- 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 39

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Since I abandoned my former composure,
led by the destroyer and
totally wasted by my own laziness,
now I address my former self,
recounting with heavy heart and pitiful sobs
the scandal of my ways
before the congregation of the multitude of nations.


I am a living book,
written like the scroll in the vision of Ezekiel,
inside and out,1
listing lamentations, moaning and woe.
I am a city without walls or towers,2
a house empty without doors for protection,3
salt in looks but lacking taste,4
sea water unfit to quench the thirst,
land, useless for cultivation,
field, barren and covered with briars.
My personal acres, cared for by God,
but already sown with the devices of the Slanderer,
an olive tree that is wood without fruit,
a barren orchard to be cut down,5
a hopeless, twice dead, talking plant,
a burned out candle that cannot be lit.


Now again, in the same vein, I repeat
similar pathetic images
that await me, miserable soul, as bitter punishment for my shame.
Gnashing of teeth and endless wailing, for the eyes of
my wretched self,
paternal anger that cannot be deflected by filial regret,
unmendable corruption for my sinful body,
new reprimands for me, an inventor of evil for
my diseased soul,
the anxiety of doubt for my escape as a captive,
waiting to be visited by the heavenly host.
Testifying I am a miserable, wounded soul,
who deserves to be burned in the bundles of weeds,6
with a stern voice pronouncing me, incorrigible refuse.


Truly, these are but the charming melodies of a harlot,
with her harp, strolling about and beating her breast,7
brazenly wailing, miserably and scornfully,
as the prophet Isaiah wrote in his admonition to Tyre.
If she could because of a minor misfortune (the loss of
her clientele),
protest with all manner of fake moaning and groaning,
then in what kind of desperate voice should I cry out?
I who wait the coming of the Lord,
and yet have been caught unprepared and naked.


Now, if I recount again the fearsome judgment,
my repentance should be multiplied.
And if I present my tribulations realistically
terror should seize me.
And if I describe this vision in detail
my tribulations increase.
For having recognized all this in advance and
not repented, even in retrospect, I am grateful that
you spared me, merciful lover of mankind,
mighty doer of good,
All-giving Christ, King, blessed forever.

1. Ezek. 2:9-10.
2. Jer. 50:15.
3. Jer. 51:30.
4. Mk. 9:49.
5. Lk. 13:10.
6. Mt. 13:30.
7. Is. 23:15-16.



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 )

Design & Content © Anna & Karen Vrtanesyan, unless otherwise stated.  Legal Notice