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Morning over the bay

For Memorial Day: A Soldier's Prayer

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4 Comments
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  • Diane T-C

    These words rekindled my awe of the One Who inspired them. Thank you, Plough!

  • Douglas Thajn

    This is so good - one of the things Winston Churchill said was " There are times when all men pray" I believe that in the innermost part of our hearts, no man really is an atheist.

  • Nathaniel

    Wow!!!. I am touched.

  • abf

    On Memorial Day I must pray to the souls of those who gave their lives, those who gave up all their tomorrows so that I can have mine, and ask their forgiveness. They died for Mom, Pop, apple pie, justice, honesty, morality, liberty and the flag. They died for my freedom. Now our society presents, same sex marriage, injustice, legislative liars, moral decay, politically incorrect speech not allowed, illegal immigration, and flag burning. I must pray to their souls and ask forgiveness, for, I let it happen.

In 1972, in an underground newspaper of the Samizdat, there was published the text of a prayer. It had been found in the jacket of a Russian soldier, Aleksander Zatzepta, composed just a few moments before the battle in which he lost his life in the Second World War:

“O God, hear me! Not once in my life have I ever spoken to you, but today I feel the urge to make you an act of worship.

You know that even from my infancy they always told me that you didn’t exist... I, stupid, believed them.

I had never marveled at your great works.

But tonight I looked up from out of a shell hole at the heaven of stars above me!

And fascinated by their brilliant magnificence
All at once I understood how terrible the deception...

I don’t know, O God, if you will give me your hand.
But I say this to you, and you understand.

Isn’t it strange, that in the midst of a terrible inferno, the light should appear to me and I should have discovered you?

Beyond this I have nothing to say to you. I am happy just because I have known you.

At midnight we must attack,
But I have no fear, you are looking out for us.

It is the signal. I have to go. It was wonderful to be with you. I want also to tell you, and you know it, that the battle will be hard: it could be that, in this very night, I’ll come to knock at your door.

And even though up to now I haven’t been your friend,
When I come, will you let me come in?

But what’s this? Am I crying?

My Lord God, you see what has happened: only now I’ve begun to see clearly...

Farewell, my God, I am going. It’s scarcely possible that I’ll return.

Strange; Death now has no fear for me.”

 

The Most beautiful Prayers in the World, V Cattona (ed), Mondadori, Italy, 2006. Translated by Jim Christensen

soldier from the first world war
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