Spe Salvi 49: Mary, Star of Hope

Modern people think of stars in many ways. The cult of celebrity is strong these days, and sometimes the prefix “super” is needed to distinguish those above our ordinary stars.

The older meaning involves guidance, and accompaniment in a time of darkness. People on pilgrimage might have declined travel in the heat of day and turned to nighttime to make progress. In the spiritual life too, we find ourselves making way when difficulties abound and guidance might seen unsure.

Let’s conclude our journey with Spe Salvi with a meditation on Mary, Star of Hope.

49. With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea”: Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us (cf. John 1:14).

This document is Copyright © 2007 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana. You can find the full document online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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