This is going to be
a different kind of prayer.

For this optional prayer exercise,
we’ll need to use our imagination.

This will be a prayer
without words,
a silent, wordless ritual
where the action you perform–
even if only imagined,
even if only virtual–
will serve as your very prayer.

In this prayer exercise,
you are invited to express to the Lord
how you are feeling towards him
and what you are willing to do
in response to him
through a ritual
where you will be removing thorns
from the crown on his head.

As you do so,
think of the thorns that you’ve caused
to hurt the Lord and others,
as well as those that others have used
to hurt you.

What have been the thorns in your life?
Who are the thorns in your life?

What does it mean
to pull out these thorns

one by one?

From “Jesus of Nazareth”
(Zeffireli, 1977)

The fruits and impact of this prayer exercise
will depend on how seriously you take it.

If you prefer to skip this exercise,
you are free to do so
by clicking NEXT below.

But just in case
you want to give it a try–
and it surely won’t hurt to give it a try–
remember to take your time
going through this ritual.

All you need to do is remove
whatever thorn you can pluck out
from his crown.
Just drag out any thorn
as far as from his crown as possible.

Be patient, deliberate, and mindful
as you go through this prayer ritual,
listening to what you are thinking,
how you are feeling, and
to what the Lord might be trying to tell you.

The goal is not to remove all the thorns–
because you can’t.
The goal is to experience this process
and to learn and grow from it.

Whenever you are ready,
play the music to accompany this prayer ritual
and press the green flag below to begin.

Begin only when you feel ready.
And remember, take your time.

Feel free to linger here
as long as you would like.

Please consider sharing
about your experience below
before proceeding.


Music: “In Him Alone”
(Composed by MV Francisco,
Performed by A dc Aquino)

Ritual design: Galvin Ngo

96 replies on “REMOVING HIS THORNS”

Dear Lord,

As I removed the thorns, I thought of the many ways I have felt hurt by others. And removing them from your head, I realized that hurt people hurt people. Our hurts are the same, beneath it all. Help me to better see how I also hurt others without knowing it, how hurting myself also hurts You.

Thank you for this time together, Dear Jesus.


Jesus, grant me the grace to lead a life of service and love. May all my thoughts, words, deeds, and desires each day pluck a thorn from your crown. I may not be able to remove all the thorns, but through my actions, allow me to at least ease some of your suffering.

Lord, I am deeply sorry for everything that I have done that is not pleasing to you and to everyone around me.
I am deeply sorry for those that I have not done that would help others, help those in need, be it my parents, my siblings, everyone in the family, my friends and those that I do not know.
With the little things I try to do to help others, I hope get to help remove a thorn. I pray for your divine intervention for me to continue doing this.

Made me realize how, not only my own sins & other people’s sins, my anger towards the people who hurt me in the past would also have an impact on Jesus’ thorns & His suffering. When we are hurt, we unconsciously wish that person to not change & even to suffer so we can get our revenge, instead of praying for God to bless & grant the person with a change of heart.
Lord, sorry for all the pains I have caused you. Thank You for your mercy & forgiveness. By Your grace, may I do nothing but what is pleasing to You.

As I try to take the torns of pain, doubts, fears and sadness, I know I am also helping a bit to ease also the pain caused by the crown of thorns.
Many times, I felt I was alone. I was the only one in pain or is sad or is hurt. But because you love us, we forgot that you are too.
Everytime we don’t recognize that love and mercy you have for me, I know I am making those torns root more deeply.
Thank you for your patience, thank yu for always leading us to teh Father. Thank you that through your life and even unto death, You have emptied that love fully to us.
Teach us, Make us, Mold our hearts. Help us be renewed in the spirit. Create in us a a vessel of your grace and love. Amen

For some reasons, I can’t play the music (don’t know why). But I know the song “In Him Alone.”

My Beloved JESUS,
Rare moments like this, alone with you, fills my journey with hope. You are my comfort when my feet are sore.

Walk with me, Lord..


On removing thorns –
Removing thorns that are big enough to notice (the sins that are easy for us to admit) ay be a bit easier than removing the thorns hidden in the shadow, not being stricken by a hint of light. It may be related to our sins that are not easy to be admitted by us, the ones that we hide even from the Lord. Reality is, our sins are there, ready to be brought into light. The Lord knows us so well that He is not surprised by what we have deep within our hearts. He is so willing to embrace us and to transform us.

It was very slow and difficult for me to remove the thorns at first because 1) I didn’t really know where to begin as I might inflict more pain; 2) I was very emotional while doing so. Couldn’t really stop crying recalling all my sins, all wrongdoings against me or the Lord, the pain it causes to us all. I cannot imagine the pain it must have brought to the Lord, and I am so helpless to take them all out. But slowly, my mind cleared and I managed to take some of the thorns faster because I had a little more presence of mind. God, help me deal with such difficulties; not so much as to waste time, to have the strength to do what must be done and to be able to do it gently. I may not be able to completely eliminated the pain, but let me ease the pain and burden a little bit through my own ways.

I removed thorns of pride, not trusting men, fear of love, unwelcome to love and scared of getting hurt.
Lord, I welcome the man You will give to me; his unconditional love, respect and loyalty. With Your grace, I shall be a Godly wife.

Removing these thorns equivalent to my life:

lack of vitality
not listening/snappy
easily give up
not putting effort
playing safe
not using/taking care of the gifts and opportunities
not living the present moment

The more I took the thorns, I felt lighter, and Jesus does too. If I make Him feel lighter, my life is lighter. If my life is lighter and unloaded, He is unloaded. He wants me to have a good life, and it can only happen, if the thorns are not there. Jesus, remove the toxic people in my life who will not serve the purpose of building a good life.

Jesus, Thank You. I love You. Help me. Help us. Let us love You and one another.

Removing thorns in our lives proves to be a real challenge. In my case, it was hard to get out of an extremely toxic relationship whose foundations were lies and unnecessary drama. That relationship left me searching for a part of myself which I have lost. I kept on blaming myself for being cheated on, because I myself have done it before. And I could not forgive myself for doing those things. And I thought I deserved every ounce of pain. Yet the Lord has always been gracious to allow me build my confidence and reconstruct who I really am. It might have taken a while for me to take out that thorn, but right now I feel that it’s not getting in the way for me to live a life that the Lord desires for me.

I am definitely not perfect. I tend to be complacent sometimes. I tend to cram because I think I’m intelligent enough to accomplish my tasks. And this is one thorn I am trying to remove out of my system now. I am not getting any younger, so besides thinking about my career, I also need to consider my family (especially my parents who are getting older) in the process of moving forward.

Lord, thank you for allowing me to talk to You tonight. I have felt Your presence and peace that lingers in my heart while doing this activity. It is so hard to open up and listen to what You want me to understand. Somehow I find comfort knowing that even if I cried my heart out, You still understand the tears and wipe it away with Your loving gaze. Thank You, Lord, for staying with me tonight.


Lord, as I try to remove each thorn that I put into your head, you gazed to me and longing for me. I, too, Lord is longing for your comfort and forgiveness. Isang malaking hug naman dyan Lord. I need it the most. Isang yakap naman Lord. Amen

I plucked out my thorns that have weighing me down. Unforgiving ways, keeping the hurt that has been done to me. The hurts that others have caused. I released them as I imagined the thorns being removed and forgiveness was in place .

As I do this, I imagined some of the thorns from Jesus being removed as well. I ask for forgiveness for the thorns I have put on others. Knowingly and unknowingly. As well as the thorns that I have placed on Him for my sinful ways. I ask for forgiveness, and for permanent ways to change. In Jesus name, this I ask. Amen

I realized that it was the little things that removed the thorns of Jesus, one thorn at a time. These little things are paying more attention to my kid’s repetitive stories, being more patient with my employees, spending less time on social media and being more present to my family, biting my tongue when i am about to criticize someone, being more positive on social media posts, being more patient with the shortcomings of others. In other words, no matter how small an act or word is, it is Love That removes the thorns, one thorn at time. From now on, my mantra will be ONE THORN LESS. So help me Jesus.

For a while, it seems it’s easy to pluck the thorns out of the crown, but then you realize why am I doing this? What for? And then slowly, you reflect first before taking out the next thorn out of the crown. Similar to the thorns in our lives. Sometimes we feel that it’s so easy to just forget what we are used to do that bring pain to the Lord. We the tendency not to really think about it.

Some thorns are difficult to remove. I need your help, Lord, even if I was the cause of the pain. I was surprised that I was able to remove some thorns which I initially thought were immovable. Thank you for showing me how.

Some thorns cannot be removed. The crown of thorns had to stay on His head because it was meant to be. For some reason, I kept on thinking of the thorns in my life and asking Jesus to remove them from me. Similarly, some of the thorns in my life just cannot be removed because they have to be there. The painful events in my life inevitably had to happen.

It was so hard for me to pluck it as i pluck each of the thorn of my sins, i can feel the pain and the sad part is I still have not given them up

Initially, I wanted to remove the thorns at the back or at the side of His head, so that He’ll be more comfortable and the thorns will not go deeper when He carries the cross or when He’s on it. However, it’s impossible in the exercise, so I tried to pluck at the front, one by one. I noticed that I really couldn’t do anything. The damage has been done already. Plucking the thorns caused Him to bleed and it would be more painful. Thus, I stopped. I can only offer my presence, being with Him in His time of suffering. Lord, why do you have to do this? I love you very much. I know you love me too, and that’s why we’re here. I just wish there were other ways than this.

My thorns.
Strong anger towards other persons who have wronged me deeply.
The failure to act and utilize one’s talents. Hiding in a safe place to never leave my comfort zone.

Allow the attitude of service through humility.
Dear Lord,
I pray for:
Kindness by placing the desire to help others above the need to supersede them.
Charity by putting the desire to help others above storing up treasure for myself.
Diligence by placing the interest of others above a life of ease and relaxation.
Patience by first understanding the needs and desires of others before acting or speaking.
Self-control to use passion and energy for the good of others.
Temperance by implanting the desire to be healthy in order I be fit to serve others.

I’m still holding on to the biggest thorns, Lord. I don’t know why I refuse to let go. Please help me so I can remove both our thorns.

As I was plucking our the thorns, I felt peace, a unique inner resolve, and a calm determination to strive to be a good husband, son and brother.

Thank you for this moment, dear Lord. Thank you for what I felt.

Lord, thank you for letting me share to you all the thorns that i have that caused me pain and the more hurt you.. but As i was plucking it one by one, i do feel relieved. I believe you are just reminding me to let go everything that is not good and do what is pleasing to you.. Amen.

I wondered where to begin and whether the thorn I was removing just pressed others deeper. I realized that I have also woven a crown of thorns in some areas of my life and it is strangling some important relationships. Lord, help me remove the thorns I have woven through my own sins against others.

I tried to take away the thorns of pride, resentment, and envy that I place on your head Lord! Please forgive me for all these and help me to permanently take this thorns away from your head and away from my heart!

Lord, as I remove the thorns, I felt relief. This means Im lessening the pain you are feeling. Every time I remove the thorns, I felt that I an back with you Lord. I deeply felt that little pinch in my heart and I am happy to have this feeling to be back with you, Lord.

Lord Jesus, I am sorry I could only remove a few thorns! Now, I ask Your help in dealing with these thorns resolutely and with finality so they never return to You!

I just started crying … I am so ashamed Lord of my weaknesses and mistakes … which you have borne on your head. I am so sorry Lord. Help me to try hard not to hurt you anymore. Help me not to forget how much you suffered for me.

IN HIM ALONE will my thorns be removed. I am unworthy but with Your mercy and grace, i will be made whole, Lord. Please save me. Thank you for loving us all in spite of our sinfulness. We love you back a thousandfold, Jesus. Amen.

Why does it feel that while i am removing thorns from Your head, it is actually you who are removing them from mine…

To see the look on Jesus’ eyes as his gaze seemed to be on the crown above him as I removed the thorns, it seemed to give him a little more relief with each one. And this happens through righting my own wrongdoings. In choosing to do what is honorable and favorable to God instead of the opposite. There are thorns which cannot be removed and this may be because of the sins accumulated by mankind that were so bad, it needs Jesus’ acceptance of his passion to remove them. But with the knowledge that we can choose to remove the thorns we can remove, why let Jesus suffer any more in a pain he doesn’t deserve to feel?

I feel the thorns I was trying to remove from Your crown are those that I have caused. In You, O Lord, I entrust my life and I ask for Your forgiveness and the grace to renew myself, my life.
Thank, Lord, for Your boundless, patient and unconditional love.

My strength to remove the thorn also comes from You. Thank you for your incomprehensible mercy and grace.

Your gaze at me, Jesus, warms my heart. It breaks down all the walls around it, so that your gaze made me break down and cry. It refreshes my heart. My weary and hardened heart. Your gaze, even as I see not just your face but your whole body being tortured by pain, transforms me. Breaks down my walls. Understands your love a little bit more. Your kind of love, that loves me despite my sins to you. Despite my sins bringing all the pain to you. And I understand now, that with all the sins I have done to cause You Your pain, I want to undo them with the help that I will extend to my brothers and sisters in need. If those sins hurt them before, then I pray that my help now will undo those hurts, even if these will not be the same set of people. I pray that Your love will prevail in me, will burn hot and bright in me, and never lose fire or steam. I pray that I will forever remember your gaze upon me Lord from your cross, and make it inspire me to love my brothers and sisters. I pray that your gaze ignites in me a burning desire to love others, and do for them what you are doing for me… gaze at and love them in spite of whatever they do to me.

one of my behaviors is called “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD) and i know that it makes those around me suffer and makes it harder for them to love me. the behavior comes from my childhood experiences with authority, and this is a thorn that i must remove, and when i do, it becomes a thorn that i can also remove from those around me who i want to love.

For each thorn, I expressed how each thorn has hurt me and brought me down in life, making me question and doubt God’s love for me. At the end of it all, I prayed for a deeper trust and faith in God, and for the grace to never let the hurtful things that people say, think about, and do to me make me doubt or question God’s love for me ever again.

I’m filled with apologies. Every thorn I took off was a “sorry” for my selfishness, pride and impatience. I couldn’t remove all as much I wanted to, but it didn’t seem right because I can never take away that pain placed by sin… some by me.

Jesus, won’t it hurt you too when i pluck out a thorn. You will be bruised anew. Or is this just my way of fearing to remove my own tborns?
Help me, Jesus.

Lord, I have been so distant to you especially when I have started repeatedly doing the same sin. I have lost the courage to face you, because of the shame I feel for what I’ve done. But even during those times that I’ve chosen to be away from your love because I don’t feel worthy, you remained beside me. You have always given me the red flags. And when you knew how I’ve turned a blind-eye from what holds me from seeing my worth, You took me out from it. You speak to me this quarantine period to see myself not from the world,or much worst, how I see myself, BUT to see me in Your eyes. I am still your beloved, even if I’ve stripped myself of that identity. I can’t thank you enough for letting me hear you over my own voice. Lord…thank you for letting me see my worth again.

Lord removing each thorn was not easy, it was painful ~ BUT what could even be more painful when I have planted it on you because of our sins – MY SINS !! I am truly sorry – when Good Friday , this Lent is over – let me remember this experience with you …so that i will continue to pluck out leftover thorns … give me the Faith, give me the strength to always strive to be in your likeness, that YOU may INCREASE & I DECREASE … from Today, It is MORE OF YOU!! I love yoy Oh Lord❤️

Lord I want to remove all the thorns but I can’t. Part of me wants just to stay where they are to remind me that I cannot do it by myself alone, You have to help me…Help me Lord…

Lord I want to remove all the thorns but I can’t. Part of me wants just to stay where they are to remind me that I cannot do it by myself alone, You have to help me…Help me Lord…

Jesus, much as I want to remove some of the thorns, I can’t. I’m guilty because I was the one who placed it there. I am deeply ashamed of the pain i caused You. I beg You to forgive me.

I wish it is this easy to remove thorns in real life.
The song is a comforting one. In Him alone …
Siya lang talaga ang pag-asa ko, Lord.
Kung ako lang mag-isa, hindi kaya.

Lord Jesus, removing the thorns are difficult to do, especially if I want to linger on the whys instead of growing in faith instead to trust You. Help me dear Lord Jesus. I beg you for mercy.

I’m sorry, Lord. I want to remove all the thorns, but I can’t. May I be reminded of the pain I cause you when I sin, that in my future decisions, I do not add to your pain.

all I wanted to do was to remove the thorns on Jesus’ head, as fast as I could, as painlessly as I could. and while I was doing that, I thought of all my sinfulness which added to his pain – my biggest being judgmental pride, feeling like I’m sorry but others have more to be sorry about than me. and I know that my attitude and finger pointing hurts the Lord.
I am sorry, Lord, for all the times I have let the comfort You have gifted me take me away from You and from doing acts of charity. please help me be more aware of my actions and to give me the strength to change for the better.

Your thorns are my thorns. To remove those it takes time and endurance. Thank you for gift of healing and forgivess. Amen.

I added thorns on this crown by my indifferent ways. It is so much harder to remove one thorn after another. But the urgency of removing what causes pain is also so much greater.

Even after removing the thorns, I know that the pain can remain. There were some thorns that cannot be removed. Help me, Lord, to ease your pain and mine. I am sorry for contributing to your pain. Help me remove the thorns in my heart and for the hurt to heal.

The thought and act of removing the thorns is literally and figuratively easing the pain and suffering I had felt or continue to feel. More importantly, it helped me put my pain in the proper perspective… with the Lord sharing my pain and suffering. There are times when I forget that I am not alone and I don’t have to bear these thorns by myself. I am reminded to pray and look at the Lord’s promise “cast your burdens upon me, those who are heavily laden. Come to me all of you who are tired and carry heavy loads. Come to me…”. Thank you, Lord, for always being there for us.

The last thorn I’m removing is the thorn of not having enough faith. I’ve always thought that my faith is strong but in times like these when I am always worried and anxious, I realize that my faith is still lacking. By removing this thorn, I am also removing the thorn that is constantly bothering me. I am putting my whole faith and trust in You, Lord Jesus. Thank you very much. Amen.

Each thorn I remove from you reminds me of the sins I have committed against you, against others and against myself. Some thorns / sins are difficult to remove, perhaps because they are deeply-rooted. I am sorry for all the sins I have committed Lord and sorrier that I have not done my best to help you lessen your burdens. Thank you for reminding me that despite this, you love me and you have saved me from my sins. Help me to become a better child of God.

Most especially, thank you for letting me join this retreat and for the reminder that you are with me, in whatever I face in life.

Thorn by thorn, I remove that which pains me, pains You, and pains others from your head. Gently I do this, and with each thorn removed, I feel I am removing a thorn in my heart as well. Thank you for the gifts of forgiveness and healing.

Thank you Lord for reminding me of my arrogance, pride, envy and righteousness. Help me to trust in you. Help me to be kind. Help me to love.

Thank you Lord for planting the seed of forgiveness in my heart. It helps me pluck that thorn. For all the other thorns, I plucked, please let me die of my ungodly desires so I won’t put them back ever again.

Thank you for the graced opportunity to remove some thorns from you, Lord. I will have to work on removing the other thorns. Stay with me, Lord.

This was a simple yet personally painful exercise. I felt MY sins and how these are connected to CHRIST’s Thorns. I GLORIFY YOU, MY SAVIOR.

As I remove some of the thorns, it seems that my heart feels lighter, seems that the anger, hatred, suspicions, jealousy has been also removed in my heart. With this, I thank you Lord. I may also hurt in the process but if it is what you want Lord, to also die of myself in order to rise with you on the third day, so be it. My life is in your hands now Lord. I’ve seen also myself releasing the rope in your feet. May this be a sign of freedom from all my sins as I walk with You. Amen.

Lord, commuting to alleviate your pain is one thing, help me to remember this beautiful exercise in my daily life when I face the challenges I promised to tackle, Amen ❤️

It felt satisfying to remove a thorn but equally frustrating not to remove one. However, when I go back and deliberately remove the thorn in all directions, I am able to remove it.

Sometimes in life, the thorns are not meant to be removed at a certain point because they serve as lessons to us. Maybe it allows us to work on ourselves more.

I pray that I will not be a thorn to others deliberately or unconsciously. I pray that I will value Jesus more and not put any more thorns on his crown.

Dear Lord, of all your sorrowful mysteries, i am touched by your crowning of thorns.. how you suffered humiliation because of my sins, they are the thorns that pierce your precious head. I am so sorry because they have offended Thee my God and King who deserves all my Love!

Lord, for all the thorns that i have caused you, please forgive me. Give me the grace to be able to remove them sincerely. I pray for guidance and strength to do what is pleasing to You and not adding thorns again to You. Thank you for your unconditional love for us. Amen?

Thank you Lord for allowing me to go through this virtual experience of plucking the thorns which I might have deliberately added to your pain and suffering. I am heartily sorry for the times I have hurt you so much. Please remind me to spend time with you always in prayer, so that I may know what I may have done to put a thorn again on your crown. And in so doing, I’d be given a chance to mend my ways.

I have unknowingly been a pain to others, and removing the thorns are not easy, putting in the thorns could’ve been as painful as removing them, and sometime, and sometimes removing the thorns is even more painful than keeping them on.

For each thorn that I manage to remove, more painful as it is, I hope and perhaps, the feeling is less pain once the thorn is removed.

I pray for the strength and the wisdom to avoid putting thorns into others and myself; and also, have the strength and the courage to pull out thorns when I recognize them. And finally, also the wisdom to realize that not all the thorns can be plucked out. At a certain point, we have to, with God, have the strength and the courage to altogether lift and remove the crown of thorns from our heads.

The ritual of plucking of thorns is helpful to relieve me of an ongoing struggle. May the Holy Spirit help me with the real plucking once I go back to reality.

Cognitively, I know what I need to do, but physically it is more difficult. The body is weak and I pray that I can grow stronger to be able to do more for others.

It brought so much hope to know that even how insignificant the deed or thought that I try to change in me looks like, but if it will remove a thorn from you, then it is all worth it.

Forgive me, Abba Father, for being ruthless and heartless. May I not forget this when I am back to the real world.

Lord thank you for this fruitful, virtual exercise. From now on I will focus on removing the thorns that I have contributed in your painful crown instead of adding more to them. Please give me the grace to replace these thorns with flowers that would be pleasing to You, in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. ???

The thorns were difficult to remove but perhaps so easy to plant them in. When I was able to remove one thorn, I felt relieved and wanting to remove more. The process was not easy…but the desire to remove all of them was so great.
Lord, I am sorry for making it so easy for me to add more thorns for you. You have been so patient bearing the pain and carrying all of them. I want to remove all of them and ask for your forgiveness.

The pain you endured have no comparison. Thank you Lord for allowing me to remove some of my thorns. Help me Lord to keep these thorns away so I can be a better disciple of yours.

Lord Jesus Christ, may the thorns I removed from me will be forgiven and never returned in you. Have mercy on me and grant me your everlasting happiness. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you embraced your pain and suffering out of your unconditional love for us, you willingly submitted to your passion and death that were caused by the evil in man’s heart, so that you can show how we can defeat the same evil and enemy in our lives. We have become like you in experiencing the pain and suffering and “death” in our lives but you assure us of your presence and empathy by embracing them as your own. So that the thorns that we can manage to pluck out from your and our heads bloodied by the crown of thorns will relieve us for a while but will remain scars for the rest of our lives that should not cause us endless fear, guilt, remorse and shame but like the scar on your side, the sign of and pathway to your and our redemption. We are together wounded and resurrected at the same time.

The thorns I removed are the same thorns that are in my heart. I have always prayed to the Lord to remove these thorns in my heart and heal the wounds. He did. I feel blessed that You shared with me your pain. Lord, it’s my turn to remove some of your thorns. I am heartily sorry for the pain I have caused you. Thank you for loving me Lord.

Some thorns are difficult to pluck out.

Some thorns add more pain when plucked out.

Even though how hard I tried, thorns cannot be plucked.

It’s a sad and moving experience.

It is so difficult to remove a thorn. More so, must have been very painful to receive the crown of thorns. I am so sorry for the pain i have caused You and others by my actions. Help me to be true to my promise, to be strong, to stay in the right path

As i tried removing those thorns one by one, i couldn’t help but cry out of guilt. I caused those thorns everytime I wanted to give up, instead of trusting God. I’m sorry Lord.

I blame myself for mychildren’s lack of faith in the catholic church, this is the thorn in trying to remove, im at a lost if it is Jesus or my thorn

Thank you for allowing me to remove a thorn. Help me to live up to my promise that accompanied the 2 thorns I successfully removed.

It is easier to remove some of the thorns, but some more difficult. Grant me the patience Lord in my attempts to remove the thorns others have placed in me, and the ones I have placed in others. Help me to find joy in the small victories that you and I have won together. Help me even more not to bring back these thorns, or create new ones.

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