- 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 7

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


So that I will not give up hope of salvation,
and, laying down my arms, surrender to so many
invisible attackers,
which are nothing other than the tribe of foes,
springing up, of their own, in the categories
just described,
in numbers and forms that are terrifying,
I shall show here as against these warriors,
the mightiest of godly champions,
most victorious and undefeated,
which at the same time are summoned by a
most painful grief,
like a difficult-to-swallow fruit of an unreachable tree,
or the toil and hardship of an untrodden path.

For a small teardrop from the eye
can cause an entire evil platoon of the Tempter’s
army to shrink away,
like the squirming of centipedes or earthworms,
drowning in a puddle of oil or a drop of
some lethal potion.
And the faint groan of a sighing heart,
rising from the soul,
is like a warm southerly breeze, mixed with sun,
that melts the fiercest blizzard,
for like storms, they are easily born and when
opposed, quickly die.


But I shall never stop judging my condemned self with anguished words,
or reproaching myself for my sins,
like a wicked, irredeemable and incorrigible being.
For although I have slain some of my tormentors,
I helped others to live and lost my soul.
Like a plant with bitter branches,
I have blossomed with the odor of wrongful ways,
with corrupting and fatal fruit,
which I have made into the wine of destruction.
The offspring of Canaan and not Judah,
in the words of the great prophet Daniel.1
I am
the child of hell and not paradise,2
the heir of Hades, not of coveted glory,
the stuff of torment, not of rest,
ungrateful rather than grateful,
disgraceful rather than graced,
ever sinful rather than forbearing,
one who embitters the sweetness of your beneficence,
an evil and bad servant like the one who
was reprimanded by our Lord,3
one who, as the Prophet Isaiah said,
uses my learning for evil.4

I am
diligent in the baseness of corruption,
conscientious in angering the Lord,
ever active in satanic ventures,
a daily cause of grief to my Maker,
weak in my flight toward goodness,
lazy in the blessing of fidelity,
slow in observing my promises,
fainthearted in the necessary and useful,
an unfaithful and ungrateful servant.


Woe to my sinful soul, for I have angered my creator.
Woe to this son of perdition,5
for I have forgotten the gift of life.
Woe to this debtor of untold thousands of talents,
for I haven't the means to repay.6
Woe to this porter heavy laden with vile sins,
for I cannot lay down my burden to rest.
Woe to this debtor of the Lord,
for I cannot face the Almighty.
Woe to this heap of dried up reeds,
for I am consumed in Gehenna.7
Woe to me as I remember that the arrows of the
wrath of God are fitted with flames.8
Woe for my stupidity, for I did not
recall that the hidden shall be revealed.9
Woe for my impiety, for I always and
ceaselessly wove the web of evil.
Woe to my well-fed body
which shall be food for the immortal worms,10
for how shall I endure their fierce venom?
Woe to me for having drunk of the cup of death,
for how shall I suffer eternity?
Woe to me for raising this unworthy soul from
this corrupt body,
for how shall I face my judge?
Woe to me for the lack of oil in my lamp,
for its darkness shall not be relit.

Woe to me for the sudden alarm of the fear of dismay
when the door of the marriage feast is closed.
And woe to me for the terror of the voice of these words,
trembling and quaking, before the pronouncement
of our heavenly king's judgment:
"I do not know you." 11

1. Dan. 13:56.
2. Mt. 23:15.
3. Mt. 25:26.
4. Is. 5:18-21.
5. Jn. 17:12.
6. Mt. 18:23-34.
7. Is. 5:24.
8. Ps. 7:14.
9. Mt. 10:26.
10. Is. 66:24, Mk. 9:48.
11. Mt. 25:1-12.



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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