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Trust the Experience

The Story of a Pearl

One day, when our family was on vacation at the seashore, we decided to take a walk. We came upon a little open-air stand called “The Oyster Shop.” Inside, a lady stood with a big bucket of oysters. She said that each oyster had a pearl and, for five dollars, the children could choose one. She would open it for them, and whatever was inside would be theirs. Next, she began a slide presentation and explained the story of how a pearl develops.

The woman told us that, at some time in the course of the oyster’s development, a foreign substance such as a grain of sand gets into the little muscle and irritates the oyster. In response, the oyster covers that irritant with a secretion. The longer the irritation is there, the more the oyster coats it. Pearl oysters vary in size and can be quite rough and ugly. Yet what is happening inside is a combination of rainbows, moonlight, and bits of flame.

Once the oyster accepts the irritation as part of itself, the pearl begins to develop. The worst storms, gales, even hurricanes will not dislodge it. As time goes by and this oyster is finally pulled up from the bed where it has been for many years, it is opened only to reveal a beautiful pearl.

Later, when I had time to think, I meditated on the story of how a pearl forms. I realized it is just like the story of Garabandal. Something comes into our spiritual life; it comes because the Blessed Mother has chosen us to do something special for her. It is not natural to ourselves because the Message of Garabandal involves penance, prayer, sacrifice, and acts of love—things that are not always easy for our human nature to accomplish. The longer the substance is there, the more it can irritate.

Sometimes we are asked to do things that we really don’t want to do. For example, maybe we’ve taken long trips under very, very difficult circumstances. But we offer that sacrifice up so that finally, when we get to the end of our Garabandal life, we will be able to open up our little spiritual oyster and give the Blessed Mother our special pearl. The longer we stay committed and the more we do, the more beautiful will be the pearl that each one of us can give.

So I pass this story of the pearl on to you. You are working on a little pearl for the Blessed Mother. The pearl’s name is GARABANDAL, and you are living and spreading the message. The Blessed Mother has picked you to carry it. And your finished pearl will be a unique gift to the Blessed Mother—one that no one else has.

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