Day 3 – Theme: The Contemplative Stance of Mary Immaculate

I.                   Introduction:     With the conception of the Word Incarnate, the Blessed Mother began contemplating the presence of the divine life that she carried. She became keenly perceptive of the circumstances, events and situations that occurred in connection with the presence of the Savior in her womb. She would ponder profoundly her experiences and deduce the messages behind what she had seen, heard and felt.       With the confirmation of the inspiration, Mother Candida became sharply aware of the signs leading to the realization of the foundation of the Congregation. Every situation or happening that she would encounter she would contemplate the operative action of God to adhere to His divine will. She interiorly prepared herself for the birth of the Congregation by her assiduous prayer and her docility to the advice of Fr. Herranz.

II.                 Opening song: Gentle Woman

III.              Word of God: Luke 2: 6 – 19

IV.              Animation:

        We have just heard the account of the adoration of the shepherds of the Infant Jesus that “Mary treasured everything in her heart.” This statement conveys to us a spirit-filled stance of the Blessed Mother , her capacity to contemplate and capture intrinsically the desire of God. From the gestures and words of the shepherds, she was able to get the hidden message behind them and to feel the infinite goodness and tenderness of God. Consequently she felt with overwhelming amazement the marvelous actions of God in the depth of her being.     The experience of Mother Foundress in the birth of the Congregation in Salamanca, on December 8, 1871 had some resemblance in the experience of Mother Mary in the birth of Jesus. Like Mary, she also treasured in her heart everything that occurred during the first moment of the Foundation Congregation.      On that occasion there were great presences that made possible the birth of the Congregation. The first was the presence of Mother Candida and her five companions. Mother Candida, a well integrated women with clear vision and tremendously realistic was full of excitement and joy. The second is the presence of the Company of Jesus through Fr. Herranz and Fr, Bombardo. Fr. Herranz who had a direct and immediate intervention in the Foundation through his constant collaboration and untiring advice had helped Mother Candida in the realization of her mission. When he was assigned to another place, Fr. Bombardo took his place and had been so attentive to the needs of the sisters. The third is the presence of Bishop Jaoquin Lluch Garriga. During the time of the foundation the Church in Spain suffered persecution. He was the only bishop who was able to protect the convents of the religious and priests from being destroyed by thegovernment. No wonder Fr. Herranz wanted to have the foundation in Salamanca because he saw that it was safer to start the mission here because of Bishop Garriga’s protection.

V.                Personal Reflection:

       Let us ponder prayerfully the experiences of Mother Mary in the birth of Jesus and Mother Foundress in the birth of the Congregation.             

1.     Contemplating the birth of Jesus in the poor stable and the adoration of the shepherds, what were the revelations that the Blessed Virgin received which she really treasured in her heart?

2.     Recalling to memory the three great presences in the birth of the Congregation, why are they so significant for Mother Candida and her companions and for us Hijas de Jesus? What are they revealing to us?

3.     What is the most important and fundamental message that God is unfolding to us today as we commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Foundation of our Congregation?

VI.              Shared Thanksgiving Prayer:

VII.           Closing song: Clara Estrella