A Crown of Thorns: I have just returned from a holiday in Paris where my wife and I headed out for a week to offer our support to our friend Ileen Maisel during the filming of her new movie ‘Paris Connections’, a film adaption of a Jackie Collins novel starring Nicole Steinwedell. During the day we would be on set; in the evening we would go to all the normal tourist haunts like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame Cathedral.
Our visit to Notre Dame was a moving one. I have visited many sacred spaces but nowhere has carvings like Notre Dame. The whole place is filled with mysterious and iconic figures in such detail that it is truly breathtaking. The feel of the place is so different to Rosslyn Chapel or St Paul’s cathedral. It is far more transformative and active. While I was there I witnessed a ceremony involving a worship and procession by men dressed in the uniforms of the Knights Templar carrying a set of relics including what is professed to be a crown of thorns, a shard of the true cross and a nail that had been through the hand of Jesus.
To me, the symbolism was suddenly clear. These were statements not just about the life of Jesus but about the path we all walk as sons and daughters of God. The cross is the weight we must bear, the nails the pain we must endure but what moved me most was the crown of thorns. It made me think about the story of Jesus on a different level.
It made me think of Rosicrucianism and the famous lines from Mozart’s magic flute “our path is like the rose because it has thorns”.Anyone reading this blog who is on the path of spiritual development and the cultivation of virtue will instantly recognise the symbolism of the crown of thorns that we are all forced to wear as we continue to face ourselves and move towards our higher goals. The closer you get to your goals the more the outside world seems to mock and belittle you.
As the crown of thorns processed before the image of Mary, Mother of God I found myself thinking of her as a symbol for this ability we have inside us to be reborn and to change who we are inside; to die and to become something better than before. Were the nails, the shard of the cross and the crown of thorns genuine? I don’t know if they were. But is this important when they have the power to inspire even one man to embrace the hardship and push on to the greater good?