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The last few days have been full of rain, wind, and cool temperatures.  In short, the weather has been awesome.  I love these days in early Fall, when the temperatures are just starting to flirt with the chill that will become winter and cool Fall rains beat out a lullaby on every surface.

It was in this reverie today that I had the chance to watch a simple gray squirrel go about his daily business.  As someone who is a lover of animals and is fascinated by their every aspect, it was a rare chance to just sit and watch for a time.  And, in that moment I felt a peace that I have been stretching for in recent months.  A peace that has always seemed to dangle just outside of my reach.

It was then I felt God reaching out to me, reminding me that everything will be alright.  I just need faith.

I’ve talked about faith here before.  It is a topic that some people find to be thorny.  I’m not sure I completely understand why.  When I speak of faith I am not talking about religion.  That is a completely different matter.  Faith is something else.  Something purer.  It is a sense of the world and universe around us and a belief that we are personally meant to be a part of it.  It is an emotion that can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.

I personally find it quite simple.  I am comfortable with my personal belief system and my faith.  Of course, every once in a while I need a reminder of that.  But, just because my vision of faith is one of a God who loves me and the various and sundry emotional and spiritual accouterments that brings, does not mean that this is the only faith out there.

Really, it is quite simple.  These are dark days in many ways.  Are we seeing the worst of times?  No, generations before us have seen much worse and generations to follow will probably do the same.  That is the cyclical nature of the human experience.  But, the fact that others have had a worse time of it on the past does little to ease the pains of the present.  The world today is awash in a darkness and a human ennui that seems to demoralized us as a species.

But, whether you believe in an Almighty Power or simply the basic laws of natural science, there can be no dark without light.  And, as we all look around and see so many reasons to let our vision become darkened we need to remember that inside ourselves are the lights that can beat back the darkness.

I am a Catholic.  That means I have certain beliefs, and hold certain things sacred.  You may not agree with my beliefs, but there are certain universal truths, I know this in my heart.  And, I believe that Paul found one of these when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:13

But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Faith is our ability to believe that the sun will shine on us again despite this gloom.  Hope is our yearning for that sun that we know is still there behind those clouds.

And, love.  Well, love is that feeling that we have a place to belong.  A place that is a simple as the hug of a parent, the arms of a spouse, the reaching hand of a child, or the shoulder of a friend.  And that, my friends, is the greatest by far.

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