varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, a consistent message conveyed to every candidate is that charity is an essential part of Freemasonry. In some rituals, in fact, reference is made to the wide-breadth of the star-decked canopy of Heaven and that a Mason's charity should be equally extensive. This concept has remained throughout the centuries of Freemasonry's existence.
"To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Freemasons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections.”
William Preston, 1772.