Why did GOD become Man?

Advent Circular 2020

layCircularWhy did GOD become man? This is one of the perennial questions within Christianity? An initial response is quite easy, for Divine Revelation declares: "GOD so loved the world that He gave His only SON, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). Hence, this divine gift simultaneously saves us from death and brings eternal life.

GOD's marvelous Condescension

As sinners, alienated from GOD, we could raise no claim to divine friendship: "The LORD looks down from heaven upon the human race, to see if even one is wise, if even one seeks GOD. All have gone astray; all alike are perverse. Not one does what is right, not even one." (Ps 14:2-3). GOD'S love, however, is transcendent.

GOD proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners CHRIST died for us … While we were enemies, we were reconciled to GOD through the death of his SON, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by His life. (Rom 5:8. 10)

This marvel finds expression in the Exsultet from the Easter Vigil: "Birth would have profited us nothing, had we not been so profitably redeemed! O love, O charity beyond all telling: to ransom a slave You gave away Your own Son!" St. Anselm in his famous book from the end of the 11th century, Why GOD became Man, articulates Christianity's deep conviction: the SON of GOD became man in order to atone for our sins and open for us the gates of heaven!

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St. Gabriel Update and News from the Monastery

We are in Real Need of your Continued Support

By early June 2020 the construction of St. Gabriel's Monastery has progressed to the end of Phase One – that is to say, the basic shell of the monastery has been completed. This means that the foundations, the floor slab, the walls, the roof with its shingles and the windows have been completed. We are very happy with this state of affairs – it looks impressive on the outside or from the air! Inside, however, it looks like a forest of two-by-fours, for only the raw framing of the many rooms has taken place. Most of the interior work still lies ahead of us: electricity, plugs and lighting, heating, plumbing, water, fire-security, etc.

It's too early to predict an occupancy date for us priests and brothers in the new monastery, but the birds are already nesting in the rafters and eves! It's really quite biblical! "How lovely your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! …. As the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, My home is by your altars, LORD of hosts, my king and my God! Happy are those who dwell in your house!" (Ps 84:1-5). The reference, of course, is to the birds nesting in the eaves of the temple in Jerusalem; the Jewish pilgrims, arriving at Jerusalem only for a short visit, would see them and 'envy' the birds' permanent dwelling so close to God!

Speaking of the 'temple', our main chapel, we are waiting for the first sketches for the interior decoration of the chapel, whose main image, of course will be the Annunciation! What other motif could we have for the chapel at St. Gabriel's Monastery?! May God also sketch the perfect receptivity Mary to God's holy and salvific will upon our souls too! Read More

A Guardian Angel Experience

I live in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA, that happens to be very near the Port of Los Angeles. I work in a city nearby and I have to travel on the Los Angeles Freeways to and from work. My route home from work takes me on a stretch of freeway that is heavily travelled by huge Semi-trucks. For most of my travel home the trucks stay in the slower right lane. These trucks have numerous huge double-wheels that are located under the metal shipping containers that they are hauling. One thing that you will often see on the freeways are large pieces of rubber tread that come off of their worn tires. These treads often have zig-zag pieces of steel that has been embedded into the tire itself during manufacturing. I guess you would say that they are 'steel belted' tires that helps them to grip the road.

I was on my way home one evening and as usual I was almost to the off ramp that I needed to take to get home on a connecting freeway. All of a sudden, I see this car in front of me swerve as though they were trying to avoid something, we were both traveling at around 65 mph, but the car in front of me had ran over this huge piece of steel belted tire from off of one of the big rigs! I saw the piece fly up into the air and it was twisting as it came down and it was coming straight in the direction of my windshield. I knew that it was going to hit my windshield and there was nothing that I could do to prevent it. But, the most incredible thing happened. It seemed like everything went into slow motion, even though my car continued traveling at the same speed, the movements outside of my car were in slow motion. Read More

~ Anonymous

More Guardian Angel Stories


Commonly Asked Questions
on the Angels

The short answer to this most asked of all questions about the angels is simply "no." For the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Sacraments of the Vatican stated in the document The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy of 2001, that "the practice of assigning names to the holy angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and St. Michael, whose names are contained in Holy Scripture" (217).

We do well to reflect, then, that the term "Holy Guardian Angel" expresses very deeply our bond to the angel assigned to us by God for life. For just as there is only one woman and one man in this whole world who can respond to us when we say, "Mom" or "Dad", so too in all the choirs of angels, there is only one angel who can respond to us when we cry out, "Holy Guardian Angel, help me!"

That every baptized person has a Guardian Angel is clear from what St. Basil taught and the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterated, "Every one of the faithful has an angel standing at his side as educator and guide, directing his life" (cf. CCC 336). This passage does not state specifically that every human being, without exception, has a Guardian Angel. Nevertheless, in another passage, the Catechism stresses in no uncertain terms that "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their [that is, the angels'] watchful care and intercession" (CCC 336).

In accord with this, the general teaching of theologians holds that not only every baptized person, but every human being has their own personal Guardian Angel which also teaches the recently published YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church), approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2010, "Every person receives from God a Guardian Angel" (n. 55). This view is biblically based and founded on the words of Our Lord in the Gospels, where He states emphatically to His disciples, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven" (Mt 18:10). Moreover, St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that the protection of the angels is a gift not only of grace, but also a gift to mankind in the order of nature. Finally, since each individual, based on their own free will, has a unique destiny, it is fitting that there be a one-on-one relationship with an angel. This same position was also taught by St. Gregory the Wonder Worker and St. Jerome, who held that every person has from birth their own special Guardian Angel.

St. Thomas Aquinas maintains that everyone receives a Guardian Angel at birth. Moreover, he states that the Guardian Angel of the mother guards her child while it is still in the womb. Other Fathers and Doctors of the Church, however, for example, St. Jerome and St. Basil the Great, believe that our Guardian Angel is assigned at baptism. St. Anselm, on the other hand, goes a step farther by stating that "every soul is committed to an angel when it is united with a body." In other words, he believes, along with some other saints and theologians, that everyone receives a Guardian Angel at conception. To sum up, then, there are three opinions about when our Guardian Angel may be assigned to us, namely, 1.) at conception, 2.) at birth, or 3.) or at baptism.

The fact, that every human person has a Guardian Angel excludes implicitly that we receive the Guardian Angel at baptism. It remains, then, a question open to speculation whether a human being receives the Guardian Angel at conception or birth. But since a person's life begins at the moment of conception, there is no reason for the angel to have to wait until the person is born. Considering the importance of prenatal care, it is reasonable to believe that the Guardian Angel would be want to be involved. It may also be true, that all benefit from the angelic assistance from the beginning of life according to the natural providence of God, and that in baptism a deeper supernatural bond with the holy angels arises.

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164 Apollo Rd. SE • Carrollton, OH 44615
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Rector: Father Ludwig M. Oppl, ORC

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