Soldier's Prayer (St. Ignatius)
Teach us, good Lord,
to serve Thee as Thou deservest:
To give, and not to count the cost;
To fight, and not to heed the wounds;
To toil, and not to seek for rest;
To labor, and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
This anonymous poem was blown into a slit trench in Tunisia during a heavy bombardment in the early days of World War II.
Stay With Me, God
Stay with me, God. The night is dark,
The night is cold: my little spark
Of courage dies. The night is long;
Be with me, God, and make me strong.
I love a game; I love a fight.
I hate the dark; I love the light.
I love my child; I love my wife.
I am no coward. I love Life,
Life with its change of mood and shade.
I want to live. I'm not afraid,
But me and mine are hard to part;
Oh, unknown God, lift up my heart.
You stilled the waters at Dunkirk
And saved Your Servants. All Your work
Is wonderful, dear God. You strode
Before us down that dreadful road.
We were alone, and hope had fled;
We loved our country and our dead,
And could not shame them; so we stayed
The course, and were not much afraid.
Dear God that nightmare road! And then
That sea! We got there-we were men.
My eyes were blind, my feet were torn,
My soul sang like a bird at dawn!
I knew that death is but a door.
I knew what we were fighting for:
Peace for the kids, our brothers freed,
A kinder world, a cleaner breed.
I'm but the son my mother bore,
A simple man, and nothing more.
But-God of strength and gentleness,
Be pleased to make me nothing less.
Help me, O God, when Death is near
To mock the haggard face of fear,
That when I fall-if fall I must-
My soul may triumph in the Dust.
A Soldier's Prayer
Whose Command is over all
and Whose Love never faileth,
let me be aware of Thy presence
and obedient to Thy will.
Keep me true to my best self,
guarding me against dishonesty
in purpose and in deed,
and helping me so to soldier and to live
so as to stand unashamed
and unafraid before my fellow soldiers,
my loved ones, and Thee.
Protect those in whose love I live.
Give me the will to do the work of a man
and to accept my share
of responsibilities with a strong heart
and a cheerful mind.
Make me considerate of those
entrusted to my leadership
and faithful to the duties my country
has entrusted to me.
Let my uniform remind me
daily of the traditions
of the Service of which I am a part.
If I am inclined to doubt,
steady my faith;
if I am tempted,
make me strong to resist;
if I should miss the mark,
bestow upon me courage to try again.
Guide me with the light of Thy truth ~
and keep before me the life of
Him in Whose example
and deliverance I trust.
In the name of my Lord,
~ Authored by an unknown World War II U.S. Navy Serviceman