Of thorns and laurel … Friday, May 10


Thorns. An uncomfortable, and inescapable, choice that is ours and ours alone. Daily.

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns. ” ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ And the chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ ” John 19:15. They made their choice, didn’t they? How many times, when confronted by our King, crowned, as He was, with thorns, do we choose the world instead of Him? These people, the ones we read about here, were content, no, they were literally hell-bent on following the world rather than the Christ. Lots of times people pick the world and its ways instead of God and His. A good example is following the government because a thing is “legal” as though legality makes morality. But it doesn’t, does it? You can legalize all sorts of things. Abortion, homosexual “marriage”, euthanasia, “eminent domain”, and more. Does enacting a human law change God’s law? Does choosing the world and its legalities (it was “legal” to crucify Jesus) change the eternal reality? Hardly. But if we don’t think ahead, and judgement is ahead, we stand in jeopardy, we risk condemnation, we risk eternity. And “what ifs” and “buts” will never make a difference in eternity. Rationalizations are excuses, pure and simple. At the judgement? There will be no place for excuses. It’s true that there are a few grey areas in life. This isn’t one. At some point we all have to choose Christ or Caesar. They both wear crowns, one of thorns, one of laurel. The thorns are uncomfortable. The choice can be too.

Today … St. William of Pontoise was an English hermit. He resided at Pontoise, in France, having gone there to take up the eremitical life. His hermitage became popular in the region. He may have been a Benedictine at St. Martin’s Abbey.  Living a life of solitude can no doubt be tedious. People probably think that because a hermit is removed from the world that their choices are simple, straightforward, and relatively easy. But living apart doesn’t really separate one from the world. There is no place on earth that a person can go where the world stops calling. You can’t escape the world while still living in it, anywhere in it. So if we think we can escape making the choice we thought about above, well, forget it. We all carry our own Caesar with us.

Quote … “But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.