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Mary, Our Morning Star

On and off I thought we could use the Saturday Mass to briefly consider some of the beautiful titles that we give to Our Lady in the Litany of Loreto. For example, Mary is known as the ‘Morning Star,’ Stella matutina.

I’m always struck when I stay in the country, far away from the bright lights of London, by the majestic night sky, full of stars. The night skies have also become more visible in the lockdown.

The morning star, the planet Venus, is the brightest of the stars in the night sky and it heralds the rising of the Sun. And so in the spiritual sphere, Mary is one of the brightest figures, pointing towards Jesus, whose coming into the world was like the rising sun, scattering the darkness and bathing us in life-giving light.

For ancient peoples, the stars were essential in navigating long journeys. Mary, our ‘morning star,’ gives us a sense of direction and leads us to her Son – ‘to Jesus through Mary.’

Mary’s closeness to her Son is underlined by the image of the ‘morning star,’ because this title is also used for Christ. Indeed, in the Book of Revelation, the Lord calls Himself the ‘morning star.’ By using the title for Mary, we do not take anything away from Jesus. As Cardinal Newman said, ‘she does not shine for herself, or from herself, but she is the reflection of her and our Redeemer, and she glorifies Him’.

So, every time we get up and start the day, let us ask the Morning Star for her prayers and a sense of direction, so that we follow the will of God and draw closer to her Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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