Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


You Visit Where There Is No Exit

Heavenly king, Lord of all,
patient toward all in all things,
Son of the living God, beyond our understanding,
your true mercy is manifest
when the expectation of reward is cut off.
Your benevolence is displayed
when the mind’s vision is blocked.
Your love of mankind is expressed at the hour
when weakness lays siege from without and within.
The divine healing of your hand is manifest when
life departs completely from our bodies.
You visit where there is no exit.
Your greatness is clear when
you cure the wound of despair.
Your genuine humanity shared with us
is revealed when at unexpected times
you dispense salvation.
Your victory is obvious when
you open the closed door of life at my last breath.
Your magnificent grace is there
when you forget my wrongs and remember your goodness.
Your ungrudging generosity is manifest
when you include me in your care,
ingrate that I am, along with the grateful.
I know and recognize that you look upon
this offering of words with your former compassion
as you lift away my sinful habits.


How long would it take your omnipotent power
to pardon my transgressions?
Not even the batting of the eye,
not the fleeting side glance,
not the quick glaring flash,
not the slightest hesitation,
not the hurried footstep,
not the raindrop’s coursing a cubit,
not the grasp of a line by the mind,
not the speed of light,
not the taking of a breath.

None of these insubstantial, fleeting events or
ephemeral states is so short or instantaneous
as the disintegration, destruction and melting of the
glacier of my sins by your power God, Lord of all,
Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, beyond human understanding.
You grant the sun of sweetness to the evil as well as
the good, and make it rain upon both.
You mete out fairly the vicissitudes of life.
Those who find contentment in the expectation
of rewards, you pay with the spurs of temptation
for their few sins.
And those who have chosen the worldly life,
you forgive with mercy ministering your care to both alike,
awaiting their return to you.
To you glory, Almighty, for the miraculous work
of your patient loving care, blessed forever.

St. Gregory of Narek, Prayer 74


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