“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.
D You who took our transgressions upon yourself,1
you who graced us with your righteousness,2
you who offered yourself as the ransom of our reconciliation,3
you who never abandoned mercy,4
turn the impious toward good, God-fearing works,
the stupefied toward the sobriety of a vigilant heart,
the impure toward the holiness of shining character,
the sinners toward the purity of the tranquil saintly nature,
the broken toward wholeness impervious to accidents,
the weeping toward the joy of unclouded bliss,5
the hopeless toward the love of union,
the embarrassed toward firmness,
the people who live in darkness toward the light of endless joy,6
the captives of death toward life incorruptible.
For your name is glorified, Lord Jesus,
professed in all ways with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
in heaven on high and on earth below
among all the inhabitants therein,
forever and ever.
1. Is 53,4-5, Jn 1,29.
2. Rm 5,17-21.
3. Jn 19,17.
4. Ps 103,8 (Arm 102):8.
5. Mt 5,5.
6. Lc 1,79.