LECTIO DIVINA: Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

Translated by Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

LK. 2:16-21

A. Invocation of the Holy Spirit
We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.
Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128,4).

B. Lectio
With the heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be impressed by them.

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

C. Meditatio
Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to St. Luke.

What day is it today? – It is the day of birth. – Whose? –Of the Lord. –Does he have a day of birth? –He has. The Word who existed in the beginning, God with God, does he have a birthday? –Yes, he has. –If he did not have human generation, we would not have arrived at the divine generation: he was born in order that we might be reborn. Let no one doubt this rebirth: Christ has been born; he was engendered, but he did not have to be regenerated. Who was in need of regeneration but that whose generation was condemned? Let his mercy be present in our hearts. His mother carried him in her womb; let us carry him in our heart; The Virgin was pregnant for the Incarnation of Christ, let our hearts be pregnant of faith in Christ. She gave birth to the Savior, let us give birth to praise. Let us not be sterile; let us allow that God make our souls fertile. The birth of Christ from the Father was without a mother; his birth from the mother was without a father: both are awesome. The first was eternal, the second was in time. When was he born of the Father? What does “when” mean? Do you seek “when” there where you will not find time? Do not seek there a “when.” Seek it here. You rightly ask for the “when” referring to his birth from the mother, but wrongly referring to his birth from the Father: he was born, and he has no time; the eternal was born from the eternal, being coeternal. Why are you amazed? He is God! Consider that you are dealing with divinity and the motive for amazement disappears. You also marvel when we say that he was born of a Virgin. How prodigious! He is God, no cause for admiration, let admiration pass on to praise. Let faith be present; believe that it really happened. If you do not believe it, the fact nevertheless did happen, while you remain in your incredulity. He condescended to become man, what more do you want? Is it little that God humbled himself for you? He who was God became man. The stable was narrow, wrapped in swaddling clothes, he was laid in a manger. Did you listen when the Gospel was read? Who is there who is not amazed? He who filled the world could not find place in a stable; placed in a manger, he became food for us. Two animals approach the manger, that is, two peoples, because the ox recognized its owner and the donkey the manger of its master. Pay attention at the manger; be not ashamed to be a beast of burden for the Lord, You will carry Christ, you will not lose your way when you go by the road. The Way is seated on you. Do you remember the donkey offered to the Lord? Let no one be ashamed; we are that donkey. Let the Lord be seated on us, and let him call us to carry him wherever he wants. We are his mount, let us go to Jerusalem. When he is seated, he does not squash us, he lifts us up; with him as guide, we do not stray; travelling with him, we do not perish” (s. 189, 3-4).

D. Oratio
With the text, let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and questions that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

a. “Mary for her part kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk. 2:19).
• What is needed so we can keep and meditate on the events of our life in our hearts?
• How can we imitate the example of the Virgin Mary?

b. “The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all that they had seen and heard” (Lk. 2:20).
• Why is it important to praise and glorify God?
• From the encounter with Christ and the Virgin Mary during this Christmas season, what do you take along for your life? What witnessing do you give?

E. Contemplatio
I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again you do not need to follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

a. Contemplate how the Virgin Mary observes how the shepherds narrate all that had been told about the Child Jesus, and how she keeps and meditates on them in her heart. Contemplate Mary and learn in the school of silence, prayer and adoration.

b. Contemplate the euphoria and the joy of the shepherds. With them, live the happiness of Christ’s birth, and make this contemplation in the same manner as did the shepherds, a moment of praise and glorification of God for the marvelous things he does in the world.

F. Communicatio
Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially about the figure of Mary and the euphoria of the shepherds. The following points can help you as guide to share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text:
• What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
• How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
• What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
• What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

G. Final Prayer of St. Augustine
Turning towards the Lord:
Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).

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Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

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< 2019 >
November
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     1
  • All day
    November 1, 2019

    ALL SAINTS’ DAY

    BIRTHDAY:
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2
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    ALL SOULS’ DAY

    ATTENTION: Recoletos de Luzon
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3
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lolita Esteves, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
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    Fray Regino Bangcaya

4
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    November 4, 2019

    VATICAN: HOLY MASS FOR THE REPOSE OF THE SOULS OF THE CARDINALS AND BISHOPS WHO DIED OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR

    10TH ANNIVERSARY – APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS (2009)

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING

    November 4-8, 2019 / Rome

    CANONICAL RETREAT
    of the OAR Candidates to Diaconate and Presbyterate November 4-9, 2019

    USJ-R BALAMBAN: LAUNCHING OF ENGLISH & LIBRARY MONTH

    BIRTHDAY
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5
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    34TH STUDENTS’ CONGRESS OF RECOLLECT SCHOOLS (SCORES)
    Theme: “Rekoleto Youth: Catalyst for Change for Nation-Building” Venue: SSC-R de Cavite

    Inclusive dates: November 5-9, 2019

    NEGROS DAY / AL CINCO DE NOVIEMBRE

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Rey Jay Quevedo (simply prof.)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Federico de la Rosa (2000-2019)

6
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    November 6, 2019

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Leoncia Bandal, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR
    Sr. Liezl Palabrica

7
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    BLD. GRATIA OF KOTOR, Religious (Patron of OAR Lay Collaborators)

    BIRTHDAY
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8
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    START OF THE NOVENA TO NUESTRA SRA. DE LA SALUD

    COMMUNIO 2019
    November 8-9, 2019
    Host: Recoletos School of Theology

    CSNT-R: SAINTS AND ANGELS DAY

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Jovanie Siesmundo (simply prof.)

9
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    30TH ANNIVERSARY – FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL (1989)

    BIRTHDAY
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
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10
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Hermosilla Torreon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Lourdes de San Agustin

11
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    PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO SIERRA LEONE & KENYA November 11-24, 2019

    ARSE – BATCH 3
    Inclusive dates: November 11-15, 2019
    Facilitator: Fray René Paglinawan, OAR
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos, Cebu City

    4th BEC NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
    (in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of BEC in the country)
    November 11-14, 2019 / Apo View Hotel, Davao City
    Theme: “Discerning the Challenges of the BEC Journey in the Light of the New Evangelization”

    UNO-R: START OF CLASSES (SECOND SEMESTER)

    BIRTHDAY
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12
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    2nd INTERNATIONAL ENCOUNTER OF CEAR
    November 12-15, 2019 / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristine Tenio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Nartia, AR

13
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    November 13, 2019

    ST. AUGUSTINE’S 1665th BIRTHDAY

    ALL SAINTS OF THE ORDER

    OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF “SANTO NIÑO @ 500”
    Venue: Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu City
    Theme: “Sto. Niño, the abiding presence of the Father in our journey of faith…”

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Remedios de la Cruz
    Sr. Rechilda Llorando, AR

14
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    November 14, 2019

    22ND PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Clementina Galve, AR
    Sr. Luzviminda Escal, AR

15
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    MEETING OF THE LOCAL CHRONICLERS
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Ma. Elisa Abellaniza, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    Sr. Ma. Belen Muñez, AR

16
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    DIACONAL ORDINATION
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    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Bartolome Santos Jr., D.D. (Diocese of Iba)

    8th CATHOLIC SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT
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17
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    SOLEMNITY OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SALUD
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18
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    IV INTERNATIONAL ENCOUNTER OF EDUCAR
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    EZMBOYZ CLUSTER GATHERING
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ricarda Raganas, AR

19
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    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND AND JAPAN
    November 19-26, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Nobie Noman, AR
    Sr. Ma. Jeanne Partosa, AR
    Sr. Josephine Tanio, AR

20
  • 10:06 AM-10:07 AM
    November 20, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND
    November 20-23, 2019

    DAY 1: ROME-BANGKOK

    12:30
    Arrival at Military Air Terminal 2 of Bangkok
    Official Welcome at Military Air Terminal 2 of Bangkok

    SPA (VALENCIA) HIGH SCHOOL DAYS
    November 20-23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Mo. Eufemia Lauzon, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (2001-2019)
    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Celestina de San Nicolas de Tolentino

     

21
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    November 21, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND

    DAY 2: BANGKOK
    Welcome Ceremony in the Government House courtyard
    Meeting with the Prime Minister in the “Inner Ivory Room” of the Government House
    Meeting with Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the “Inner Santi Maitri” Hall of the Government House
    Visit to the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch at Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple
    Meeting with the medical staff of St. Louis Hospital
    Private visit to infirm and disabled people at St. Louis Hospital Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature
    Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature
    Private visit to His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn “Rama X” at Amphorn Royal Palace
    Holy Mass in the National Stadium

    ANNIVERSARY OF APPOINTMENT AS ARCHBISHOP
    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung (Diocese of Kaoshiung, Taiwan)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1998-2019)
    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Santos Serato (2003-2019)

22
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    November 22, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND

    DAY 3: BANGKOK
    Meeting with Priests, Religious, Seminarians and Catechists in St Peter’s Parish

    Meeting with the Bishops of Thailand and FABC at the Blessed Nicholas Boonkerd Kitbamrung Shrine

    Private meeting with the Members of the Society of Jesus in a hall close to the Shrine

    Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature

    Meeting with the Leaders of the Christian denominations and Other Religions at Chulalongkorn University

    Holy Mass with Young People in the Cathedral of the Assumption

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Consejo de Santa Monica
    Sr. Ma. Paulita Llacer, AR

23
  • All day
    November 23, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THAILAND – JAPAN DAY 4 (1): BANGKOK – TOKYO

    Farewell Ceremony at Military Air Terminal 2 of Bangkok

    9:30
    Arrival at Tokyo-Haneda Airport

    1740
    Welcome Ceremony at Tokyo-Haneda Aitport
    Meeting with the Bishops at the Apostolic Nunciature
24
  • All day
    November 24, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO JAPAN

    DAY 2: TOKYO-NAGASAKI-HIROSHIMA-TOKYO

    9:20
    Departure by plane for Nagasaki
    Arrival at Nagasaki Airport
    Message on nuclear weapons at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park
    Tribute to the Martyr Saints at the Martyrs’ Monument – Nishizaka Hill
    Lunch at the Bishop’s House
    Holy Mass in the Baseball Stadium
    Departure by plane for Hiroshima

    16:35
    Departure by plane for Hiroshima

    17:45
    Arrival at Hiroshima Airport
    Meeting for peace at the Peace Memorial

    20:25
    Departure by plane for Tokyo

    22:10
    Arrival at Tokyo-Haneda Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Sr. Fulgencia Relos, AR
    Sr. Cathryn Nove Vila, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Imelda Lachica, AR
    Sr. Mary Bernard Matanguihan, AR

25
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    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO JAPAN

    DAY 3: TOKYO

    Meeting with the victims of Triple Disaster at “Bellesalle Hanzomon”
    Private visit to Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace
    Meeting with Young People at the Cathedral of Holy Mary
    Lunch with the Papal Delegation at the Nunciature
    Holy Mass in the Tokyo Dome
    Meeting with the Prime Minister at Kantei
    Meeting with Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps at Kantei

    RFC & RST: FEAST OF ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA & RECOLETOS SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY (RST) DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes
    Sr. Ma. Ninfa Inzon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmela de Santa Teresita
    Sr. Francisca Abad, AR

26
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    November 26, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO JAPAN

    DAY 4: TOKYO – ROME

    Private Holy Mass with the Members of the Society of Jesus in the Chapel of Kulturzentrum of Sophia University

    Breakfast and private meeting with the Collegium Maximum at Sophia University
    Visit to the elderly and infirm priests at Sophia University

    Farewell Ceremony at Tokyo-Haneda Airport

    11:35
    Departure by plane for Rome/Fiumicino

    17:15
    Arrival at Rome/Fiumicino Airport

27
  • All day
    November 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ivan Cuison (simply prof.)
    Sr. Antonietta Castañares, AR
    Sr. Rhiza Eltanal, AR

28
  • All day
    November 28, 2019

    21st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO (1998-2019)

    30TH ANNIVERSARY – LAST APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF KIBEHO (1989) [Note: Kibeho is in southwestern Rwanda]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Eva Grace Cadungog, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2013-2019)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan

    8th ANNIVERSARY (2011-2019) OF ACCEPTANCE AS BROTHERS/SISTERS GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton
    Dr. Milagros Espina
    Mrs. Leonila Dosado

29
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Glynn Ortega

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Ester Anacleto, AR

30
  • All day
    November 30, 2019

    125TH ANNIVERSARY – ENCYCLICAL ORIENTALIUM DIGNITAS (1894)

    Holiday: BONIFACIO DAY

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