Cardinal Bellarmine’s ‘Ladder of Assent.’
Step 6. The order and harmony of the stars mirror the hierarchy of heaven.
‘What is utterly wonderful in the stars is how, even though they move with extreme speed and never stop from their rapid course, some moving in slower and others in faster orbits, still they always keep their measure and proportion with the others so that they give rise to a sweet and melodious harmony. God speaks of this harmony in the Book of Job (Job 38:37) when He says, “Who can declare the order of the heavens, or who can put the harmony of the heavens to sleep?” This is not the harmony of voices and sounds that our bodily ears hear but the harmony of the proportions in the stars’ movements that the ear of the heart recognises. For the stars of the firmament all race together through the whole circle of the sky at the same speed during twenty-four hours, for those stars which are called planets or wandering stars are hurled with differing movements, some faster, some slower, so that the stars of the firmament seem to represent the bass notes (to use the common expression) and the planets play a sort of eternal and sweet counterpoint. But the stars are above us and that harmony is hearable only to those who live in heaven and grasp the order of their movement. Since the stars keep their proper distances and never tire in turning in their orbit, they seem to behave like a joyous chorus of noble virgins who are ever dancing skilfully through the sky….’