Oh Happy Fault???

 In many Christian Churches the phrase, ‘O happy fault’ is sung at the Easter Vigil.  Think about it, during the holiest service of the year, we sing of a happy fault…what’s up with that?  Are we celebrating our faults, our flaws, our sins?  Are we supposed to be ‘happy’ about the fact that we just can’t get it right???

I think about my life without ‘faults’.  I could be quite independent, couldn’t I?  I wouldn’t need anyone to forgive me because I have no faults.  I wouldn’t need anyone to help me, because I have no faults.  I wouldn’t need anyone to teach me, because I have no faults.  I might not need anyone at all, because I am quite content living without my faults. 

However, the truth is that I can’t even know what my life would be like without faults because, I have many of them. 

So then the question becomes….what do these faults do for me and why are they ‘happy faults?’  Well, they help me to recognize that I am not perfect, and that unites me with all of my sisters and brothers who are not perfect also.  I am invited to walk with others, side by side, and to help pick them up when they fall, and to allow them to assist me when I do.  My faults help me to learn humility.  I know that I am not in charge, in control, I have to rely on God, who in his mercy forgives me.  My faults help me to begin again and to try harder.  Today is a new day, perhaps I can be a little kinder, a bit more gentle, a better listener, a more compassionate friend. 

And, most important of all, my faults have introduced me to Jesus, our Redeemer….. 

So, the words from long ago touch my heart once again, and I raise my eyes in gratitude:

  O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

7 thoughts on “Oh Happy Fault???

  1. Without faults, it seems like we would all be the same. I kind of like it this way, each one as different as a snowflake. Faults sure make us interesting 🙂

  2. I have always been grateful to St Paul for his openess to the fact that he is a sinner – that we are all sinners – there is a great freedom and letting go of control- otherwise why would we have such a great need of God?

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