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Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

My dear encountered couples:

Jeremiah was not happy. He wished he had never been born. “Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth!” he cried.

Ever feel like that? Ever feel like no one could be worse off than you; that life had lost all its meaning, all its joy, there was nothing to look forward to? If you haven’t ever felt like that, then you wouldn’t understand Jeremiah, you couldn’t understand many people who are living today. There are many people in this world who live their every day in the basement of depression, filled with nothing but feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.

Isn’t that why so many have turned to drugs, to lives of crime, why so many have given up on themselves and the world? Like Jeremiah they are deeply unhappy and wish they had never been born. If only they realized the treasure within them.

In all of us is God, in the most insignificant of us to the most outstanding is the kingdom of heaven. Maybe only the size of a grain of sand, but of invaluable potential. With our permission God can take that grain of sand in us and, as he does with a grain of sand in an oyster, he can turn it into a pearl of great price.

When you are feeling low, when you look about you and wonder what you have to show for all your years of pain and strain, don’t forget to look inside you. That’s where it’s at. “The kingdom of God,” Jesus said, “is like a buried treasure which a man found in a field; it is like one really valuable pearl.”

Your treasure is within you, your hope, your love, your all. And nobody is going to take any of it away from you. God will see to that. Don’t give up on yourself. There’s nothing in this world worth more than you.

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