The Biblical Meaning of the Anchor
In the early church the anchor was used as a symbol, a code or a secret way of referencing Christ. It has been frequently carved or etched into the stone tombs of early Christians buried in the catacombs. Sometimes it is accompanied by a fish or two. The fish image is also a symbol of Jesus since the Greek word ICHTHYS means fish. ICHTHYS is also an acronym for Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter which means Jesus Christ Son of God Savior.
The anchor itself is a sign of hope that the soul of the beloved Christian has found refuge in the port of heaven and has anchored itself in our Lord’s eternal love. Hebrews 6:18-19 says, “ …we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil.” The veil is a reference to the veil that separated the earthly realm from the heavenly realm in the Temple. To reach behind the veil is to be in heaven before God’s throne.
So the anchor is a symbol for hope. Sometimes we think of hope as confidence that something good will happen. For example, “I hope I get an A on the next test”. That is natural hope but not supernatural, Christian hope.
Supernatural hope is a theological virtue that we receive in seed form in our baptism and it grows through prayer, sacraments and living in Christ. This kind of hope is fixated on eternal life with God in heaven. It is the hope for salvation which we neither take for granted as if it is already secure, nor do we become dejected as if heaven is unattainable. Hope is a balance between presumption and despair. In heaven hope expires because we are happy and fulfilled. So does faith because we are seeing and experiencing God in a super real, beatific mode. The only theological virtue that remains is love.
Make sure as a Catholic you have a spiritual anchor on board. The anchor is a reminder that we have a destination and we are on the way. In this earthly life we are anchored to the deposit of faith, the truth that Jesus handed on to the Church. People come and go. Leaders come and go but the truth remains. We are also anchored to sanctifying grace the divine life that we receive in the sacraments. With these, the truth and the life, we are hopeful for finding our way through the stormy seas of this fallen world and arriving at the port of heaven where we can drop our anchor forever. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life", therefore we are actually achored to Him. “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayers.” –Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina