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Will there be yet another altweibersommer before the cold air of late autumn and winter set in? Altweibersommer is German for old woman summer, also known as Indian Summer. It seems that almost every region of the world has period of time known as Indian Summer, albeit with different names. While some will contend, we cannot have an Indian Summer until there is a killing frost, the recent warm temperature was welcomed. By whatever name, a second, third, or even fourth flash back to summer is another opportunity to lessen the length of winter. For us, winter also comes with diminishing day light. (Standard time begins, November 7.) In our spiritual lives, we can end up in a funk, our sinfulness, The burdens of life can have us clamoring for more light, for the warmth of God’s love. How do we recognize when we are so overcome by the distractions or disorder of life that we leave our faith and spirituality as an afterthought? How do we nurture our relationship with God when there is so much to divert us from what will give us real joy? Bartimaeus, the blind man, wanted that joy. He knew that Jesus offered something special, and he wanted to be a part of it. He was persistent in calling out and demanding to be seen and heard. His simple dialogue and his lack of concern for his cloak suggest that he knew what was important and what was not. We often think of blindness as being unable to see but Bartimaeus could see what he needed to see by faith. He didn’t walk away once his needs were met but instead, walked with Jesus. We all walk with a sizable crowd, and it is up to us to decide if our crowd is a crowd that is leading us into a relationship with Jesus, or if it is blocking us from a life of deeper faith and discipleship. Where do we need healing from a blindness that keeps from seeing clearly, having faith vision? Having a faith vision is living with eyes opened. Eyes opened to see the darkness within ourselves and in the world. With eyes open, we can see the selfishness in our own words and actions. With eyes open, we can see how our impatience, pride, and judgmental attitude keep us from seeing the good in others. With eyes open, we can see that there is too much injustice in the world, too much pain. With eyes open, we can see that there are too many hungry and too many left out in the cold, too many strangers still not welcome at the table. O Lord gives us a clear faith vision. Bring us into the warmth and light of your kingdom. Help us to lead others to your kingdom and to be messengers of hope. Fr. Ron


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