Monday, 21 December 2009

O Clavis David...

O Clavis David
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; 
you open and no one can shut;  
you shut and no one can open: 
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, 
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

readings from the book of the Prophet Isaiah:
9: 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore.
22: 22  I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.
42: 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

I've just finished reading The Alchemist.  It is a brief novel telling the story of a young shepherd's search for hidden treasure.
The search takes him beyond all he has ever known: family, friends and the fancying glances at a girl in one of the villages he travels through.
The search is costly: he sells his sheep - his livelihood and security, he is beaten and robbed, he trusts and is betrayed, he faces death.
The search is a voyage of discovery: he meets guides - good and bad, he finds out that his heart is the best guide and learns to listen to it....
Many times he thinks of ending the search for the treasure, but something always turns up to compel him to keep going.
He does and finds that which has been sought for over time.
One of the  factors that keeps him searching is found in watching the lives of others: others who have chosen not to find the treasures of the heart, but to close themselves off to the possibility - either through fear or idleness.  They are happy enough... and yet... sometimes from deep below the surface, the murmur of vague discontent, the heart's yearnings to seek the life that should have been sought, emerge briefly....  It is enough to encourage the boy that unless he seeks his treasure with all his heart, he will never rest.

Which reminds me of Augustine and his search for God...
'Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
... You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.'  Confessions.

O Key of David
Open our fearful, timid hearts.
Shut out the sounds of gnawing, biting doubts
that eat away the fruit of your promises
and which imprison us
and which close the door upon the greatest journey:
the treasure
that is you.

Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

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