The crowning with thorns

The Rosary is both meditation and supplication. Insistent prayer to the Mother of God is based on confidence that her maternal intercession can obtain all things from the heart of her Son. (John Paul II, "Rosarium Virginis Mariae", 16)

From the Gospel of St. John:

Pilate, then, took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head, and arrayed him in a purple cloak. And they kept coming to him and saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking him. (John 19:1-3) From St. Josemaría Escrivá:

Our King's eagerness for suffering has been fully satisfied! —They lead Our Lord to the courtyard of the palace, and there they call together their whole band (Mark 15:16). —The brutal soldiers strip His most pure body. —They drape a dirty purple rag about Jesus. —A reed, as a sceptre, in His right hand...

The crown of thorns, driven in by blows, makes Him a mock king... Ave Rex Judeorum! —Hail, King of the Jews (Mark 15:18). And with their blows they wound His head. And they strike Him... and they spit on Him.

Crowned with thorns and clothed in rags of purple, Jesus is shown to the Jewish mob: Ecce Homo! —Behold the Man! And again the chief priests and the ministers raise the cry, saying: Crucify Him, crucify Him (John 19:5-6).

—You and I..., haven't we crowned Him anew with thorns, and struck Him and spit on Him?

Never more, Jesus, never more... And a firm and concrete resolution marks the end of these ten Hail Marys. (Holy Rosary, Crowning with Thorns)

Our Lord has come so close to his creatures that we all hunger in our hearts for higher things, to be uplifted, to do good. If I am now prompting similar aspirations in you, it is because I want you to be convinced of the confidence he has placed in your soul. If you let him work in you, you will become, right where you are, a useful instrument, more useful than you could ever have imagined. But to make sure that cowardice does not make you betray the confidence God has placed in you, you must avoid the presumption of naively underestimating the difficulties that you will meet in your Christian life.

These difficulties shouldn't surprise us. As a consequence of our fallen nature, we carry within us a principle of opposition, of resistance to grace. It comes from the wounds inflicted by original sin, and is aggravated by our own personal sins. Therefore we have to strive ever upwards, by means of our everyday tasks, which are both divine and human and always lead to the love of God. In this we must be humble and contrite of heart and we must trust in God's help, while at the same time devoting our best efforts to those tasks as if everything depended on us.

As we fight this battle, which will last until the day we die, we cannot exclude the possibility that enemies both within and without may attack with violent force. And, as if this burden were not enough, you may at times be assailed by the memory of your own past errors, which may have been very many. I tell you now, in God's name: don't despair. Should this happen (it need not happen; nor will it usually happen) then turn it into another motive for uniting yourself more closely to Our Lord, for he has chosen you as his child and he will not abandon you. He has allowed that trial to befall you so that you may love him the more and may discover even more clearly his constant protection and Love.

Take heart, I insist, because Christ, who pardoned us on the Cross, is still offering us his pardon through the Sacrament of Penance. We always have an advocate to plead our cause before the Father: the Just One, Jesus Christ. He, in his own person, is the atonement made for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world, [c.f. St. Teresa, Way of Perfection, 40,9 (70,4)] so that we may win the Victory.

Forward, no matter what happens! Cling tightly to Our Lord's hand and remember that God does not lose battles. If you should stray from him for any reason, react with the humility that will lead you to begin again and again; to play the role of the prodigal son every day, and even repeatedly during the twenty-four hours of the same day; to correct your contrite heart in Confession, which is a real miracle of God's Love. In this wonderful Sacrament Our Lord cleanses your soul and fills you with joy and strength to prevent you from giving up the fight, and to help you keep returning to God unwearied, when everything seems black. In addition, the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, watches over you with motherly care, guiding your every step. (Friends of God, 214)

Haven't you gone against your own preference, your whims, some time, in something? You must realize that the One who asks you is nailed to a Cross, suffering in all his senses and faculties, with a crown of thorns on his head ... for you. (Furrow, 989)

It is the moment to turn to your Blessed Mother in Heaven, so that she may take you into her arms and win for you a glance of mercy from her Son. And try at once to make some practical resolutions: put a stop once and for all, even though it hurts, to that little defect that holds you back, as God and you yourself know so well. Pride, sensuality and a lack of supernatural spirit will combine forces to suggest to you: That? But what a small and insignificant little thing it is! Don't play with the temptation. Instead, answer: Yes, in this too I will surrender myself to the divine call. And you will be right, for love is shown especially in little things. Normally the sacrifices that Our Lord asks of us, even the most difficult ones, refer to tiny details, but they are as continuous and invaluable as the beating of our heart.

How many mothers have you known who have been the heroines of some epic or extraordinary event? Few, very few. Yet you and I know many mothers who are indeed heroic, truly heroic, who have never figured in anything spectacular, who will never hit the headlines, as they say. They lead lives of constant self-denial, happy to curtail their own likes and preferences, their time, their opportunities for self-expression or success, so that they can carpet their children's lives with happiness. (Friends of God, 134)

Contemplate and live the Passion of Christ, with Him. Proffer your own shoulders frequently, daily, when he is scourged; offer your own head to be crowned with thorns.

Where I come from they say: "Love is repaid with love.'' (The Forge, 442)

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