- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


Tenets of Prayer  Prayer 1  Prayer 2  Prayer 3  Prayer 4  Prayer 5  Prayer 6
Prayer 7  Prayer 8  Prayer 9  Prayer 10  Prayer 11  Prayer 12  Prayer 13  Prayer 14
Prayer 15  Prayer 16  Prayer 17  Prayer 18  Prayer 19  Prayer 20  Prayer 21  Prayer 22
Prayer 23  Prayer 24  Prayer 25  Prayer 26  Prayer 27  Prayer 28  Prayer 29  Prayer 30
Prayer 31  Prayer 32  Prayer 33  Prayer 34  Prayer 35  Prayer 36  Prayer 37  Prayer 38
Prayer 39  Prayer 40  Prayer 41  Prayer 42  Prayer 43  Prayer 44  Prayer 45  Prayer 46
Prayer 47  Prayer 48  Prayer 49  Prayer 50  Prayer 51  Prayer 52  Prayer 53  Prayer 54
Prayer 55  Prayer 56  Prayer 57  Prayer 58  Prayer 59  Prayer 60  Prayer 61  Prayer 62
Prayer 63  Prayer 64  Prayer 65  Prayer 66  Prayer 67  Prayer 68  Prayer 69  Prayer 70
Prayer 71  Prayer 72  Prayer 73  Prayer 74  Prayer 75  Prayer 76  Prayer 77  Prayer 78
Prayer 79  Prayer 80  Prayer 81  Prayer 82  Prayer 83  Prayer 84  Prayer 85  Prayer 86
Prayer 87  Prayer 88  Prayer 89  Prayer 90  Prayer 91  Prayer 92  Prayer 93  Prayer 94
Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 10

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Both unruly sin and deep regret
plunge us into damnation, being
essentially similar even though from different sources.
But when compared they share the same character flaws:
one doubts the strength of the Almighty’s
hand like a cowardly skeptic,1
while the other, like a wild beast,
brutally cuts the thread of hope.2
Satan, flattered by the first,
constantly rejoices; while the second
provides fresh blood for the hounds of hell to lap up.


I catch my breath like one bludgeoned with a thick club,
until he reaches death’s shores. I catch
my breath, mustering whatever life remains
hoping that my soul will be rehabilitated, protected,
restored, and resurrected from mortal perdition
with the help of Christ’s hand,
Christ who is merciful in all things.
And with help from our heavenly Father,
who has granted salvation and healing
to a failing sinner near death,
I begin this book of prayers with supplications.
I will build an edifice of faith,
as one of our faith-filled forefathers did
when he was instantly transported to heaven
through the balm of repentance,3
thus bequeathing us the promise of immortality on earth,
perhaps more so than the Apostle writing about those
who, enduring their trials on earth,
put their faith in heaven and the hope of things to come,
and were filled with the abundance of the unseen.4


For even he who has committed mortal sin,
even he, recaptured in the evil spirit’s prison
and cast down into the abyss of evil,
even he still can grasp the slender hope of salvation.
Even he has hope of escape through redemption,
like the remorseful sinner miraculously reclaimed
through the raindrops of his eyes
caused by the compassion of the Almighty,
the Almighty who again made the earth flourish,
as a gift from the Spirit of God.
Let us remember also the healing and encouraging words of our Lord,
“With faith, anything is possible.” 5
First and foremost let us consider this the measure
of what is good and favored in the eyes of God;
for the way to the holy of holies is through faith.
Without faith, the Lord of glory did not, will not
show his miraculous power to us, asking first
that his good work be met by our faith.
For this reason he who is with God
is, of his own, capable of receiving life,
for the blessed mouth of God has promised,
“Your faith shall save you.” 6


Faith, that happy and favored word,
which lasts forever untarnished and unbounded,
honored together with charity and hope 7
brings the rewards of truly clear vision, perfect wisdom,
acquaintance with God and familiarity with the Exalted.

For if the faith of a mustard seed 8
can cast a great mountain
into the depths of the sea, then truly
we should accept it as the first step
toward eternal life.
Faith, this simple and clear form of worship,
means setting aside doubt to see the future and hidden
with the eye of the soul.

Faith is honored in a glorious trinity
with charity and hope. For if you view
these three as distinct aspects
of one and the same mystery,
you shall forever be magnified in God.
And if you believe, you shall love
and through love have hope in his unseen rewards.
Glory to him forever.

1. 2 Sam. 15:12.
2. Acts 8:9-24.
3. Gen. 5:24 (Enoch), Heb. 11:5.
4. Heb. 11:1.
5. Mk. 9:23.
6. Mt. 9:22, Lk. 7:50, 8:48.
7. 1 Cor. 13:13.
8. Lk. 17:6, Mk. 11:23.



Source: St. Gregory of Narek
Provided by: Thomas J. Samuelian

© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.

See also:

Biography of Grigor Narekatsi (in Armenian)
The Christ-Child ( translated by Alice Stone Blackwell )

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