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Grigor Narekatsi

BOOK OF PRAYER


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 56

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A

As for the agents of death,
the roots of the bitter fruit of the tree of damnation,
hostile kin, intimate adversaries, traitorous sons, I now
shall describe them in detail by name.
They are
my sinister heart,
my gossiping mouth,
my lustful eyes,
my wanton ears,
my murderous hands,1
my weak kidneys,
my wayward feet,
my swaggering gait,
crooked footprints,
polluted breath,
dark inclinations,
dried innards,
mushy mind,
inconstant will,
incorrigible depravity,
wavering virtue,
banished soul,
dissipated legacy,
wounded beast,
arrow-struck bird,
fugitive on the precipice,
apprehended criminal,
drowning pirate,
treasonous soldier,
reluctant fighter,
undisciplined warrior,
slovenly laborer,
faithless worshiper,
worldly cleric,
impious priest,
officious minister,
haughty clerk,
deranged sage,
grotesque rhetorician,
immodest manner,
shameless countenance,
insolent grimace,
repulsive tone,
subhuman mold,
lurid beauty,
rotting meat,
sickening flavor,
weed-choked orchard,
worm-eaten vine,2
garden of briars,
rusted ear of corn,
mouse-infested honey,
threadbare outcast,
haughty desperado,
closed-minded heretic,
irreconcilable sectarian,
fast-talking charlatan,
herd mentality blowhard,
brutishly wicked, hellishly greedy,
unashamedly arrogant,
frenzied atheist, assassin ready to strike,
sower of thorns, woeful contentment,
debased majesty, defiled splendor, wasted ability,
humbled greatness, trampled glory,
persistent disobedience, willful error,
negligent steward, treacherous adviser, alienated friend,
corrupt official, covetous associate,
stingy boss, crooked supervisor,
soul without compassion, wish without charity,
hateful habit, insatiable appetite,3
imprudent actions, invisible damage,
secret curses, antagonizing events,
careless merchant, gluttonous exploiter,
drunken official, duplicitous treasure warden,4
dissension sowing emissary, sleeping doorman,
proud beggar, rich ingrate,5
dishonest secretary, untrustworthy custodian,
back-biting relatives,6
tardy messenger, wayward courier,
vexing envoy, foolish mediator,7
banished ruler, feeble king, broken-spirited emperor,
rogue prince, plundering general,
biased judge, capricious rabble,
for enemies – cause for snickering,
for friends – cause for tears,
for writers – cause for reproach,
for adversaries – cause for accusation.
For though I was indeed called by the highest names,
by my works I earned the worst of these descriptions.8
Thus, these are the multitude of seductive devices,
which I allowed to deceive me in my naivet? or
I allowed to prevail over me in my weakness,
condemning myself willfully to death.

B

Now, which of the things listed above,
abhorrent to you and devastating for me,
shall I offer in service to you?
Which of these things wrapped in corruption
shall I present before your holy majesty?
For how long will your patience
bear this many sins?
How much will you forgive?
How will you remain silent?
How will you even bear to listen?
How can you spare the rod
when I am worthy of being beaten to death?
But you visit the mercy of your light
in the pitch blackness of the dark side of the soul,
to cure, pardon and give us life.
O force that cannot be deterred,
to you glory in all things,
Amen.

___________________
1. Is. 1:15.
2. Dt. 28:39.
3. Pr. 12:10; Rom. 1:30.
4. Lk. 12:45.
5. Sir. 25:2.
6. Ps. 50 (Arm 49):20.
7. Acts 15:24.
8. From the General Confession, “I was called to the profession of Christianity, but was found unworthy of it by my deeds.”

 

Acknowledgements:

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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