Fr. Austin's Holy Thought

Fifteenth Sunday

Star of the Sea - Stella Maris

                                                                                                     Mark 6-7

Star of the Sea is a beautiful ancient title for Mary the Mother of God and our Mother too. The actual title is a play on words. In Hebrew ‘Maryam’ can mean ‘drop of the ocean’ and it can also mean ‘a shining light.’ Besides there is an ancient spiritual tradition that sees Mary as a guiding star when there is chaos all around us. And quite naturally she has been the patron of seafarers for centuries.

Today our retiring collection supports Stella Maris (formerly Apostleship of the Sea) the group of volunteers (lay & ordained) who minister to merchant seamen in port or in centres, and also in hospital, in prison, or in court.

Until a major crisis occurs (like the blockage of the Suez canal in 2021) we are mostly unaware of these unseen workers who bring us the cargoes of goods we need from distant places. They often work in harsh conditions, and if a shipping company goes bankrupt or politics intervenes, they can be stuck on board for months without pay.

There is a link here with Tuesday’s feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Stella Maris monastery in Haifa, on the edge of Mount Carmel overlooking the sea is traditionally the birthplace of the Carmelite Order. Mary Star of the Sea looks with care on those who travel on the waves.

Fr.Austin scj   

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