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On the Crown of Thorns

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Taken from Medulla S. Thomae Aquinatis which arranges various short texts from St. Thomas Aquinas' corpus based on the liturgical year. I will be posting the day's meditation each day and will be bringing it into print once I'm through it.

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Friday after Ash Wednesday

On the Crown of Thorns

Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the joy of his heart. (Canticle of Canticles, 3:11)

The voice of the Church invites the souls of the faithful to behold how marvelous and beautiful her spouse is. For, the daughters of Zion and Jerusalem are the same, holy souls, citizens of the celestial city, who enjoy perpetual peace with the Angels, and, by consequence, contemplate the glory of the Lord.

I. Go forth, that is, depart from the turbulent conduct of this world, to be prepared in mind to contemplate him who you love. And see king Solomon, that is, the true peace of Christ. In the diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him, that is, consider Christ who took on flesh for us, the flesh that he assumed from the flesh of His Virgin Mother. He calls the flesh a diadem because the flesh that Christ assumed for us, in death, destroyed the reign of death; in which he rose, to bring us the hope of rising again.

Of this diadem, the Apostle says (Heb. 2:9): We [see]…Jesus crowned…with glory and honour because of the death he underwent. His mother is said to crown him, because the Virgin Mary provided him with the matter of his flesh with her own flesh.

In the day of his espousals, that is, in the day of His Incarnation, when he joined himself to the Church who has no spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5), or, when God joined Himself to a man (homini). And in the day of the joy of his heart. For, the happiness and joy of Christ is the salvation and redemption of mankind. And coming home, [he will] call together his friends and neighbours, [and say] to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost. (Luke 15:6)

II. Indeed, this whole passage can be simply (simpliciter) referred to the passion of Christ, according to the literal sense (juxta litteram). Solomon, seeing the passion of Christ long before it happened in the Spirit, forewarned the daughters of Zion, that is, the people of Israel. Go forth…and see king Solomon, that is, Christ, in the diadem, that is, in the crown of thorns which the Synagogue (his mother) crowned him with, in the day of his espousals, when he joined the Church to Himself, and in the day of the joy of his heart, in which he rejoiced that, by his passion, he would redeem the world from the Devil’s power.

Go forth therefore, and come out from the darkness of unbelief, and see, that is, understand with your mind, because he who suffers as a man (ut homo) is truly God. Or go out of the gate of the your city and see him crucified on Golgotha.

(Selections from In Cant., III)

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