That Wondrous Star

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Passages for Meditation

She is truly like a star,

That noble star of Jacob
whose rays illumine the universe,
shine in the highest heaven,
penetrate the darkest depths,
and spread throughout the earth,
warming goodness like springtime,
burning out evil.

She is that bright and wondrous star
forever raised above the great wide sea
of this world, sparkling with merit,
a shining guide.

O voyager, whoever you may be,
when you find yourself in stormy seas
in danger of foundering in the tempests
and far from land, lest you sink and drown,
fix your eyes on this bright star; call out to Mary.

When temptations blow
or the shoals of tribulation threaten,
fix your eyes on this star; call out to Mary.

When the waves of pride or ambition batter your soul,
of slander or jealousy, anger or lust,
fix your eyes on this star; call out to Mary.

In doubt, in danger, in precarious straits,
fix your mind on Mary; call out to Mary.
Never let her leave you, keep her with you always,
“even in thy mouth and in thy heart.”
Never abandon her presence, never leave her company,
to win approval in her prayers.

Follow her and you will never lose your way.
Appeal to her and you will never lose hope.
Think of her always and you will never stray.
With her holding you, you cannot fall.
With her protection, you cannot fear.
When she leads, you cannot tire.
With her grace you will come safely
through to journey’s end.
Then you will know for yourself
why she bears the name “Star of the Sea.”

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) is a French Catholic saint and mystic, leader of the Cistercian reform and founder of the abbey of Clairvaux in France. This passage is published in Easwaran’s spiritual anthologies, “God Makes the Rivers to Flow” and “Timeless Wisdom.”