Friday, April 6, 2012

Felix Culpa and Good Friday

Felix culpa is the Latin phrase that more or less translates "happy fault."  The idea that gives it meaning is scandalous (lit., a stumbling block).  "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."  It is that Adam's fall from grace, his deliberate disobedience and God's allowance for it, including the whole of the disastrous consequences that followed, the whole of them, was somehow good news, i.e., the gospel.

How so?

Because through it, and because only through it, the heart of God is fully revealed.

That God loved His creation was clear in the beginning. ("And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.")  But what, really, was the nature of that love?

That love was, and still is fully revealed, and thereby the heart of God is revealed along with it, in His willing sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ ("...the express image of His person") and the Son's willing sacrifice for us ("Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."),  both in order to account for the Original Fall, and all that followed in its wake.

Which is why the culpa is called felix, and this Friday is called Good.

Happy Easter Everyone!

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