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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
Give me rest.
I am exhausted from the multitude of cares and toil.
Remove the turmoil of doubt from my broken spirit,
the bitterness along with the grief,
the sighing along with the misery,
the anxiety along with the wretchedness,
the cries along with the destruction,
the brokenness along with the stupor,
the delirium along with the folly,
the imprudence along with the stupidity,
the cooling of love along with the feverish
passion for luxury.1
Come to my aid,
for I am weak with grief and poor in spirit.
With your right hand of beneficial grace,
with your finger of renewal, with your ever-radiant glory,
with your eternal, incorruptible presence,2
with your cheerful countenance,
with the essence of your venerable being,
with your greatness worthy of worship,
relieve this labored sighing that is suffocating me.3
Stop the new tricks of evil and the old deceptions of
the alienating impulses of the teacher of death,
the unfitting imaginings prompted by the one who
kills us daily,
the mirages caused by the treacherous demon,
the enchanting sorcerer’s fiery breath.
Protect my place of rest in the tranquility
from hidden thoughts and new errors,
from great misdeeds and small missteps,
from the evil machinations of idleness.
Banish from my senses, wayward servant that I am,
inappropriate thoughts and base passions,
blameworthy conduct and unbecoming ambitions,
erring actions, ridiculous illusions,
vile thoughts, and despicable babble.
1. Mt. 24:12.
2.. Dan. 7:14.
3 . 2 Cor. 7:10.
4. Wis. 2:24.