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O Happy Fault
Posted By Eric Sammons On June 29, 2009 @ 9:00 am In Saints | Comments Disabled
The Year of St. Paul is now ended, but on today’s feast of the great apostles, I’d like to reflect a bit on St. Peter.
Often when I am at confession the priest will tell me that it is “good” that I have sinned. Of course, sins are never “good,” but the Lord can bring good out of them. Even the gravest sin – Adam’s original sin, has led to good, as the Easter Exultet proclaims:
O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Adam’s sin is a “happy fault” because without it, the Incarnation would not have been necessary.
Why, however, is my sin “good”? What the priest means is that my sin has made clear something I often try to deny: that I am helpless at being good or righteous without the Lord. My sins are proof of what happens when I depend upon my own strength: I am a complete failure. Only by depending upon the Lord can I ever hope to be holy.
This brings us back to Peter. It is clear from the Gospels that Peter was a headstrong, prideful man. If he had remained in his pride he could have been a horrible pope: lording his authority and status over others. But his threefold denial – which was liturgically proclaimed every year before Easter – reminded him of his weaknesses and led him to humility.
There is nothing we do that the Lord cannot turn to good, even the times we reject him and his love.
St. Peter, pray for us!
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