Yesterday we had a preliminary dose of one of St. Gregory of Narek’s prayer. It might have gone
misunderstood had we not been on the journey for over three weeks when we encountered it. The meditation was intended to bring us to a new platform today, where the ego is slighted as a prerequisite to healing.
The struggle we have with our ego is a difficult one. On the first hand, we are here, on this journey, precisely because of the ego. That is, we hurt. We have had several life experiences that have contributed to our pain and suffering. As we inspect and examine ourselves and the underlying reasons for our illness, addictions, broken relationships or disease, we find our ego is tightly and intricately intertwined with our ails.
Who knows you better than anyone else on this planet? Better than your mother, better than your father? Better than your spouse, sister or brother? Better than your lover or your best friend? Who knows you better than anyone else? You do. Sure, you have close friends, maybe even a soul-mate, but only you know all of your ambitions, your desires, your inner struggles and feelings. Therefore, responsibility for your welfare ultimately resides with you. Pure and simple.
But in this thought process, it’s very easy to convince yourself that that is all that matters. When we read a prayer or mediation such as the works of Narekatsi, we immediately understand that there is something greater than the self in the life process. That is, the ego is diminished in size and capacity when we acknowledge something greater than the self. There are many ways of understanding that greater-than-self entity. It can be called the Truth, the Universe, the All, the Force or Power, Father, Mother, God or very simply Love. In all cases, in acknowledging the greater-than-self we understand that our healing, and ultimately our health, is a combination of body and soul, heaven and earth, self and God.
Praising and praying are one way of acknowledging the greater presence and letting the ego have a break.
Let us pray a prayer of St. Nersess Shnorhali,
Searcher of secrets, I have sinned against You willingly and unwillingly, knowingly and unknowingly, grant me —a great sinner— forgiveness, for since I was born of the holy font until this day I have sinned before You, by my senses, and by all the members of my body. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner. Amen.
Think of this prayer, meditate on the words and the thought of asking someone for something as eloquent, as beautiful, as simple and as great as forgiveness. Where does your ego stand in this relationship?
This is Fr. Vazken inviting you to join us tomorrow as we continue on the Road to Healing.