UNO SGUARDO MISSIONARIO SUL MONDO E LA CHIESA Missionari Comboniani – Formazione Permanente – Comboni Missionaries – Ongoing Formation
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 equated with this saintly man. So the book like the man came to be known affectionately as Narek.
Why have you hardened my miserable heart
so I do not fear you, who is beyond words and awe? (1)
Help, so I will not be unfruitful in this task
like the planter vainly sowing seeds into barren ground. (2)
Spare me that I may not
labor without birth,
sigh without tears,
meditate without voice,
cloud without rain,
struggle without reaching,
call without being heard,
implore without being heeded,
groan without being comforted,
beg without being helped,
smolder without aroma, (3)
see you without being fulfilled.
Hear me, Lord, before I cry out to you,
who alone are almighty,
Do not leave the wages of my suffering unrecompensed
for the tallied days of my life of sin,
wayward soul that I am.
Grant me life, compassionate Lord.
Hear me, merciful Lord.
Be charitable to me, forgiving Lord.
Save me, long-suffering Lord.
Protect me, defender Lord.
Be generous, all-giving Lord.
Free me, all-powerful Lord.
Revive me, restoring Lord.
Raise me again, awe-inspiring Lord.
Enlighten me, heavenly Lord.
Cure me, omnipotent Lord.
Grant pardon, inscrutable Lord.
Bestow gifts, bountiful Lord.
Adorn me with grace, generous Lord.
Let us be reconciled, healing Lord.
Be accepting, unvengeful Lord.
Wipe away my transgressions, blessed Lord,
so that on that Day of Misery,
when I stare at the abyss on either side,
I may also catch sight of your salvation,
my hope and guardian,
and on that terrifying journey
your angel of peace may sweetly guide me.
Endow me, Lord, on the day my breath is finished
with a clean spirit raised in light among
the joyful heavenly host,
with gifts of your love overtaking me.
May I arrive with the workers for justice.
Grant to my wayward soul an unexpected kindness
on that day of despair.
Do not assign, blessed Lord and Savior,
a wild beast to guide your sick sheep,
but grant me health, for I am dying of sin,
grant me salvation, for I am ruined by transgressions.
1. Is 63,17.
2. Mt 13,5; Jn 10,11.
3. Lv 3,3-5 1S 2,15.