O Mother of Sorrows, as thy children, we are most at home with thee at the foot of the cross. Give every moment of our sufferings to our crucified Saviour that He may count our pains with His. Make us trust all to Him, and some day we shall see how good and tender He has been to us to give us the thorny crown.
Pietà z Tubądzina, c. 1450
I saw the son of man go by,
Crowned with a crown of thorns.
“Was it not finished Lord,” said I,
“And all the anguish borne?”
He turned on me His awful eyes;
“Hast Thou not understood?
So every soul is a Calvary
And every sin a rood.”
It is I who am offered up each day on the altar, true God and true man, under the appearance of bread.
-Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
O Holy Christchild, have mercy on us!
Just as our Lord Jesus chose to enter into the world
by being born in a lowly, unkempt stable,
so today He chooses to enter into,
and be born in our lowly and unkempt hearts.
—my friend Larry Farrell OCDS
Something we all must realise about Christmas. It is a season of celebration and remembrance of why the Lord and Saviour was born — to die for our salvation. May we ready the way and create in ourselves a comfortable home for Jesus Christ!!
Germans call the holly plant Christdorn. They associated hollies’ prickly leaves with Christ’s crown of thorns. German legend holds that the holly berries originally were yellow, but were stained red when the blood of Christ was spilled during His crucifixion.
We are nearly always longing for an easy religion, easy to understand and easy to follow; a religion with no mystery, no insoluble problems, no snags; a religion that would allow us to escape from our miserable human condition; a religion in which contact with God spares us all strife, all uncertainty, all suffering and all doubt; in short, a religion without a cross.
How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!
—Princess St Elizabeth of Hungary
The Renunciation of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary — James Collinson
Francesco Celebrano, Holy Face Supported by Angels (detail), 1762-8
Eternal Father, we offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy well-beloved Son, for the honour and glory of Thy Holy Name and for the salvation of souls.
May the most Holy, most Sacred, most Adorable,
Most Incomprehensible and Ineffable Name of God
Be always Praised, Blessed, Loved, Adored and Glorified,
In Heaven, on Earth and under the Earth,
By all the Creatures of God,
And by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
In the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
St. Paul of the Cross, pray for us!
When you are alone in your room, take your crucifix, kiss its five wounds reverently, tell it to preach to you a little sermon, and then listen to the words of eternal life that it speaks to your heart; listen to the pleading of the thorns, the nails, the precious Blood. Oh, what an eloquent sermon!
Christ, who loves us, loves us in a way that we can appreciate and understand, and he makes himself available to us in our emotions. Christ can love us, and we can love him in return. Yet the traditional devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has also stressed that the love of God in Christ is met, more often than not, by our refusal. The Heart of Jesus is not only radiant with love for us, but it is a wounded heart, encircled by thorns, and pierced — this is a Heart that we tried to kill, a love that we tried to extinguish.
But our attempts were frustrated by the willingness of Christ to love us even more.
In this respect, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is itself an image of the totality of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is the revelation that God is love and that this love, resisting all our attempts to make it into something that serves our own egos, will always look in this world like Christ. What we did to this love, and continue to do to this love, is irrefutable evidence of how unlovable that we are — at least from our vantage point. However, seen from the vantage point of God, our failure to love Him enflames His passion for us all the more. If, in the narrowness of our human hearts, we fail to understand why God’s love in Christ would resist the standards of justice that we all too readily impose, this might mean we actually appreciate how mysterious God’s love actually is.
God does not love us as we are accustomed to love each other. God does not love us because we deserve it or because we have earned it or because we have something that God needs that he lacks in his own nature. Instead, God is love. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is trying to make this point visually as its verbal expression seems at times harder to understand. Understanding all this is one thing. Accepting it is another.
—Fr Steve Grunow, The Sacred Heart of Jesus