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7/27/2013 12:47:59 PM

The 'pearl oyster' is a marine bivalve mollusk of the family 'Pteriidae'. It has a natural procedure to protect itself from foreign substances. Occasionally, by an accident, a foreign particle such as a grain of sand or a parasite may gain entry into the inner body of the oyster between the mantle and the shell causing great discomfort, irritation and possibly, pain to the oyster.

'Nacre' is the mineral substance secreted by the mantle of the oyster to fashion the shell. As the oyster is unable to expel the intruding foreign body, it initiates a natural defensive reaction. The mantle secretes 'nacre', the smooth, hard, crystalline mineral, layer upon layer around the irritant intruder to coat it and cover it completely. In course of time, the covered irritant becomes a beautiful, silky, lovely and lustrous gem called a pearl. It has a shimmering iridescence and a special inner glow not found in other types of gems.

The coating of nacre consists of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate, aligned perfectly with one another so that light transmitted along the axis of one crystal is reflected and refracted by another to display a spectacular spectrum of light and color.

A similar situation may arise in our life frequently. Our mind may be hurt and wounded by adverse conditions and the unkind behavior and harsh words of others. When we are ignored, rejected, misunderstood or ill-treated by prejudice or hatred, our mind gets wounded.

By trusting in the infinite love of God, we can let Him cover our wounds and sorrows by several layers of His healing love. Like the pearl made in the oyster from the healing wound, we too can develop precious pearls of peace, strength and sanctity in our mind and soul by the soothing and sanctifying grace of God. It is said that adversity is the best university to perfect our personality.

We must accept the sufferings and pain of life with the spirit of sacrifice. In life, troubles, suffering and failures may fall on us. Let us not worry about them or feel helpless or hopeless. We should not let the troubles defeat us or bury us. Let us use every failure as a stepping-stone and not as a stumbling-block.

Our life is like a boat, sailing through the sea of the world. We may be threatened by the tempests of troubles, tribulations and temptations. But we can
sail safely if our faith is strong. God has control over the forces of nature. He may give us tests and trials so that we may grow further and stronger, but he never abandons us during hard times. God is with us in our joys and tears throughout our life.



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