Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Mystery of the Crown of Thorns by a Passionist Father part 49.


Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life. (Apoc.2:10)

The Crown of Thorns having been for our dear Lord the most painful, the most humiliating, and the most protracted torture of his bitter Passion, it seems very just and proper for us Christians to use some devout emblem, calculated to remind us and others of these dreadful sufferings and profound humiliations, endured for our sake by our Divine Savior. The beads of the Crown of Thorns are not a badge, but a form of prayer. They bear, indeed, a more immediate and a clearer relation to the Crown of Thorns than other .similar forms of prayer, as the common Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Bridgitine beads, the beads of the five wounds, or those of the seven dolors of our Blessed Lady. But these beads will at most be recited once a day, and then they are laid aside during the remainder of the time, without, perhaps, bestowing upon them or their special object, another thought. It seems, therefore, very desirable that some other emblem of devotion more adapted in its form and use for recalling more frequently to our mind the sufferings and humiliations undergone by our Divine Lord and Sovereign King at his crowning with thorns, might be adopted by Catholics. Now, the badge of the Crown of Thorns appears, in our humble opinion, to answer in a peculiar manner this desirable end. Moreover, as our head is the ever active forge of so many vain, proud and sinful thoughts, which so largely contributed to the plaiting of the Crown of Thorns for our dear Lord; it seems but just and proper that it should co-operate in the promotion of his honor and glory. Again, because many worldly persons manifest such extravagant and ridiculous vanity in adorning their heads: so we confidently trust that many pious Catholic ladies will be induced to use this badge of the Crown of Thorns as a protestation against this vicious extravagance, and as an expiation for the offenses offered to our Savior crowned, not with flowers, but with thorns, not with gold and precious stones, but with wounds and blood. Their piety and devotion will surely please our blessed Lord, who will reward them with the unfading crown of everlasting glory. To them we address in a special manner the words of the Canticle: Go forth, ye daughters ofSion; and see King Solomon in the diadem wherewith his mother crowned him. (Cantic. 3:2)

1. This badge is intended to be worn in memory and honor of the painful Crown of Thorns of our Divine Lord and Savior, the King of Sorrows.

2. It will be white in color, as an emblem of the purity of our intention in this devotion and in all our moral actions, and of the purity of our heart in all our affections.

3. This badge will be marked with seventy-two red spots to express the seventy-two wounds very probably inflicted upon the adorable head of our Divine Lord, crowned with thorns. It may be pierced in seventy-two places, and underlined with red tape or ribbon. The red tape or ribbon, appearing through the holes of the white badge, will represent the punctures caused by the thorns in the head of our Savior.

4. On the front of the badge a small cross will be either stamped, or formed by two small pieces of red ribbon. Polished brass, silver or gold in the form of a cross may be used.

5. This crown is intended to be worn on the head either by itself, or it may be attached inside or outside any head-dress, convenient and proper for any class or sex of Catholic persons, according to the duly approved and legitimate customs of society in any country.

6. Like the beads, we Catholics intend to use this crown badge as a perpetual pledge of our sincere and hearty homage, love, devotion and obedience to Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, crowned with thorns for our sake and instruction. As the ancient monarchs wore a small white bandage round their head, as a symbol of their dignity, authority and power; so we intend with this crown badge to acknowledge and proclaim that Jesus our Lord is the Sovereign King of the Universe, the sole Redeemer of mankind, and the only Savior and Master of our soul.

7. Next to Jesus Christ, we profess our first and supreme spiritual allegiance to the Pope, his Vicar upon earth, the visible head of the Church, the first and highest ecclesiastical authority, and the infallible teacher of mankind.

8. We intend using the beads and wearing the badge of the Crown of Thorns as a sacred pledge of our sincere respect for all legitimate authority, spiritual or temporal, ecclesiastical or civil. On our side both the beads and the crown badge will be a practical protestation, and a pious defensive weapon against the modern spirit of libertinism, insubordination and revolt, aiming at the utter subversion of all natural and positive, human and divine law, authority and order. May our devotion to the Crown of Thorns of our Divine King prove an effective remedy for these serious evils, threatening the very existence of human society.