Reviews of Theology, Broadly Understood

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, in his Sermon on Our Lady

"O you, whoever you are, who feel yourself tossed about on the stormy waters of life and exposed to all its violent tempests, turn not your eyes away from the shining light of this bright Star of the Sea, if you would not be overwhelmed by the storm. When a hurricane of temptation sweeps down upon you, and your ship is drifting on to the rocks, look up at the Star, call upon Mary. When buffeted by the billows of pride, of ambition, of bitterness, of envy, look up at the Star, call upon Mary. When anger or avarice or the allurements of the senses have beaten in upon the ship of the soul, look up to Mary. If you are crushed by a terrible burden of sin, if you are appalled at the foulness of a guilty conscience, if you are terrified at the thought of judgment, if you feel yourself sinking into an abyss of sadness, a whirlpool of despair, then think upon Mary, call upon her holy name. Following her you will not stray, invoking her you will never lose hope; thinking of her you will make no mistake: under her protection you need not fear; under her guidance you will feel no fatigue, and with her help you will win the victory. And so you will learn by your own experience how truly it is said ‘The Virgin’s name was Mary,’ how rightly she is called The Star of the Sea, Mary Queen of Peace.”