J.M.J. On this the First Saturday of May, we read the entry for January 2nd from In Conversation with God: Meditations for Each Day of the Year, Volume One: Advent, Christmas and Epiphany by Opus Dei priest the Reverend Francisco Fernández Carvajal, (1938- ). Thanks to Missy for submitting this passage.
"Along with the Name of Jesus the Names of Mary and Joseph should also be on our lips. These were the Names that Our Lord must have used most frequently. With regard to Mary, the first Christians gave her name many different meanings: Most Lovable, Star of the Sea, Queen, Princess, Light, Beautiful and so on.
"In fact, it was Saint Jerome who gave her the title Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, since it is she who guides us to a safe haven in the midst of all the storms of life.
"We must frequently have the saving name of Mary on our lips, especially when we are in need or in difficulty. On our way towards God it is meritable that we will have to endure storms which God permits so as to purify our intentions and to help us grow in the virtues. And it is possible that by paying too much attention to the obstacles on our way, we may yield to discouragement or weariness in our struggle.
"Then it is time to turn to Mary, invoking her name to help us.
"If the winds of temptation rise against you, if you strike against the reefs of temptation, look at the star, call on Mary. If you are tossed by the waves of pride, of ambition, or of envy, look at the star, call on Mary. If anger, greed or impurity throw themselves violently against the barque of your soul, look at Mary. If you are troubled by the memory of your sins, confounded at the ugliness of your conscience, fearful at the thought of judgment, and you start sinking in the bottomless pit of sadness or in the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In danger, in affliction, in doubts, think of Mary, call on Mary. Don’t let Mary be apart from your tongue, don’t withdraw her from your heart; and to obtain her intercession, do not depart from the example of her virtue. You will not go wrong if you follow her, and not lose heart if you pray to her; you will not be lost if you think of her. If she takes you by the hand you will not fall; if she protects you, you will never have cause to fear; You will not grow weary if she guides you; you will reach port safely if she aids you." (Saint Bernard, Homily on the Virgin Mother, 2)