... and now to dealing with the thorns.....
my advice.... be very cautious! You see, the thing is, we ARE the thorns. As Christ speaks to His beloved in the Song of Songs:
I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
And this is the whole point of Lent, something impossible has to happen. The lily will be injured by the thorns, the lily will be be killed by the thorns, but the lily will rise again and will not stop loving us. And somehow in true love, we become lily and leave our thornyness behind... and being lily, we too get injured by the thorns.... but now they cannot kill us because we truly love.
And one more thing; dry thorns have the terrifying ability to start a conflagration that will destroy everything in their path. Are not dry thorns the sins of our past? Surely it is nothing but the mercy of God that prevents our countless sins from devouring and destroying all that is good... go to Confession! And pray for mercy on us and on the whole world.