Mary, our Star and Haven

Christ is at the centre of our Faith; His glorious Resurrection is its bedrock. But none of this would be possible if not for Mary! It was through her that our Father in Heaven sent us His Only Son; it was through her that He worked out the history of our salvation. On her part, by willingly cooperating in God’s plan for estranged humankind, Mary was privileged to receive, in the words of Pope John Paul II, the “deepest knowledge of the mystery of God’s mercy.”

Mary is thus less ‘off-centre’ than some of us may imagine. If Christ is the Sun, she is the Moon; she is a reflection of His radiance, in whose light we journey or sail through time. She is a sure guide for our steps. She prays for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. She leads us to the Father and the Son in Heaven. For this she is naturally deserving of all our love and attention.

The Church proclaims – and we can see – Mary’s living and active presence in our day-to-day existence. She touches our lives; she who had a personal experience of the ups and downs in our valley of tears watches over us, like a true mother keen about her children’s welfare. She is our mother of mercy, our sweetness and our hope. She is our mother most faithful, who never leaves us unaided when we fly to her patronage or implore her help. She is our mother, holy, tender and kind, a shining model of faith, hope and charity.

Catholic Tradition invokes our Blessed Mother in myriad ways. Devotion to her is “intrinsic to Christian worship”, says Pope Paul VI; and it is expressed through liturgical feasts dedicated to her and through Marian prayer, such as the Rosary. To our local faith community she is the Star of the Sea – not only because we are in physical proximity of deep and unknown waters, and our people are a seafaring lot; but also because, on a universal plane, the sea is a symbol of life’s many perils through which we all need to be piloted to a safe haven.

When we sing and pray, “Be with us, Mary, along the way…” we can trust Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth, to be to us that guiding star and safe haven all at once!

(Editorial, The Stella Maris Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 1, Dec 2009)