On Courage and the Crowning of Thorns
Matthew 27: 28-29 “And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand.”
This is what we ask when praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. We ask for courage and contempt of this world. And we ask for courage in carrying our cross with Jesus. And with it our hearts will be strengthened, lives redeemed and behaviors able to do all things in Christ. But not just like that.
What results with it all may be calumnious gossip and personal attacks.
Why is that? Because we are not of this world; we are not one of them as described in John 15: 19. Set aside time for prayer and there is an outcry about our behavior. Set aside time to dance for hours, watch TV for hours, drink alcohol for hours at a time, to this culture, that seems to be OK. The world will accuse, find fault, rant hypocrisy for our behaviors if we dare adhere to His cross. Crucified with Christ to this world, the world sees us as fools, but we should view them as madmen. [DeSales, 2010: 250-251] As difficult as this may be for us, courage is engendered within us by prayer, Mary’s intercession and the Holy Spirit will lead to eternal glory as opposed to earthly glory we may have received here on earth.
How can we apply this in today’s secular world? To be not of this world, yet working within it carries with it the struggle of our world we see every day from the media. St. Francis de Sales [2013, p. 252] calls for patience and devotion in this inane world of folly. It is that continual upward projection into perfection that continues to form us. And, “…one day of devotion is worth more than a thousand years of worldly gratification.”
And so, as Jesus’ life was incomplete until it was crowned with his death, our lives are not complete until crowned with our life. This requires self-sacrifice to struggle after Jesus, do His will and daily ask for His strength. Help will come. The crowning truth of Jesus is the resurrection as this is the crowning truth of our faith. [Compendium, 2007]
Compendium Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2006. Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
De Montfort, St. Louis Mary. 2002. The Secret of the Rosary. Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications.
De Sales, St. Francis. 2013. Philothea or An Introduction to the Devout Life. Charlotte, NC: Tan Books.