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Sicut Cervus

The phrase is taken from Psalm 42 but the music is by Palestrina.  Listen to it by clicking here.  It is one of my favorite choral pieces, but even before I knew this beautiful version, I loved the praise and worship song "As the Deer."  It is such a simple testimony of  faith in Our Lord. 

Behind the title of this Blog, is the bottom of the mosaic in San Clemente in Rome.  This was the first Mosaic I saw when studying in Rome and it made a permanent impression on me.   

The following information has been taken from http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/sanClemente/apse.html:

San Clemente's mosaic merges the iconography of Paradise with images of the Church in the contemporary world.  Thus its most prominent feature is a vast vine studded with figures of lords and stewards, Doctors of the Church, and peasants engaged in their daily tasks. 

The vine is identified as the Church by an
inscription along the band just above the sheep: Ecclesiam Christi viti similabimus isti de ligno crucis Jacobi dens, Ignatiiq[ue] insupra scripti requiescunt corpore Christi quam lex arentem, sed crux facit esse virentem, "We have likened the Church of Christ to this vine; the Law made it wither but the Cross made it bloom."   

The vine grows out of the tree at the base of the cross, from which flow the four rivers of Eden.  The two stags drinking there allude to Ps. 42:1, "As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God.

Everyday, we should strive to be like the deer described in Psalm 42 and pictured in Mosaic in San Clemente.  That is why I have chosen to name this Blog after the verse; in all we do--care taking, cleaning, celebrating, gardening--we should be thirsting for Christ, Our Lord.  The only way to satisfy that thirst is to drink from the saving waters that flow from the Crucified Christ. 

Here is the Latin of Psalm 42:1, as well as the full Psalm. 
Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te Deus.
As a deer longs for springs of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.
It's a setting of Psalm 42:
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
   so my soul longs for you, O God.
2My soul thirsts for God,
   for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
   the face of God?
3My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me continually,
‘Where is your God?’

4These things I remember,
   as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
   and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
   a multitude keeping festival.
5Why are you cast down, O my soul,
   and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
   my help 6and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
   therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
   from Mount Mizar.
7Deep calls to deep
   at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
   have gone over me.
8By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
   and at night his song is with me,
   a prayer to the God of my life.

9I say to God, my rock,
   ‘Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
   because the enemy oppresses me?’
10As with a deadly wound in my body,
   my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
   ‘Where is your God?’

11Why are you cast down, O my soul,
   and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
   my help and my God.