“Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart”,
Written by St. Gregory of Narek, Armenian poet and monk,
Doctor of the Universal Church.
A thousand years ago St. Gregory of Narek (951-1005) set out, with much trepidation, on a sublime mission to translate the pure sighs of the “broken and contrite” heart into an offering of words pleasing to God. Beginning each prayer with the incantation “speaking with God from the depths of the heart,” he referred to himself as “a living book (Prayer 39b)” and to his book as a compendium of prayers for all times and nations – “a testament. its letters like my body, its message like my soul (Prayer 54e).” Thus, the man equated himself with the book, and ever since, the book has been equate with this saintly man. So the book like the man came to be known affectionately as Narek.
A Lord God of compassion, salvation and mercy,
redemption and restoration, healing and health,
enlightenment and life, resurrection and immortality,
remember me, when you go to your kingdom,
O awesome, mighty, doer of good and creator of all,
living, praised, perfecter of all,.
accessible to the sighs of all beings
With the man who was crucified with you,
who was not captured for your sake and was not bound,
was not hanged and was not nailed,
was not beaten in your great name and
was not disgraced,
was not tortured and was not treated with contempt,
was not crushed and was not killed,
I beg to be worthy of the Kingdom and
the most desired light that is the reward of the just.
May you, by the authority of saying the oath, “Amen,”
affirm that your gifts are unchanging and
are glorified for giving the hope of salvation to
those of us
that consider ourselves totally abandoned.
B Blessed, blessed, and blessed again!
Having accepted me by that same faith,
raise me up from my fallen state, doer of good,
cure me of disease, merciful,
return me from the edge of death to life, lifegiver,
for I am yours, same as man’s faith, my refuge.
Grant the breath of life to the body of the dead,
life, immortality, and inexhaustible joy,
boundless grace, unwavering forgiveness,
omnipotent right hand, all-governing hand,
you have only to wish it, Lord, and I shall be saved,
only to think it, and by your mercy shall I be justified.
Say the word, and I will be found spotless.1
Forget my wrongs, and I shall venture to emerge.
Cultivate me and I shall cleave to you,
you who are glorified in all things forever.
1. Mt 8,2 Mt 8,8.