- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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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 62

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Now, why should I not add to the Psalms I have quoted
passages from the Prophets?
But what pleasure is there from nourishment
if my sense of taste is numbed by pain as I eat?
And what advantage can I derive from the Psalms
if I cannot take them to heart?
For I curse myself with them, but I do not know it.
I am cleansed, but I do not glisten.
The sun dawns, but I am not enlightened.
I eat honey but am not sweetened.
I am filled with balm but am not cured.
I rise early for prayers each day and return
empty handed.
I am mocked endlessly but never learn.
I am warned but do not come to my senses.


Truly, my sin and lawlessness dwell in me
and I am worn away by them,
as the Prophet said of the transgressors,1
and the Lord taught in the parable
of the new wine in old casks.2
For as Isaiah foretold,
“Rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together.”3
And the same is in store for me, wretch that I am,
for I recite the psalm, “The Lord abundantly requites
those who act haughtily,” 4
to which I link the prophecy,
“The Lord has a day against all who are proud
and haughty,” 5 when I recite,
“The wicked go astray from the womb . . .”6
and I add, “Let the wicked of the earth be destroyed”
and “the haughty be wiped from the earth”7
and “the unjust shall be uprooted from the earth.”8


Weep for me when you read,
“As the tongue of fire devours the dry grass,
so shall sinners be consumed in the furious flames.”9
Weep for me also at the psalm, saying,
“Let burning coals fall upon them.”10
And pray I might be pardoned from divine judgment,
foretold by the Prophet, “If you refuse to heed me,
you shall be devoured by the sword.”11

Weep at this psalm:
“Death shall be their shepherd.”12
Prepare salty tears mixed with the sighs of my heart,
when the Lord on high says to me, along
with Israel, “My people did not listen to me.”13

Sigh “alas!” for me, when another Prophet says the same:
“Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!”14

Trumpet the words of the heart, heavy before crying,
when God who sees all puts me to shame,
reprimanding me with the insolent house of Jacob,
“Look, you, wicked nations, and see; wonder and
be astounded.”15


O great God, reconsider and withhold the terrible
sword of your righteous anger,
menacingly raised over me.
I am fear-stricken before you
as you extend the bounteous care of
your right hand over me.
Bestow the anointing oil of life
upon your supplicant. And glory to you
in heaven on high, and from mortals
on earth below, throughout all the nations
and reaches of the earth,

1. Is. 59:12.
2. Mt. 9:17.
3. Is. 1:28.
4. Ps. 31 (Arm 30): 23.
5. Is. 2:12.
6. Ps. 58 (Arm 57):3.
7. Is. 16:10, Ps. 104 (Arm 103):35.
8. Pr. 2:22.
9. Is. 5:24.
10. Ps. 140 (Arm 139): 10.
11. Is. 1:20.
12. Ps. 49 (Arm 48): 15.
13. Ps. 81 (Arm 80): 11.
14. Hos. 7:13.
15. Hab. 1:20.



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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