Sunday, May 17, 2015

Come Holy Spirit: David

Anointing of David, Synagogue of Duro-Europos
Jesse had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth with beautiful eyes, and good looking. The LORD said: There—anoint him, for this is the one! Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. Then Samuel set out for Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:12-13
Again, we can't see the Holy Spirit in this image, but we know the ways in which David was empowered by his anointing. He was brave and mighty in battle and compassionate and just (most of the time) but his great strength was his great love for God. That makes the prayer for today  (below) particularly appropriate.

The Synagogue at Duro Europos in Syria was discovered in 1920. I've been trying to remember what I learned about this in my early Christian Art class, but I find that's not much. The fact that the walls are covered with biblical illustrations is very important because it is so unusual to have illustrations in a Jewish temple due to the restrictions of the Second Commandment. It is one of the oldest synagoges in the world. Wikipedia says that there is an Aramaic inscription that has been dated to 224 AD, and everything I've read puts it in the early third century.

The most helpful article I found is here. Author, Adam Blitz, writes of the temple's discovery during the Arab Revolt of 1920. The frescoes are currently (or were when this post was written) in the National Museum of Damascus, and when Blitz wrote this post in 2013 he was concerned about their safety during the Syrian uprising. I don't know if they are still safe. I hope so. I was happy to see that I can't find anything on the internet that would indicate otherwise.

You can see more of the images at Wikipedia Commons.
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen. Prayer from Day 3Novena to the Holy Spirit

1 comment:

  1. I hope those frescoes are still safe, too. I was catching up on the readings in Magnificat last night and one of them was a very beautiful meditation from a 7th-century Syrian writer. Now after centuries of being dominated that culture seems about to be destroyed altogether.