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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
And if I reach old age,
having been guided by you to my worthy death,
do not abandon me in my frailty.
Do not despise my gray hair.
Do not destroy what is already broken.
Do not bring down the bent.
Do not knock down the humbled.
Do not extinguish the flickering flame with your wind.
Do not shove the unsteady.
Do not leave the shivering without a coat.
Do not permit the afflicted to go without a cure.
Do not leave the dilapidated untended.
Do not let the old image be dishonored.
Do not take the taste away from the sumptuous.
Do not tarnish the splendor of grace.
Do not insult the old.
Do not send waves upon the ship of my soul.
Do not cut the thread of hope.
Do not sever the life line.
Do not take away presence of mind or memory.
Do not destroy what you have shaped.
Do not clip the wings of ascension.
Do not deform the cheerfulness of beauty.
Do not retract the rays of light.
Do not close the windows of the eyes.
Do not block their light.
Do not cut down my speaking image.