St. Gregory of Narek, Doctor of the Church, was an Armenian monk who lived in the 10th century. He was a brilliant theologian and writer. Starting from a young age, he wrote chants, poems, songs, letters, and a profound commentary on the Old Testament Song of Songs.
His best-known work, however, is his mystical poem titled The Book of Lamentations.
Gregory wrote this poem towards the end of his life, intending that it should be his last work.
The poem is composed of ninety-five prayers, speaking to God “from the depths of the heart.” They express the deep yearning of a soul for God and the suffering which the soul undergoes when it is separated from Him. At the same time, the soul worships and praises its Creator.
Suffering is an experience which all souls share in common. The cry for relief and fulfillment has been understood and felt by every person since Adam and Eve. Gregory’s poem put that experience of suffering and longing into words, connecting our inherent sense of desire with our Creator, in Whom alone the soul finds its fulfillment and happiness.
Since its writing, the poem has been a source of consolation to those enduring sufferings and trials.
The writings of the Church’s Doctors and Fathers—such as St. Gregory—remain relevant to this day. They can help us in our daily lives as we work to better ourselves. A Year With The Church Fathers brings their writings together in a selection of beautiful and practical teachings that are easily read in small daily chunks. But this book is more than a collection of writings—it’s a retreat. Each brief passage invites you into contemplation, prayer, and spiritual growth. A wonderful gift for a friend—or for yourself, especially during this time of Lent! Available today at The Catholic Company!