WORDS which have been circling my heart…
As the darkness gets darker, the Stars get brighter.
I believe Jesus is empowering those who are humble and open to His Holy Spirit to grow rapidly in holiness. Yes, the doors of Heaven are open. Pope John Paul II’s Jubilee celebration of 2000, in which he pushed open the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica, is symbolic of this. Heaven has literally opened its doors to us.
But the reception of these graces is dependent upon this: that we open the doors of our hearts. Those were the first words of JPII when he was elected…
"Open wide your hearts to Jesus Christ!"
The late Pope was telling us to not be afraid to open our hearts because Heaven was going to open its doors of Mercy to us—not punishment.
Remember how frail and almost incapable the Pope was when He pushed open the Millennium doors? (I saw them when I was in Rome; they are enormous and heavy.) I believe the Pope’s health condition at that time was a symbol for us. Yes, we too can enter those doors simply as we are: weak, frail, tired, lonely, burdened, even sinful. Yes, especially when we’re sinful. For this is why Christ came.
There is only one star in the sky which does not seem to move. It is Polaris, the "North Star". All other stars appear to circle around it. The Blessed Virgin Mary is that Star in the celestial skies of the Church.
We circle around her, as it were, looking intently at her brightness, her holiness, her example. Because you see, the North Star is used to navigate, especially when it is very dark. Polaris is medieval Latin for ‘heavenly’, derived from the Latin, polus, which means ‘end of an axis.’ Yes, Mary is that heavenly star which is leading us to the end of an era. She is leading us to a new dawn when the Morning Star will rise, Christ Jesus our Lord, shining anew upon a purified people.
But if we are to follow her lead, then we must also shine like her in our words, deeds, and even thoughts. For a star that loses its light collapses upon itself, becoming a black hole destroying everything around it.
As the darkness gets darker, we are to become brighter.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world… (Philippians 2:14-15)
TRULY art thou a star, O Mary! Our Lord indeed Himself, Jesus Christ, He is the truest and chiefest Star, the bright and morning Star, as St.John calls Him; that Star which was foretold from the beginning as destined to rise out of Israel, and which was displayed in figure by the star which appeared to the wise men in the East. But if the wise and learned and they who teach men in justice shall shine as stars for ever and ever; if the angels of the Churches are called stars in the Hand of Christ; if He honoured the apostles even in the days of their flesh by a title, calling them lights of the world; if even those angels who fell from heaven are called by the beloved disciple stars; if lastly all the saints in bliss are called stars, in that they are like stars differing from stars in glory; therefore most assuredly, without any derogation from the honour of our Lord, is Mary His Mother called the Star of the Sea, and the more so because even on her head she wears a crown of twelve stars. Jesus is the Light of the world, illuminating every man who cometh into it, opening our eyes with the gift of faith, making souls luminous by His Almighty grace; and Mary is the Star, shining with the light of Jesus, fair as the moon, and special as the sun, the star of the heavens, which it is good to look upon, the star of the sea, which is welcome to the tempest-tossed, at whose smile the evil spirit flies, the passions are hushed, and peace is poured upon the soul. —Cardinal John Henry Newman, Letter to the Rev. E. B. Pusey; "Difficulties of Anglicans", Volume II