A Crown Prepared
A Princess slowly bows her head as she is solemnly crowned Queen. A Mother gently weaves a crown of flowers for her daughter, the beautiful bride, to wear atop her white lace veil. A young Sister beams with joy as a delicate crown of flowers is placed over her newly-donned black veil at her First Profession of Vows. A little girl joyfully picks flowers from her grandmother’s garden, with which she will crown the family statue of the Blessed Mother. …
It is a sign of honor, purity, love, faithfulness, fulfillment of preparation, and often, of the beginning of a vocation. It is a symbol which must, by its very nature, be bestowed by someone else. It is the privilege of the King (or Bishop), of a mother or father, or sometimes the lovingly tender child, to prepare and place the crown on she who is to wear it. There is a profound beauty in this, for this means that it is a gift which is given.
It was the Lord who prepared, what I am personally sure, was the most resplendent of all crowns: the heavenly crown of Our Blessed Mother. She is a Queen by virtue of her “fiat” to bearing of the King of Kings, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Lovingly, she carries out her duties of guiding, protecting, and assisting her beloved children on earth. She is a good Queen, truly the best one possible, who sees the needs and comes to the aid of her children. …With what love Jesus must have placed this crown on His beautiful Mother! The month of May brings with it the traditional “May Crowning.” How moved Our Lady must be by the loving gesture of her children crowning her as their Queen. St. Louis de Montfort often referred to her as the “Queen of all hearts.” We run to her, with the crown we have prepared in hand, saying, “Dearest Mother, you who are Queen of heaven and earth, come and reign with your beloved Son in my heart! I am totally yours!”
This is an image I have frequently pondered throughout these past two months, for I have recently received the gift of my own crown of flowers at my First Vows (March 22, 2020). I keep returning to the fact that this crown of flowers was prepared, lovingly by my Sisters, but ultimately by Our Lord. It was He who prepared it, not only in a spiritual sense, but totally unbeknownst to us, even in a physical way! With my Vows falling in the midst of this pandemic, having been moved up due to the impending New York lockdown, all preparations needed to happen “in house.” There was no way to purchase the customary white tea roses, so the Sisters found a little plant on the windowsill of our library with small, delicate white flowers. We were grateful for this, and already it seemed to be a signal grace due to the fact that I had spent much of my first year of novitiate trying to nurse the plant back to health…which was now bursting with flowers! It was not until after the vows, over lunch with my parents, that we realized the flowers looked exactly like the ones traditionally used in my native country of Colombia to crown a bride on her wedding day! They symbolize purity, and the bride is serenaded by the groom the night before the wedding with a song which speaks about this crown! I was moved to tears realizing the spousal love of Our Lord in this gesture. It was the crown only He could have prepared for His new little bride!
“Receive the crown of virginal nobility. As you are crowned by us today, may you one day be crowned by Christ in heaven.” These are the words which were said as I was joyfully crowned as a bride of Christ. Like the crown of nobility which was traditionally passed on through generations, it is because of Our Lady’s ‟ yes” that I could give my own “fiat” to the Father. And just as Christ lovingly prepared this crown of flowers for me, down to the smallest detail, so has He prepared a crown for each of us and awaits our entry, as heirs of the kingdom, into heaven! May we never forget our true identity as sons and daughters of the King of Kings and of our beautiful Queen and Mother! May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sr. Rosa, CFR