The Crowning With Thorns: Sin And The Soul

By: Tony Capobianco


Artistic Attribution: Caravaggio Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons between 1602-1604

The first instance in which The Lord God was mocked was when Lucifer and his angels rebelled and refused to serve He who created them. The creature revolted against The Creator. With full knowledge that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, Satan and his angels chose disobedience and instantly fell from grace. They chose their will instead of God’s Will. Thus, war broke out in heaven. St. Michael the archangel answered the call to lead the good angels against Lucifer and his fallen angels. In Hebrew, Michael means “Who is like unto God?” This was the banner that St. Michael and the good angels raised as they fought the fallen angels and cast them, by the power of God, down from heaven. The second instance that God was mocked was when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the apple from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Having allowed themselves to be seduced by the Ancient Serpent, they sought to become as gods and ascribed to themselves that which only can be ascribed to God. This is The Original Sin which led to humanity’s expulsion from The Garden of Eden. 

When we meditate upon Our Blessed Lord’s Crowning with Thorns, we are able to see the physical affects of our impious mockery. When we mock The Lord, we not only violently crown His Sacred head, but we also violently crown our souls with thorns. How do we mock our Blessed Lord? Our sweet Lord has written His Law on our hearts and He has given to us the Sacred Deposit of Faith which contains the perennial teachings of His Church. Whenever we disobey His Teachings, we mock Him. When we self appoint our own poorly formed consciences as the judge of morality, we drive the crown of thorns deep into Our Blessed Lord’s head. In the “Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ”, the meditations of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich we see: 

“ In the middle of the court there stood the fragment of a pillar, and on it was placed a very low stool which these cruel men maliciously covered with sharp flints and bits of broken potsherds. Then they tore off the garments of Jesus, thereby reopening all his wounds; threw over his shoulders an old scarlet mantle which barely reached his knees; dragged him to the seat prepared, and pushed him roughly down upon it, having first placed the crown of thorns upon his head. The crown of thorns was made of three branches plaited together, the greatest part of the thorns being purposely turned inwards so as to pierce our Lord’s head. Having first placed these twisted branches on his forehead, they tied them tightly together at the back of his head, and no sooner was this accomplished to their satisfaction than they put a large reed into his hand, doing all with derisive gravity as if they were really crowning him king. They then seized the reed, and struck his head so violently that his eyes were filled with blood; they knelt before him, derided him, spat in his face, and buffeted him, saying at the same time, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they threw down his stool, pulled him up again from the ground on which he had fallen, and reseated him with the greatest possible brutality.

 It is quite impossible to describe the cruel outrages which were thought of and perpetrated by these monsters under human form. The sufferings of Jesus from thirst, caused by the fever which his wounds and sufferings had brought on, were intense. He trembled all over, his flesh was torn piecemeal, his tongue contracted, and the only refreshment he received was the blood which trickled from his head on to his parched lips. This shameful scene was protracted a full half-hour, and the Roman soldiers continued during the whole time to applaud and encourage the perpetration of still greater outrages.” 

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The diabolical persecution of The Lord Jesus is caused by our sins. When each of us unjustly delegates to ourselves the authority to both define and judge morality in accordance with our own self manufactured standards, we willfully mock the Lord. The Ancient Serpent hisses in our ears: “Does Scripture really say that sodomy is a sin? Or does Jesus really command us to follow ALL of His teachings? Is there really no salvation outside of The Catholic Church? Doesn’t our modern understanding of science, sociology, and psychology grant us a superior understanding of sexual morality? What is gender? Is gender nothing but a social construct? How many genders are there? Might it not be impossible to follow Church Teachings? Mustn’t we tolerate sinful behavior? Does Jesus condemn anyone? Is abortion always wrong? Or might there be special circumstances? Aren’t God’s Commandments really just ideals?” And on and on The Devil tempts us to appoint ourselves the judges of right from wrong, of good from evil. For Satan is tempting us with the very same sin that caused him and his diabolical cohort to fall…the sin of pride. We cannot ascribe to ourselves that which is only and always ascribed to God. Only God is the author and judge of morality. 

 When we delegate to ourselves the false authority to define and judge right from wrong, good from evil, apart from God’s Will and Law, we not only Crown Jesus with the crown of thorns but we also crown our souls with a spiritual crown of thorns. When we mock God, we also mock our God given human dignity as we transform ourselves into a mockery. Each time we refuse to submit to the Authority of Christ and His Church, we drive the spiritual crown of thorns deeper and deeper into our souls. Our sinful disobedience scars our souls and our consciences in addition to causing the persecution of Our Lord in His Sorrowful Passion. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

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