I think of soldiers on the field who find themselves near the point of departing this world and the gift of the sure knowledge of human mortality. I think of the gift of spiritual isolation that draws from a man his primordial hope in his creator, which has been hidden, in many cases, by the clutter of the many distractions of the world. I think of the men of faith who have produced, from their final breaths, words of hope and praise and humble petitions to their Savior, “Dear Jesus, please, take my hand and guide me through the darkness.” We remember them because they died in service to their country, in service to those with whom they were bound as neighbors, as children, as brothers and sisters, as fathers and mothers, as fellow laborers in charity, in the cultivation of fields, in the husbandry of livestock, in the production of goods in the factories, in the just establishment and execution of laws conforming to the law of God, in the many activities that afford the opportunity of obedience to the commandments of our God. They died that we might dwell in peace in our own land, the land we call America, under which flag we our bound in the solidarity of free, God fearing people, our beloved home, given to us, not by those who died in her service, but by their Creator to Whom they made their final prayers in this world and which carried them into the hereafter.
I awoke on this holiday with time to meditate upon the peaceful moment I have been afforded because of the gift of God, answering the prayers of those who desired a land subject to his authority, in which freedom should surely flourish, and in which peace remains His precious gift.
This is my Memorial Day Prayer.
Abba, Father, Creator blessed, I rise in Your creation, thankful to see the rising sun, to hear Your singing birds, to feel the breeze of Your atmosphere, thankful that you have made me free, that I might offer to You my own will, according to justice and righteousness, since I, too, am Your creation. I am especially thankful for this peaceful hour, which is of Your making and which is precious in my eyes.
I know, eternal loving God, that You care for me tenderly. It makes me all the more ashamed of my sin, which is contrary to all that is holy and good. Even if it were allowed, dear Lord, I would not want to bring it with me. I know that I say this, then I sin again, but it is true as far as I may in this poor state discern. Truly, truly, I do desire Your holiness, and with Your help most gracious God in heaven, You shall see this desire come to be revealed in the loving obedience that can only come from Your Holy Spirit, in the glory of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Oh Lord, accept this praise and this adoration and give it, by the conversion of my heart and mind, the substance of loving obedience.
I ask, also Lord, that You bring to me this present peace when I am overcome by the confusion and chaos of the world that surrounds me and in which I dwell, not as a citizen, but as a sojourner and a stranger. Do not let my feeble and tormented mind forget Your many gifts, which are the inheritance of those given to Your Son, those chosen from this world by His supreme sacrifice on the cross. Do, Lord, send Your angels to help me persevere, that I might always be counted among the faithful, and enter into Your holy house by a happy death.