Crown of Thorns
Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Cor 12:7-9
I was looking at an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that hangs by my bed, and I noticed there was no sword piercing her heart (image to right), as is fairly typical of images of the Immaculate Heart. I got the feeling that Our Lady missed the sword being there, and I didn’t understand why. You’d think she’d prefer to not have a sword thrust through her heart!
Our Lady pointed out to me that the piercings of her heart, and the resulting scar, are actually a glory. Even though they caused her great suffering, the piercing sorrows of her heart (over half of which were from Good Friday – watching her beloved Son scourged and crucified) brought about the greatest glory! When Jesus rose on Easter Sunday, His glorified Body still bore the marks of His Passion and Death. They were an irrevocable, irremovable, fundamental part of His Glory.
One of my own “thorns” is, even though I dearly love people, I cannot recharge my emotional energy by being with large groups of them. I need silence and solitude to get my mental and emotional steam back. I am finding that to be a gift though, most especially when I get that ‘quiet time’ in adoration or prayer. This thorn of mine becomes my strength, because it forces me to slow down and be Mary at Jesus’ feet, and not Martha for a while. It allows Jesus into my life and heart to teach me, know me, and love me, and helps me to learn, know, and love Jesus.
I understand better now why Jesus wore His thorns as a crown; to show that suffering and glory work in unison. You can’t have one without its counterpart. Jesus’ thorns were His crown.
I pray for the grace to, like St. Paul, boast gladly in my weakness, that the power of Jesus may be more fully in me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor 12:10