St. Gabriel Monastery
Advent Circular 2020
Why 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!Read More
2. Oceanside, CA
3. Oceanside, CA
1. Beaverton, OR
What is a Retreat?
The word retreat literally means "withdrawal". When we participate in a silent retreat, we withdraw from our activities, from our environments, from our dealings with the world for a couple of days to be alone with God in prayer.
Pope Benedict XVI defines in an address a retreat as "a strong experience of God, awakened by listening to his Word, understood and welcomed in one's personal life, under the action of the Holy Spirit, which, in a climate of silence, prayer and by means of a spiritual guide, offer the capacity of discernment in order to purify the heart, convert one's life, follow Christ and fulfill one's own mission in the Church and in the world".
The Holy Father emphasized in a special way that a retreat should be "characterized by that climate of complete and profound silence which favors the personal and communitarian encounter with God and the contemplation of the Face of Christ. My Predecessors and I myself have returned to this point several times, and it can never be insisted upon enough."
All of us need time to be alone with God, in order to widen our souls for the streams of God's grace, so that we can live out our lives more perfectly according to God's will. God must become more and more the source and the goal of our daily lives. In fact, our entire Christian life must spring from an intimate union with Christ, and be ordered to this union. All we do should be by the strength of God and for the love of God. At silent retreats, God wishes to give us these special graces.
by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC
Renowned theologian, Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., write of this book: "A product of the persecuted Church in the Soviet Union, Bishop Athanasius Schneider powerfully appeals in this interview for a return to the classical doctrine, worship, and devotion of the Roman Church. Not all readers will agree with everything in his analyses, but they will find it difficult to dissent from his fundamental perception: the Church requires a radical re-supernaturalization that will save it from internal secularization, free it from the domination of all-too-human agendas, and inspire it with new ardor for its divinizing mission." Paperback 338 pp. $20
Help for our Priests
The majority of the priests of the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, who have directed the Work of the Holy Angels in the United States over the last forty years, have received their formation in the Order's own seminary. The Institutum Sapientiae is located in Anápolis, Brazil and continues to form new candidates for the priesthood, who will eventually carry on the Work of the Holy Angels in the future.
Unlike diocesan seminaries, religious seminarians do not pay for their education, but are sponsored by the Order. Moreover, seminarians from other religious orders and diocesan seminarians who attend our seminary all reside in our monastery. Most of them do not have the means to pay for their board.
The seminary has always received support from the faithful in Brazil. Brazil, however, has suffered over the past years a series of financial crises. At this time, it is very difficult for the Monastery, which serves as the residence for professors and students, to maintain itself. This year their budget foresees a substantial deficit, unless they find new sources of income. Considering that the priests who are formed in Brazil are sent also to America, we would like to ask our members from the United States if they could offer some support. For this purpose, we set up the "Monastery of the Holy Cross Brazil" GoFundMe page. This page is linked to the "Prior Monastery Holy Cross" Facebook page. The Facebook page is not intended as a means of interacting, but as a way of publishing photos or videos of the events that occur in the Monastery and seminary. Any support that you can provide, whether through your precious prayers or through financial assistance through the www.GoFundMe.com account, however small, is greatly appreciated. Even if it is not possible to donate to our Monastery in Brazil, we invite you to "Like" us on Facebook.
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
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.
Please visit link to view the items needed for the Sisters' Convent of St. Gabriel Building Project. We are a 501(c)3. All donations are tax deductible. Please include your name and address and we will send a donation acknowledgement. May God reward you!