A Bedtime Prayer
Of A Catholic Marine Corps Officer
– Luke 18:17-
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray Thee Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray Thee Lord my soul to take.
For ‘ere the daystar rises high
Upon the morrow we must fly
To face again death’s dire hand
And free a distant people’s land.
Upon a shore, on mountain steep,
In desert, snow, or jungle deep,
Through heat, on ice, by land or sea
Marines will ever faithful be.
Our purpose true and mission clear
Will help us face all pain and fear.
Since one we are in heart and mind,
Marines leave none of theirs behind.
For some of us must surely fall,
Tenacious in hard duty’s call.
According to God’s timeless ken
We live, then serve, then die as men.
Our Rosaries and Michael’s sword
Will Anchor, Globe and Eagle guard.
Warm prayers of dear ones, Masses said,
Support our living and our dead.
O Queen of Martyrs! Christ, my Light!
O Guardian angels! Joseph bright!
O Trinity Three Persons One!
For us and foe Thy will be done.
And now I lie on Adam’s clay.
Grim weapons crack and shatter day.
Throughout cold night hot blood must flow.
This hour shall I God’s Judgments know?
Or will wounds heal? Will terror scar?
Will grief my trust in heaven mar?
Youth was shortened, young men lost.
Will what I’ve done merit this cost?
Ash to ash and dust to dust.
Thundering armaments will rust.
Bone and flesh must go to ground,
But none of us by death are bound.
Not ‘till heaven shall I see,
The men who offered up this fee.
Marines long taken from our eyes
At long last glorious will rise.
All the tears that I will shed
Make sense as I behold the Head
Of Him whose Sacrifice was free,
For all, for sinners, on the Tree.
Some losses do merit the cost.
Our loss is great. We mourn our lost.
But I and neighbor must be free.
Paid is the price of liberty.
So, brothers now we lay to rest,
And fix their medals on their chest.
Their mothers I will gently tell
Sons loved them, God, and country well.
We smooth the lines in pale brow,
Then close their final bed and bow
To express gratitude and love
With folded flag, priest’s hand above.
Parents, wives, and children know
From me that we did love them so.
They’re clear in memory and my dreams.
Christ Jesus save my brave Marines.
In safety now my loved ones sleep.
Let Mighty God our nation keep!
And should I die before I wake,
My soul I offer Christ to take.