- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 67

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


But since your judgment, Christ God,
is much more lenient toward me
than toward Satan the forefather of evil,1
and because of him, “the Son of God was
revealed among us that he might destroy the works
of the devil,”2
whereas for me, he came to restore my
worn-out image,3
taking our image in its essence,
he united in himself the image of great God
in indisputable unity.
He graced Satan with none of this bounty,
and upon me he poured forth everything
in abundance.4
He did not suffer on the cross for Satan,
but for me he is continuously sacrificed.
Satan does not partake in life,
but I am eternally favored with salvation.
Satan is not protected by the cross,
but I am fortified by this sign.
He is banished from the light,
but I am joined with glory.
God did not promise him peace even on earth,5
but he made me an owner of heaven.6
God cut off his guarantee of hope,
but continued mine forever.7
God confined him to a herd of pigs,8
but in me God dwells more firmly.9
God compared him to a scorpion,10
and he called me the light of the world.11
God made him resemble a snake,12
but he placed the seal of his name upon me.13


But I abandoned the favors of God,
who created so many good things, and I
gave in to my inclination toward evil,
gazing downward with him at the bottom of the abyss:

Look at me,
I am
unworthy of good, undeserving of favor,
incapable of love, drawn in by the strands of sin,
wounded in the depth of my inner organs,
a broken palm tree,
spilled wine,
damp wheat,
breached mortgage,
ripped up verdict,
counterfeit seal,
deformed image,
singed garment,
lost goblet,
sunken ship,
crushed pearl,
buried gem,
dried up plant,
broken beam,
rotten wood,
mutilated mandrake,
collapsed roof,
dilapidated altar,
uprooted plant,
oily filth on the street,
milk flowing through ash,
a dead man in the battalion of the brave.


My pitiful soul, though you heard the warnings
from Jerusalem
and were told parables about Babylon by the prophet,
you did not listen, leaving me
ridiculous on the one hand,
and scandalized on the other;
here accused, there reprimanded;
here mocked, there insulted;
here scorned, there opposed;
here confused, there abandoned;
here weeping, there sobbing;
here doubt, there finality;
here grief, there chastisement;
here calamity, there the court of judgment.

Here I am,
with no right to speak, nor opportunity to plea,
where days are without number and time has no end,
where there is no bridge of hope, nor door of mercy,
no protecting right hand, nor helping hand extended.


But you are refuge and you yourself are salvation,
you are rescue and you are pardon,
you are bliss and through you is blessing and mercy,
O Lord, who alone is mighty, living, and beyond words.
Lord Jesus Christ, God who does good, be
blessed, blessed and blessed again,
with your Holy Spirit exalted forever,
in the glory of your great Father’s essence,
forever and ever.

1. Lk. 12:48.
2. 1 Jn. 3:8.
3. Phil. 3:21.
4. Jl. 2:28.
5. Mt. 8:29
6. 1 Cor. 2:9.
7. 2 Cor. 1:21-22.
8. Mt. 8:31-32.
9. Jn. 17:23.
10. Lk. 10:19.
11. Mt. 5:14.
12. Lk. 10:19.
13. Mt. 28:19.



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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