Meditate On the Star of the Magi Today
“'At this moment a great Melchizedek priest is caught up into his accustomed ecstatic way of prayer. Even now he is aware of a great new light – a beacon light so powerful that it brings these holy words to his lips. Ah, at last the Tower of Ivory is here. Heaven’s Mystical Rose is blossoming on earth. This Light is the mother of God! She is God’s House of Gold. Where these treasures of light are, there is the Messiah. He is the Star of the East – she the Morning Star. Oh, Morning Star, I am at once beginning my search for thee and for my God on earth. Seat of Wisdom, pray for me, and help me to find thee in the shadows of the East! Now, an angel of God is telling this Melchizedek priest, who will be known as the head of the Magi, that he is allowed to see this great phenomena so that the Book of Numbers may be fulfilled, A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a scepter shall spring up from Israel. Mary, that great star is your immaculate, spiritual fire within your body. It is rising up into the heavens to form an indestructible bridge of light – God’s Light in you between Heaven and earth. The Melchizedek priest will leave this night in his search for you and will be joined by two other priests of his order along the way. During their long nights of the spirit they will wander far from the right course, but in God’s mercy they will see your light again and continue on. Through trials, fasting, thirst, disappointment, and dismay they will find you and Joseph south of Bethany two years from now. They will bring many gifts and jewels.'" - The Refugee from Heaven by Cora Evans
Heaven’s Mystical Rose is blossoming on earth.
“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” (Song of Songs 2:1)
The opening line of this chapter in the Song of Songs paves the way for what is to come as the reader continues on: “For see, the winter is past. The rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The time of pruning the vines has come” (2:11). Since childhood, this particular verse has spoken loudly of Our Lady. She bears with her the dawn of hope in the midst of the bitter, harsh winter that preceded Her Son’s birth.
Where I live, in northern Indiana, winters can be brutal in every way imaginable: treacherous black ice on roads, only about seven hours of daylight, and white out conditions with lake effect snow. We take our winter weather seriously. And every year, about this time, I begin to retreat more inward, considering with somber awareness that all appears lost and dead above the frozen earth.
Our Lady is winter’s rose, because she bears in her womb the greatest hope that there ever was: the Light of the World; the Way, the Truth; the Good Shepherd. Truly, we know the winter of eternal damnation ended swiftly with her fiat. And the radiant dawn emerged the instant Jesus was born to earth.
“She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the Rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful.” ~ Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman
When we moved to a new house this past spring, we inherited a yard adorned with professional landscaping. Right outside our back patio a lush salmon pink rose bush is burrowed underneath the cozy shade of a young tulip tree. That rose bush bloomed from April through early November – bud after bud opening. As one rose blossom matured, another floret would appear to take its place.
The cyclical nature of all living things resonated in that rose bush. And I thought, every day, of the Blessed Mother and how every flower on that bush unfurled to honor her and radiate her glory. Roses bespeak of delicacy, tenacity, constancy. When a person is told to choose a flower, the rose is often the first to come to mind. Roses are timeless, classic emblems of undying devotion and true friendship – all which describe our dearest Blessed Mother.
In our home shrine dedicated to the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary, we place seasonal flowers – often roses – at the feet of our Blessed Mother statue, particularly during Marian months of May and October. It is a beautiful reminder of her fragrant presence that fills our home and hearts.
This Light is the mother of God! She is God’s House of Gold.
“The ark is verily the holy Virgin, gilded within and without, who received the treasure of universal sanctification. Arise, O Lord, from the Father’s bosom, to raise up again the ruined race of our first parent.” ~ St. Gregory Thaumaturgus
We are reminded again of the hope of mercy that reigns eternal! It is our greatest treasure, the most sacred promise of everlasting life in heaven. Since Jesus is our Redeemer, Mary is certainly our co-Redemptrix. She cooperated so intimately with divine grace for our salvation that we cannot overlook the fact that she is, indeed, the very first Tabernacle as she housed our Savior in her perfect womb.
As such, she is truly God’s House of Gold. Material riches pale in comparison to the bounty of Our Lady’s grace in our lives. Perhaps Christmas is aptly placed during the cold winter months as a reminder of our hope, lest we become discouraged.
Pray to the Blessed Mother daily. Thrust yourself in her maternal bosom, the great Ark of Gold, and know without doubt that she will never fail you. As your mother, she protects, guides, and nurtures you safely to her Son.
“As Christ our priest was not chosen by hand of man, so neither was His tabernacle framed by men, but was established by the Holy Ghost; and by the power of God is that tabernacle protected, to be had in everlasting remembrance, Mary, God’s Virgin Mother.” ~ St. Dionysius
Everything happens either from God’s perfect or permissive will. It’s something we need to revisit frequently, because we tend to forget that nothing happens in life – no misfortune or accident, no merriment or new life – without first passing through God’s hands. God permits peril and hardship in a mysterious way in order to prove our character and sanctify us.
After our second daughter, Sarah, was born, I had difficulty accepting this truth. It seemed cruel and unthinkable that the God I knew would allow our family such a lifelong burden (not Sarah, but the ramifications of her genetic condition). I didn’t want to hear, “Everything happens for a reason,” and I don’t advocate for others to say that to one who is in raw, sensitive grief.
But there is truth to these clichés we have grown to either loathe or love. Over time, if we cling to our Blessed Mother – as I had to do, because nothing else made sense, and I couldn’t face God for a short time – she will soften our hearts and lead us back to her Son. And His mercy engulfs our misery. When we hand her our broken, shattered hearts, she gently passes them on to Jesus, who heals. And then anger, resentment, bitterness dissolves into pure love – the love that only a mother could lend.
Where these treasures of light are, there is the Messiah. He is the Star of the East – she the Morning Star.
“Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8: 12)
What beautiful words – treasures of light! We are creatures drawn to light, like human heliotropes. We move toward the light of the Son, Who provides warmth when our bones are dry and hearts are icicles. The light blinds because of its supreme goodness, but it also lures us closer. We cannot deny that even our bodies carry an intuitive clock, the circadian rhythm, that naturally keeps us awake when the sun is shining and produces more melatonin when it is night.
Darkness does not have the final say. That is the true metaphor here with light and dark. We know that if we are like sunflowers who follow the lead of its Creator, we will never go astray. It is impossible to be misled if we remain in Him. Jesus was born in the darkness of night, but He came as a beacon of hope that shed its light through a star.
The star guides us still. We are beckoned to follow the morning star, to walk in the footsteps of the Magi, to seek Him and bear whatever the pilgrimage on earth insists. We do not falter when we keep our eyes on Jesus. And that is the key: to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be given to us besides.
“Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19)
This verse reminds me of Matthew 5:5, which tells us that lamps are not placed under a bushel basket but are instead placed on a stand to illuminate the path ahead. What good is a lit lamp if it is hidden? We are to emulate the eternal Light with our own lives. Jesus can be born in our hearts again and again. Christmas Day reminds us of this. And when He is, the Light then dwells within us evermore brightly. The embers may have fizzled over time, but He stokes that fire with His Holy Spirit. And the fire then warms and illuminates. We become the lamps that reflect His love to others.
The crux of the message is, of course, that we needn’t be stingy with the gifts we have been given. God grants us particular graces, talents, abilities, wealth, intellect, etc. so that we can bring forth His light in the midst of a world that has turned away from Him. Ask Jesus as you meditate on the Star of Bethlehem, the Morning Star, and the Light of the World images from Scripture: what can I give you, Lord? Offer Him everything He asks of you with humility and gratitude. And your lamp will then be placed on a lampstand, no longer invisible, for generosity supersedes fear.